US considers Israel settlements illegitimate: Clinton

Clinton said on Wednesday that Washington does not accept the legitimacy of Israeli settlement expansion.

US considers Israel settlements illegitimate: Clinton

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday that Washington does not accept the legitimacy of Israeli settlement expansion.

Clinton actually bowed to Israel's refusal to stop settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank, returning to where Obama admin starts in so-called "peace" talks.

"We do not accept the legitimacy of settlement activity and we have a very firm belief that ending all settlement activity, current and future, would be preferable," Clinton said after meeting President Hosni Mubarak.

"Getting into final status negotiations will allow us to bring an end to settlement activity," she argued.

Clinton also said US wants o see their construction halted "forever."

Clinton insisted "our policy on settlement has not changed."

After criticisms, Clinton delayed her return to Washington after attending an international conference in Marrakech, Morocco, and flew instead to Cairo.

U.S. President Barack Obama himself, after persuading Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in September to meet Netanyahu in New York, called only for "restraint" in settlement, not the "freeze" he had previously demanded, a retreat from his policy.

The United States had backed demands for a settlement freeze only a few months ago. But later in Israel, Clinton said talks must resume "as soon as possible" and praised hawkish Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's refusal to stop ongoing settlement buildings on occupaied lands as "unprecedented."

The World Court has ruled all settlements illegal under international law. Palestinians, who want their own state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, see the settlements as a land grab as an occupier "state"

A U.S.-backed peace "road map" of 2003 says Israel should stop settlement expansion.


Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 04 Kasım 2009, 13:49
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