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Biden Unhappy Over Israel's Jerusalem Settlement PlanTim King Salem-News.com
"The substance and timing of the announcement, particularly with the launching of proximity talks, is precisely the kind of step that undermines the trust we need right now" -U.S. Vice Pres. Joe Biden on Israeli settlement expansion.
(JERUSALEM / SALEM) - U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has strong words for Israel's approval of a plan to build 1600 new apartments in a disputed East Jerusalem Neighborhood, Ramat Shlomo; a neighborhood of mostly Orthodox Jews.
Israel annexed almost all of Palestine after the Six Day War in 1967, but the annexation was never internationally recognized. The Zionist movement within the Jewish community by many accounts, has the goal of removing all Palestinians from this land that is native to them.
Many call it genocide.
Biden learned of the plan to build more homes on more Palestinian land just after finishing dinner with Israeli officials.
He was not happy, saying, "The substance and timing of the announcement, particularly with the launching of proximity talks, is precisely the kind of step that undermines the trust we need right now."
Vice-President Joe Biden, and the US Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, Israel and the Palestinian Authority have agreed to hold indirect negotiations after more than a year of deep freeze.
But after the announcement of the decision to approve the settlements, which by all accounts are the greatest obstacle to peace, and a source of continual indignation for the Palestinian people who have beem all but removed from what is now Israel.
Biden said, "We must build an atmosphere to support negotiations, not complicate them."
"Unilateral action taken by either party can not prejudge the outcome of negotiations."
As this important period of negotiation grows nearer, the ties could begin to fray.
This comes a day before an Israeli court in Haifa will hear the civil case involving the death of Washington college student Rachel Corrie, who was run down by an Israeli bulldozer operator while trying to prevent the destruction of Palestinian homes in Rafa, at Gaza.
As Israel builds settlements, it continues to destroy Palestinian homes with bulldozers, and in some cases they literally force Palestinian families into homelessness so Jewish Israelis can move into the homes that the Palestinian families had owned for several generations.
Israel doesn't reserve the ill treatment for only the poorer Palestinians, even those with high educations and comfortable lives are frequently routed from their family homes by Israeli Defense Forces and police.
Israel's move to expand illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank a day after agreeing to talks, has turned things frosty again, as Al Jazeera's Tom Ackerman reports. The way things are looking, the latest talks may not even get off the ground. Report filed 09 Mar 2010.
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