U.S. Warns Israel Settlement Sends 'Troubling Message'

A Palestinian protester wearing a mask holds a Palestinian flag as tear gas fired by Israeli troops is seen during clashes following a protest against the near-by Jewish settlement of Qadomem Mohamad Torokman/Reutesr

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States expressed concern on Wednesday about reports that Israel had moved forward plans for settlements in East Jerusalem, warning the move would call into question Israel's commitment to peace with the Palestinians.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the step would also send a "troubling message" if the Israeli government proceeded with tenders and construction.

"This development will only draw condemnation from the international community, distance Israel from even its closest allies, poison the atmosphere not only with the Palestinians but also with the very Arab governments with which Prime Minister (Benjamin) Netanyahu said he wanted to build relations," Psaki told a briefing.

In addition, it would "call into question Israel's ultimate commitment to a peaceful negotiated settlement," she added.

U.S. Warns Israel Settlement Sends 'Troubling Message' | World