The Palestinian Authority says its delegation of peace negotiators has resigned over continued Israeli settlement building in the occupied West Bank. U.S.-brokered talks resumed this year after a three-year lull. But Israel has continued to expand West Bank settlement homes, recently announcing plans for some 24,000 new units. Yuval Steinitz, the Israeli minister for strategic affairs, said his government has never hid its intention to keep building on Palestinian land.

Yuval Steinitz: “Prime Minster Netanyahu made it very clear that we are going to release some prisoners, but there is no freeze in the settlements. It’s not just theoretically. We will build in the settlements during the negotiation. I don’t suggest that this is kind of agreement, but let me be very accurate: This was clearly understood by all three sides — the Israelis, the Palestinians, the Americans.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu now says he will re-evaluate the new permits so as not to distract from efforts to block a nuclear deal with Iran.