JERUSALEM – A senior Israeli official is condemning the European Union's new directive banning EU dealings with settlements as "worrying" and counterproductive to peace talks.
From 2014, Israeli authorities must guarantee that all EU funding and cooperation projects are conducted within Israel's pre-1967 border and not in east Jerusalem, the West Bank or Golan Heights.
Israel's deputy foreign minister Zeev Elkin called the decision a "very significant and worrying move," telling Israel radio on Tuesday that it doesn't help attempts by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to restart peace talks with the Palestinians.
Kerry returns to the region this week for consultations, but is not scheduled to visit Israel or the Palestinian territories.
Israel says the status of lands it captured in the 1967 Mideast war should be resolved through talks.