Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Obama runs out of patience with Israel

The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday strongly defended Jewish settlement construction in East Jerusalem in the face of US pressure and what one of his own top diplomats described as the worst crisis in relations with Washington for more than three decades.

A defiant Mr Netanyahu appeared to be digging in despite clear indications that the Obama administration is now demanding the scrapping of plans for 1,600 new Jewish homes, whose announcement overshadowed last week's visit to Israel by the US Vice-President Joe Biden. Mr Netanyahu's stance appeared to guarantee, after a highly charged week, the protraction of a stand-off in which a full-scale diplomatic row blew up at the start of Mr Biden's visit and appeared to abate at the end of it. But it was then reignited by demands from Hillary Clinton and an angry White House that Israel make amends for the "insulting" announcement just as indirect negotiations with the Palestinians had finally been arranged. Read more
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