US denies Israel settlement support

State department denies report that US gave Israel permission to expand settlements.

    Israel is continuing to expand settlements in the
    West Bank [EPA]
    The newspaper quotes Israeli officials as saying that they have clear guidance from Bush administration officials to continue building settlements under certain criteria.
     
    Rice approval
     
    Dov Weisglass, Sharon's chief of staff, said Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, reaffirmed the understanding in a secret deal reached in 2005 before Israel withdrew it settlements from the Gaza Strip, the newspaper reported.
     
    McCormack said both sides in the conflict were aware of the US position on their responsibilities.
     
    "And we've also made clear over and over again that any lines that are drawn by both sides need to be negotiated by both sides and any deviation from the ... known lines are going to have to be negotiated," he said.
     
    During a visit to Washington this week, Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, told Rice that continued Israeli settlements in the West Bank "are still the main obstacle" to the peace process.
     
    The West Bank has been under military occupation by Israel since 1967 and at least 400,000 Israelis have been settled in the territory, including East Jerusalem.
     
    The settlements are illegal under international law, although Israel disputes this.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Israel’s settlements: 50 years of land theft explained

    Israel’s settlements: 50 years of land theft explained

    On the anniversary of UN Resolution 242, Al Jazeera explores the illegal Israeli settlement enterprise.

    Robert Mugabe: Portrait of a presidency

    Robert Mugabe: Portrait of a presidency

    Some key moments in the life of the man who led his country from independence in 1980 until November 21, 2017.

    When is Thanksgiving Day and why is it celebrated?

    When is Thanksgiving Day and why is it celebrated?

    In the US, Thanksgiving Day will be celebrated on Thursday, November 23.