The Obama administration wants Israel to stop building and expanding settlements in the occupied territories. But Israel is approving construction of hundreds of new houses in the West Bank and finishing some 2,500 others. The White House is not pleased. Press secretary Robert Gibbs just sent out a statement that included these paragraphs:
We regret the reports of Israel’s plans to approve additional settlement construction. Continued settlement activity is inconsistent with Israel’s commitment under the Roadmap.
As the President has said before, the United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement expansion and we urge that it stop. We are working to create a climate in which negotiations can take place, and such actions make it harder to create such a climate.
It looks like the administration is taking a pretty hard line about holding Israel to its Roadmap commitments. How will the Israeli government respond?