The Australian Government has expressed disappointment at Israel's announcement that it would build approximately 1,100 new housing units in East Jerusalem.
Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said the decision to further expand settlements was counter-productive to the Middle East peace process.
"This is an unwelcome development at such a sensitive time in the peace process and when the Quartet has just called on Israelis and Palestinians to refrain from provocative actions and resume direct negotiations," he said.
The Australian Government calls on Israel to cease settlement activity, and for both sides to comply with the Roadmap obligations and urgently return to direct negotiations.
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