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U.S. reiterates concerns over Israeli housing construction in West Bank

RIA Novosti

22:01 09/08/2011 WASHINGTON, August 9 (RIA Novosti) - The United States reiterated its concerns over the ongoing Israeli housing construction in the West Bank, the U.S. Department of State said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The United States is deeply concerned by continuing Israeli actions with respect to housing construction in Jerusalem. We have raised this issue with the Israeli government and continue to make our position known," the statement said.

The issue of settlement construction has been a major sticking point that has hampered the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

"As we have said before, unilateral actions work against efforts to resume direct negotiations and contradict the logic of a reasonable and necessary agreement between the parties."

Israel's refusal last September to prolong its 10-month moratorium on the construction of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories saw Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas withdraw from direct negotiations with Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu.

The talks, which came to a halt just a few weeks after they resumed in Washington following a 20-month break, yielded no results as both sides showed an unwillingness to compromise.

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