Crowley chides PM's statements on J'lem building
LAST UPDATED: 11/09/2010 23:37
State Dept. responds to earlier PMO statement denying "any connection between the peace process, construction in J'lem,"; PMO responds to Obama criticism, "J'lem is not a settlement, it is the capital of Israel."
US State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley. Photo: AP
In what has become a tit-for-tat of public statements, US State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley on Tuesday said of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's most recent statement, that "to suggest that this kind of announcement would not have an impact on the Palestinian side I think is incorrect," AFP reported.
Responding to a Prime Minister's Office declaration that "Israel does not see any connection between the peace process and the policy of planning and construction in Jerusalem," Crowley retorted, "there clearly is a link in the sense that it is incumbent upon both parties... they are responsible for creating conditions for a successful negotiation," according to the report.
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Slightly softening his rhetoric, the State Department spokesman said the US does understand "that Israel has its own position," but called Israel's most recent statements "counterproductive."
Earlier Tuesday, the PMO released a statement saying, "Jerusalem is not a
settlement, it is the capital of Israel," in a sharp retort to international
criticism about plans for 1,345 homes in Jewish neighborhoods of
The government never agreed to place any
restrictions on construction in Jerusalem, which has 800,000 residents,
the PMO said in a statement it issued while Netanyahu was in New York.
much of the international community equates construction in east
Jerusalem with that of West Bank settlements, Israel makes a sharp
distinction between the two.
From November 2009 to September 2010 Israel halted new settlement
construction in the West Bank, but during that time it continued to
issue new tenders for building in east Jerusalem, which it considers
part of its united capital.
"Israel does not see any connection
between the peace process and the policy of planning and construction in
Jerusalem, which has not changed in 40 years. For the last 40 years
every Israeli government built in every part of the city. During that
period peace agreements were signed with Egypt and Jordan and for 17
years direct negotiations were held with the Palestinians. These are
historical facts. Construction in Jerusalem has never interfered with
the peace process," the office said.
For the last 40 years Israel
and the US have disagreed over the status of east Jerusalem, said the Prime Minister's Office, which added that it hoped to over come these
differences and to stay focused on the peace process.
that Netanyahu was hopeful that his meeting
Thursday with US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton would advance the
Earlier on Tuesday US President Barack Obama criticized Israel at a news conference in Indonesia and said "this kind of activity is never helpful when it comes to peace negotiations."