The U.S. has criticized Israel’s plan to build 50 new homes in the Jewish settlement of Elkana. White House spokesman Scott McClellan said President Bush "made his views pretty clear" during his meeting last week with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that "Israel should not expand settlements." “We will be seeking clarification from the government of Israel," McClellan said. "The ‘roadmap’ [peace plan] has obligations for both parties. Israel should not be expanding settlements. And the Palestinian leaders need to act to dismantle terrorist organizations." Israel says it will continue to strengthen settlement blocs that will remain a part of Israel in any final peace agreement.
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