This administration — like previous administrations — has been very clear with Israel that these activities set back the cause of a negotiated peace.Secretary of State Hillary Clinton • Discussing Israel’s plan to build new settlements on the West Bank in violation of international law, a decision announced hours after the United Nations voted in favor of giving Palestine de facto statehood. While critical of the newly-announced settlements, Clinton said that the United States would continue to favor Israel in peace talks. “If and when the parties are ready to enter into direct negotiations to solve the conflict, President (Barack) Obama will be a full partner to them,” she said.
» A tenuous situation: An Israeli planning committee has approved the expansion of the Gilo settlement of East Jerusalem, which has prompted much international concern that the peace process will suffer as a result. “Today’s decision … ignores the Quartet’s [the US, UN, EU and Russia] appeal of last Friday to the parties to refrain from provocative actions,” said a spokesman for UN special coordinator for Mid-East peace Robert Serry. The settlement expansion is still subject to public consultation before final approval.