The White House condemned Israel’s decision to build more than 3,000 new settlements in the occupied West Bank and in East Jerusalem.

“We reiterate our longstanding opposition to settlements and East Jerusalem construction and announcements,” National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said.

“We believe these actions are counterproductive and make it harder to resume direct negotiations or achieve a two state solution. Direct negotiations remain our goal and we encourage all parties to take steps to make that easier to achieve,” Vietor said.