The United States opposes Israel's plans to build new homes in East Jerusalem, a spokesman for the White House said.
"The United States opposes new Israeli construction in East Jerusalem. The status of Jerusalem is a permanent status issue that must be resolved by the parties through negotiations and supported by the international community," Robert Gibbs said in a statement.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced in late November that construction would be to the West Bank, but not East Jerusalem, which is also under Israeli occupation and which the Palestinians claim to be the capital of an independent Palestinian state. Netanyahu also said construction would resume in the future.
"The United States recognizes that Jerusalem is a deeply important issue for Israelis and Palestinians, and for Jews, Muslims, and Christians. We believe that through good faith negotiations the parties can mutually agree on an outcome that realizes the aspirations of both parties for Jerusalem, and safeguards its status for people around the world," Gibbs added.
Under the internationally agreed roadmap for Middle East peace, Israel is obliged to freeze construction and remove unauthorized outposts built since 2001 from the Palestinian territories.
The issue of settlement construction in the West Bank, occupied by Israel since the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, has been the main obstacle to reviving peace talks with the Palestinians.
The Palestinian National Authority has refused to return to the negotiating table until the construction is completely halted.
WASHINGTON, December 28 (RIA Novosti)