WASHINGTON – Israel's plan to construct a new settlement on the West Bank drew rare criticism Wednesday from the Bush administration.
If Israel goes ahead, it would violate Israel's obligations under the roadmap for peacemaking, a State Department spokesman said.
"The U.S. calls on Israel to meet its roadmap obligations and avoid taking steps that could be viewed as predetermining the outcome of future negotiations," the spokesman, Golzalo R. Gallegos, said.
Israel agreed to the roadmap in 2003. It was devised by the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia in an effort to guide Israel and the Palestinians into an agreement that establishes a Palestinian state.
The Jewish settlement would be the first established on the West Bank in 10 years. The plan has drawn Palestinian and European expressions of concern.
The Bush administration rarely criticizes Israel's actions and has gained Israel support for establishment of a Palestinian state.
Opponents of Mahmoud Abbas, the moderate president of the Paletinian Authority, have criticized his cooperation with Israel in trying to get peace talks started. They have accused him of yielding to a U.S.-Israeli approach.