The US has said it is concerned about reports that the Israeli government has decided to make legal under Israeli law three West Bank settlement outposts.
A state department spokeswoman said diplomats were "seeking clarification", but stressed they did "not think this is helpful" to the peace process.
The US does not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity.
The Palestinians also condemned the decision to "formalise the status" of Bruchin, Rechelim and Sansana.
About 500,000 Jews live in more than 100 settlements built since Israel's 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The settlements are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.
The settler outposts are also illegal under Israeli law and the government agreed to remove them under the 2003 Road Map peace plan.
On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister
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