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U.S., EU Urge Israel To Reverse Decision On New Settler Homes

The Jewish settlement of Har Homa on the outskirts of Arab East Jerusalem will house 983 of the units.
The European Union and United States have criticized Israel's plans to build new homes for Jewish families in disputed East Jerusalem.

U.S. President Barack Obama, speaking on a visit to Jakarta, said the Israeli plans were not "helpful" for reviving stalled peace negotiations with Palestinians.

The European Union's foreign-affairs chief, Catherine Ashton, said Israel's plans to build 1,300 new housing units in East Jerusalem clashed with international efforts to revive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Israel announced the plans on November 8, sparking a furious reaction from the Palestinians, who accused Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of sabotaging the peace talks.

The direct peace talks resumed in September, but stalled less than a month later over the issue of Jewish settlement building.

Both the United Nations and the United States have also expressed concern over the new Israeli housing project.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to bring the issue up in a meeting with Netanyahu in New York on November 11.

compiled from agency reports