Biden: J'lem announcement undermines Mitchell's efforts

March 19, 2010 11:14


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Israel's approval of new construction in Ramat Shlomo was "obviously designed by some ... to undermine a peace process George Mitchell finally got back on track," US Vice President Joe Biden told ABC's Jake Tapper in an interview aired on Thursday night.

Biden expressed criticism of Israel last week after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's announcement that 6,000 new housing units would be built in the haredi Jerusalem neighborhood coincided with the US vice president's visit to the region in an effort to encourage a resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

In the interview, however, Biden stressed that Israel's security was "undeniably" important to the US, adding that the Israeli building and planning council's statement was made in the interest of provacation only. "The irony is even that planning council acknowledging not a single new unit can be built at least for a year and maybe never will be built," he told the news network.

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