News / Middle East

Israel's Netanyahu Defends East Jerusalem Settlement Despite Clinton Criticism

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, 09 Jan 2011
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, 09 Jan 2011

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is defending a settlement project in East Jerusalem that drew criticism from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Mr. Netanyahu said Monday that Jews can buy or rent property in predominantly Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem, just as Arabs can buy or rent property in the predominantly Jewish neighborhoods in the city.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton strongly criticized Israel Sunday for the demolition of a derelict but historic East Jerusalem hotel to make way for 20 new Jewish homes.

In a statement from Abu Dhabi, Clinton said the destruction of the Shepherd Hotel to make way for a new Israeli housing development "contradicts the logic" of Israel and the Palestinians negotiating a solution to their differences over Jerusalem.  She said the United States is "very concerned" about the demolition.

Mr. Netanyahu said the government was not involved in the settlement project, but that it would never act to ban Jews from purchasing private property in the city.

The 20-apartment project also has angered Palestinian leaders, who said direct peace talks with Israel will continue only on the condition that construction is halted in East Jerusalem as part of a freeze on Jewish settlements.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also condemned the project on Monday, saying it only serves to "heighten tensions."

Construction crews knocked down the Shepherd Hotel on Sunday.  It was built in the 1930s as the residence of the Muslim grand mufti of Jerusalem at the time, Haj Amin Husseini, who fought the British and Zionists and became a World War Two ally of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

The Israeli-run Jerusalem municipality approved the project in 2009.

The Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state, while Israel considers all of Jerusalem its "eternal and indivisible" capital.  Israel annexed East Jerusalem after capturing it in the 1967 Six-Day War, in a move never recognized internationally.

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid