The Palestinian Authority says Israel’s groundbreaking on the first new settlement in the West Bank in 25 years is a bid to undermine the new US-led peace effort.

“This is a serious escalation, an attempt to thwart the efforts of the US administration and to frustrate the efforts of US President Donald Trump,” says Nabil Abu Rudeineh, in a press statement posted on the official PA news site Wafa.

Rudeineh argues that the timing of the start of construction on the new settlement, coinciding “with the arrival of the US president’s emissaries [Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt] to the region, is that Israel is not interested in the US efforts, and is serious about thwarting them as it has with previous US administrations.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Tuesday that ground had been broken for the construction of the new settlement, to be known as Amichai, to accommodate residents of the illegal Amona outpost, which was evacuated in February in line with court orders because it was built on private Palestinian land.

— Dov Lieber