US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday that Israel's announcement of new settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem "were to some degree expected," and urged Israelis and Palestinians to move ahead with peace talks due to resume Wednesday.
"What this underscores is the importance of getting to the table, getting to the table quickly" and resolving disputes over settlements and other issues, said Kerry. He added that he had spoken on Monday with Israeli negotiator Tzipi Livni and had called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is recovering from surgery.