Israel disputes U.S. statements, says West Bank housing project not a new settlement

October 5, 2016 4:00 PM EDT

A general view shows houses in Shvut Rachel, a West Bank Jewish settlement located close to the Jewish settlement of Shilo, near Ramallah October 6, 2016. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel said on Wednesday that new houses it was building in the occupied West Bank did not constitute a new settlement, dismissing a strong U.S. condemnation of project.

"The 98 housing units approved in Shilo (settlement) do not constitute a 'new settlement'. This housing will be the existing settlement of Shilo and will not change its municipal boundary or geographical footprint," a Foreign Ministry statement said.

The United States strongly condemned Israel's plan and the State Department said it would damage prospects for a two-state solution.

(Writing by Ori Lewis, Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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