U.S. disappointed over Israel's stance on settlements (2)

08:47, April 23, 2010      

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"Have they done everything that we'd like to see them do? No!" said Crowley.

At least 450,000 Israelis live in more than 100 settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

After Israel's announcement early in March to build 1,600 homes in the neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo in East Jerusalem, the PNA decided to suspend the indirect talks with Israel, which was brokered by U.S. special envoy George Mitchell following tough shuttle mediation between Israel and the Palestinians.

"We're trying to get the parties engaged, as a first step, indirectly, and as a second step, directly, so that we can address issues of housing, refugees, borders, security, Jerusalem, all of these issues," said Crowley.

"We recognize that there are things that happened on the ground that can impede the ability to get to that direct negotiation. .. We're trying to remove obstacles to a direct negotiation," said the spokesman.

Envoy Mitchell is expected to arrive in Israel late on Thursday for a new round of mediation between Israel and the Palestinians over resuming peace talks.

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