US does not accept Israel settlement expansions: Rice

TEHRAN, Nov. 16 (MNA) – US President’s National Advisor Susan Rice says Israel’s settlement expansion lacks legitimacy and it fuels tensions hampering the talks between Palestinian and Israeli.

“We have seen increased tensions on the ground. Some of this is a result of recent settlement announcements. So let me reiterate: The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity,” Rice stated.

She also stated that Washington’s opposition to the illegal Israeli settlement expansion is not new and had been the US policy for decades. In similar remarks, US Secretary of State John Kerry has described Israeli settlements constructed on the occupied Palestinian land as “illegitimate.”

Palestinian-Israeli talks broke down in early November, amid a dispute over Israel’s decision to push ahead with the construction of thousands of new illegal settler units in the occupied Palestinian territories.

On November 13, acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas said his negotiation team had resigned over the lack of progress in the negotiations with Tel Aviv. He made the announcement a day after Tel Aviv issued tenders for the construction of nearly 24,000 new settler units in the occupied West Bank.

The Israeli regime has been under fire from the international community, including its own allies, over its expansionist policies. More than half a million Israelis live in more than 120 settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds in 1967.

By Mehr News Agency


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