The White House has expressed dismay over the Israeli decision on expansion of settlement in Jerusalem and noted that it would make more difficult for them to succeed in their effort to find a permanent resolution of the dispute.

“We are dismayed at the Jerusalem Planning Committee’s decision to move forward on the approval process for the expansion of Gilo in Jerusalem. At a time when we are working to re-launch negotiations, these actions make it more difficult for our efforts to succeed,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said in a statement.

“Neither party should engage in efforts or take actions that could unilaterally pre-empt, or appear to pre-empt, negotiations,” he noted.

“The US also objects to other Israeli practices in Jerusalem related to housing, including the continuing pattern of evictions and demolitions of Palestinian homes,” he said.

Ms. Gibbs said the US position is clear: the status of Jerusalem is a permanent status issue that must be resolved through negotiations between the parties.

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