UK deputy PM Clegg: Settlements are vandalism

PA President Abbas welcomes Clegg's remarks at joint press conference ahead of Israeli-Palestinian talks in Amman.

UK Deputy PM Nick Clegg_311 (photo credit: Reuters)
UK Deputy PM Nick Clegg_311
(photo credit: Reuters)
British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said that Israeli settlements in the West Bank are "deliberate vandalism," underlining the UK government's hardening line, British The Jewish Chronicle reported Monday.
Speaking alongside Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during his visit to the UK, Clegg condemned continuous settlement building in the "strongest possible terms."

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Abbas welcomed the official remarks, according to the London-based Jewish paper. The PA president was in London ahead of negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian delegations in Amman, Jordan.

The UK has been consistently critical regarding Israeli settlement plans, including those in areas of east Jerusalem past the Green Line.

In late December, the UK
Minister for the Middle East and North Africa Alistair Burt called a project for 130 new housing units in east Jerusalem a "provocative and deeply counter-productive step, the latest in a series by the Israeli authorities."
Still, the Israel Land Administration views much of the land in east Jerusalem where tenders for new construction projects announced as belonging to the state.