The United States is deeply concerned about Israel’s reported plans to build an additional 323 units in settlements in East Jerusalem on top of 770 units previously announced in the settlement of Gilo, the U.S. State Department said.
Such action by Israel “continues this pattern of provocative and counterproductive action,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement on Wednesday.
Kirby called the settlement activity “corrosive to the cause of peace.”
In addition to the plans for East Jerusalem and Gilo, Kirby cited plans for other units, including 531 in Ma’ale Adumim, 19 in Har Homa, 120 in Ramot, and 30 in Pisgat Ze’ev. He also noted a plan to legalize an outpost near Ramallah; and tenders for 42 units in Kiryat Arba.
“These steps by Israeli authorities are the latest examples of what appears to be a steady acceleration of settlement activity that is systematically undermining the prospects for a two-state solution,” he said.
According to the advocacy group Peace Now, Israeli authorities issued tenders for the construction of 323 housing units in East Jerusalem. Peace Now, which opposes settlements, said the tenders were for homes that were offered in the past and never taken up.