WASHINGTON. -- Text of the Reagan administration's response Sunday to Israel's announcement of new settlements on the West Bank and Gaza, as issued by White House spokesmen in Santa Barbara, Calif., and the State Department:
The United States regards the Israeli announcement of its intention to establish additional settlements as most unwelcome.
We cannot understand why, at a time when broader participation in the peace process is both critical and possible, Israel has elected to extend a pattern of activity which erodes the confidence of all, and most particularly the inhabitants of the West Bank and Gaza for a just and fairly negotiatied outcome to the peace process.
Moreover, such settlement activities can only raise questions about Israel's willingness to abide by the promise of U.N. Resolution 242 that territory will be exchanged for peace.
The United States will not alter its stand on settlements. We will persist in our efforts to help Israel understand how damaging its settlements areto the peace we are all trying to achieve and how seriously we take this issue. The United States is determined to persevere in seeking broader participation in the peace process.
The United States' position set forth by President Reagan on Sept. 1 remains and shall remain unchanged. It is our hope that those who understand that the president's initiative provides an important and positive opening for progress will only be strengthened now in their determination to make the most of the opportunity it offers.