Kerry 'expected' Israel to expand settlement activity
A Palestinian man jumps using a rope over a section of Israel's controversial concrete barrier that separates the West Bank from Jerusalem on August 12, 2013, in Beit Hanina, in Israeli annexed east Jerusalem. (AFP)
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US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday that Israel's announcement of a plan to build new settlements in the West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem) "were to some degree expected."
Kerry continued, saying, "the United States of America views all of the settlements as illegitimate,” and he urged Palestinian and Israeli officials to continue with the peace talks, due to resume this week.
Kerry spoke on Monday with Israeli negotiator Tzipi Livni and called Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
On Sunday Israel's housing minister announced his approval of a plan for 1,200 new settlements to be built in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, causing many to feel that Israeli officials were "not serious in the negotiations" with the Palestinian Authority.