Publication Date : Saturday 10 May 2014 18:57
US official angers Israeli regime
The Israeli regime has expressed anger over remarks by a top US official who blamed its settlement expansion for failure of talks with the Palestinian Authority.
An unnamed Israeli official on Friday said remarks by US Middle East envoy Martin Indyk amount to hypocrisy.
“Indyk comes and blames others without speaking about his own responsibility for the current impasse,” the official told Reuters.
“(It is) difficult to point to any significant contribution that he (Indyk) had made to the process.”
The Israeli official claimed that Washington knew that Israeli settlement construction plans would continue during the nine-month talks between Tel Aviv and the Palestinian Authority.
On Thursday, the US envoy held Israel responsible for the failure of the talks, highlighting settlements as the main obstacle. He warned that Tel Aviv could lose its “Jewish future” if it refuses to freeze its settlement activities.
“If you care about Israel’s future, as I know so many of you do and as I do, you should understand that rampant settlement activity – especially in the midst of negotiations – doesn’t just undermine Palestinian trust in the purpose of the negotiations; it can undermine Israel’s Jewish future,” Indyk said at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s annual forum.
The US-brokered negotiations fell apart last month over Israel’s settlement activities and its refusal to free Palestinian prisoners.
Indyk also stated that Israel’s refusal to freeze plans for new settlement construction during the latest round of talks had a “dramatically damaging” effect.
Last month, US Secretary of State John Kerry warned that Israel could become “an apartheid state” if the so-called peace talks with the Palestinians fail.
Mahmoud Abbas, the acting Palestinian Authority chief, said Thursday that the Palestinian Authority would resume the talks only if Israel released political prisoners and halted settlement expansions.