Israeli schemes to build new housing units in occupied east Jerusalem and the West Bank are not helpful for the Middle East peace process, US President Barack Obama said during a visit to Indonesia. "This kind of activity is never helpful when it comes to peace negotiations," he said.
"I'm concerned that we're not seeing each side make the extra effort to get a breakthrough that could finally create a framework for a secure Israel living side-by-side in peace with a sovereign Palestine."
According to AFP, Obama stated: "Each of these incremental steps can end up breaking" the trust between the parties.
The American leader, however, said he would continue working on the process despite the deepening deadlock. "We're going to keep on working it though because it is in the world's interests," he said. "It is in the interests of the people of Israel and it is in the interests of the Palestinian people to achieve that settlement."