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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Clinton: Israel defying obligations

Wed, 04 Mar 2009 18:04:10 GMT | PressTV

US Secretary of State has accused Israel of undermining "peace process" by deciding to demolish Palestinian homes in Jerusalem (al-Quds).

After meeting acting Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on Wednesday, Hilary Clinton said that destroying Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem violates the "road map" and the two-state solution.

"Clearly this kind of activity is unhelpful and not in keeping with the obligations entered into under the 'road map'," Clinton said.

Israel is planning to tear down dozens of Palestinian houses in Silwan to make way for a park, saying the buildings were constructed without proper documentation.

Palestinians, however, argue that Tel Aviv does not issue permits for the construction of Palestinian houses in a bid to make room for Jewish families.

The Palestinian Authority wants East Jerusalem to be the capital of a Palestinian state while Israel considers all of Jerusalem its "united and eternal" capital.

Although the Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestine and the situation in the war-ravaged Gaza Strip were among the issues discussed by Clinton and Abbas during their talks, the US Secretary of State stopped short of calling for the reopening of all Gaza borders and an immediate halt in Israeli settlement expansion. She promised to follow up on the issue.

Discussing the long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Clinton expressed the United States' strong support for the Palestinian Authority describing it as the only legitimate government of the Palestinian people.

The PA supports the two-state solution proposed by the quartet on the Middle East which calls for an independent Palestinian state along with Israel while requiring Tel Aviv to return the territories it occupied during the 1967 Six-Day War.

Hamas, the democratically-elected ruler of Gaza, has refused to meet Clinton who is on her first trip to the region as secretary of state. Hamas says no 'change' has been made in US foreign policy under Obama.

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