The office is right: 1) The construction is nothing new: it's been going on for more than 40 years with no one being able to force Israel to abide by its international commitments to drive the peace process forward 2) The Americans would've known in advance: they just didn't do anything (as usual). With elections looming in November the last thing Obama wants is to upset his Jewish constituents. 3) Opposition to settlements has been US policy for over 40 years: and yet the US doesn't have the guts to do anything about it. The blame, however, also lies with the Arab leaders who pathetically hope that the UN can make a difference (as if the UN is effectual). In addition to Hamas's non-conducive policies in Gaza, no wonder the so-called peace process is stalled.
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from the article: PM's office: Construction plans in East Jerusalem are nothing new