"Negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians will resume on August 14 in Jerusalem and will be followed by a meeting in Jericho (in the West Bank)," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
               
The sides held their first peace negotiations, in nearly three years, in Washington on July 30 as a result of US-mediated efforts to end the six decades span conflict. Psaki said that US envoys Martin Indyk and Frank Lowenstein will travel to the region to help facilitate the negotiations.
               
She signaled that no major breakthroughs were likely at the meeting, saying, "Secretary Kerry does not expect to make any announcements in the aftermath of this round of talks."
               
The announcement came as Israel said that it had given preliminary approval for the construction of more than 800 new homes in Jewish settlements on occupied West Bank land, a move that would complicate peace negotiations.
               
Psaki said that Washington had taken up the issue with the Israelis. "The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity and opposes any efforts to legitimize settlement outpost," Psaki said.
               
"The Secretary has made clear that he believes both the negotiating teams are at the table in good faith and are committed to making progress," she added.
               
Kerry has said that the sides have given themselves about nine months to try to reach an agreement.
               
The United States is seeking to broker an agreement on a two-state solution, in which Israel would exist peacefully alongside a new Palestinian state created in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, lands partly occupied by Israel since a 1967 war. The latest direct talks collapsed in late 2010 over Israel's building of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

(Agencies)

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