Israel insists to continue alde settlement plan in Quds ignoring calls

Israel insisted it would not change its policy of building homes in East Jerusalem.

Israel insists to continue alde settlement plan in Quds ignoring calls

Israel insisted on Friday it would not change its policy of building homes in East Jerusalem, despite interntionally condemnation.

The statement on Jerusalem came as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened senior cabinet ministers to consider confidence-building steps for reviving negotiations, as proposed by U.S. officials while Netanyahu was in Washington this week.

“Israeli construction policy in Jerusalem has remained the same for 42 years and isn’t changing,” a written statement from Netanyahu’s spokesman, Nir Hefez, said, suggesting Israeli cabinet ministers would not budge on that particular policy.

The diplomatic spat, which erupted during a visit by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden two weeks ago.

Israeli tanks advanced into Gaza on Friday after the worst clash with Palestinians in 14 months killed two on each side. Gazan sources reported further casualties in the fighting.

The Obama administration has been pressing Israel to halt settlement construction in East Jerusalem, an issue that created new friction this month when a plan to build 1,600 more housing units was published while Vice President Joe Biden was visiting.

Friday’s cabinet meeting adjourned without decisions.

“The prime minister set further discussion in the forum for the coming days, as well as continued contacts with the U.S. administration in order to reach an agreed path for getting the diplomatic process moving,” Hefez said.

Given next week’s Passover holiday, the United States was circumspect on prospects for an imminent breakthrough.

“We’ll continue our contacts informally with the parties but we’ll probably go through a period now of a week to 10 days where everyone’s kind of assessing where we are and still trying to construct the most effective path forward,” State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said.

Israel captured East Jerusalem in a 1967 war, and annexed it as part of its capital in a move not recognised internationally. Palestinians want East Jerusalem as capital of a future state in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas insists settlement must cease totally for peace talks stalled since December 2008 to resume. Yet it remains unclear how he could deliver a deal given Islamist Hamas’s rejection of coexistence with the Jewish state.

Israel launched on Dec. 27 a massive offensive in Gaza, killing more than 1434 Palestinians, a third of them children, and wounded at least 5300.

In its land, sea and ar offensive, Israel targeted hospitals, schools, mosques and government buildings and destroyed infrastructure system in Gaza, lefting Palestinians without electricity, gas and power.




Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Mart 2010, 18:54