State Department Spokesperson, Philip J. Crowley, reaffirmed the stance of American President, Barack Obama, against the new Israeli plan to build hundreds of units for Jewish settlers in occupied East Jerusalem, and described the move as counterproductive to peace talks.The statements of Crowley came after Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said that the new plan “does not contradict peace building efforts”, and that Jerusalem is the “eternal capital of Israel”.
Crowley stated that the statements of Netanyahu are unhelpful, and rejected Netanyahu’s office claim that settlement construction in East Jerusalem does not affect the peace process.
Crowley said that there is a clear link between the two issues and that Washington insists that all parties must create a positive atmosphere to enable the resumption of successful peace talks.
“I believe that suggesting that this decision has no impact on the Palestinians is incorrect”, the American official added.
But the office of Netanyahu in Jerusalem stated that Jerusalem “is not a settlement”, and insisted that there is no connection between the resumption of peace talks and what it described as “the planning policy in Jerusalem”.
During his Tuesday visit to Indonesia, U.S. President, Barack Obama, said that the Israeli plan to build 1,300 new homes for Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem is a move that is unhelpful to peace talks.
Obama stated that he was not fully briefed on the issue, but added that such activities jeopardize the efforts to create a momentum for the resumption of peace talks.
He said that all parties must act to find a breakthrough in talks in order to secure a solution that enables Israel lives in peace and security next to an independent Palestinian state.
Obama vowed to continue his efforts to achieve peace, and added that the peace process serves the interests Israel, the Palestinians and the international community.
Netanyahu began a tour in the United states and held meetings with Jewish and American lobbies were he affirmed his policies, and claimed that settlement activities do not obstruct peace.
He also slammed Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, for refusing to hold talks with Israel while it continues to construct and expand Jewish settlements in the occupied territories.
Netanyahu will be holding interviews with American media agencies and plans a meeting with U.S Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton.