The US has raised its concern “at the highest level” about Israel’s continued settlement activity, its UN envoy told the Security Council as she pledged her country’s commitment to a two-state solution and the normalization of Israeli ties in the region.

“Make no mistake: the expansion of settlements undermines the geographic viability of a two-state solution, exacerbates tensions, and further harms trust between the two parties,” Linda Thomas-Greenfield said.

She spoke in the aftermath of a dramatic spike of 303% in housing starts from the first and second quarters of 2023, according to data from the Central Bureau of Statistics published this month.

From January to March of this year, ground was broken for 255 settler homes, compared to 1,028 housing starts from April to June of the year, the CBS reported.Despite the second-quarter rise, housing starts have dropped this year by 18.7% in the first two quarters when ground was broken for 1,283 settler homes compared with the same time period last year when there were 1,580 settler starts.... Read More: JPost