US' harsh response to West Bank construction plan 'disproportionate,' Israeli source says

The source claimed that US President Barack Obama was searching for any excuse to impose unilateral steps on Israel.
Photo credit: Noam Moskovich, Flash 90/Channel 2 News

A senior-level Israeli political source said on Thursday that the US State Department had reacted "disproportionately" to the Israeli government's recent approval of 98 new housing units in the West Bank. The source also accused US President Barack Obama of searching for an "alibi" that would justify promoting unilateral steps on Israel's part.

Furthermore, the source explained that the decision to approve the construction plan near the settlement of Shvut Rachel had been made solely for the purpose of providing alternative homes for the residents of Amona, and therefore it did not violate any Israeli commitment to the US.

For this reason, the State Department's sharp condemnation on Wednesday took many Israeli government officials by surprise. The Prime Minister's office, however, has so far refrained from issuing an official response statement.

The American administration was particularly irritated by the fact that the decision was made in such close proximity to the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with Israel and to President Obama's visit last week for Shimon Peres' funeral.

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