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U.S., Russia 'Disappointed' By New Jerusalem Building Plans

A Jewish settlement in Arab east Jerusalem (file photo)

A Jewish settlement in Arab east Jerusalem (file photo)

Russia has joined the United States in explicit criticism of Israel over that country's plans to construct new settlements in east Jerusalem.

The United States said late on October 15 that it was "disappointed" with the plans for the new settler homes, saying they undermined efforts to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

"We were disappointed by the announcement of new tenders in East Jerusalem yesterday," State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told a regular press briefing in Washington. "It is contrary to our efforts to resume direct negotiations between the parties."

Then a day later, Moscow echoed that concern.

A statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry expressed its "extreme concern and disappointment" at the Israeli move, and called on Israel to re-think its decision.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved the plan for 238 new settler homes on October 14.

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat said the move shows Israel was intent on "killing" every opportunity to revive peace talks between the two sides.

compiled from agency reports