Washington: The United States warned on Monday that Israeli settlement activity in east Jerusalem, particularly in the E1 area, would be "especially damaging" to efforts to achieve a two-state solution.
The State Department reaction comes amid rising international criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to allow 3,000 new settler homes to be built in annexed east Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.
"The United States opposes all unilateral actions, including West Bank settlement activity and housing construction in east Jerusalem, as they complicate efforts to resume direct, bilateral negotiations, and risk prejudging the outcome of those negotiations," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.
"This includes building in the E1 area as this area is particularly sensitive and construction there would be especially damaging to efforts to achieve a two-state solution," Toner said.
The E1 area is a corridor of land east of Jerusalem that is controversial because construction of Jewish settlements there would effectively cut the West Bank in two.


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