Quantcast

Jewish Journal

JewishJournal.com

March 10, 2010

Israel apologizes as Biden meets Palestinians

http://www.jewishjournal.com/israel/article/israel_apologizes_as_biden_meets_palestinians_20100310

As U.S. Vice President Joe Biden again denounced the plan for new Israeli construction in eastern Jerusalem after meeting with Palestinian leaders, Israel’s interior minister apologized for the timing of the plan’s approval.

Eli Yishai apologized Wednesday during an interview on Israel Radio “for the distress this matter caused.”

He was referring to the announcement Tuesday by the Jerusalem District Planning Committee that it had authorized the construction of 1,600 units in Ramat Shlomo, an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood north of downtown Jerusalem. The committee is jointly run by the Interior Ministry and the Jerusalem municipality.

“If I’d have known, I would have postponed the authorization by a week or two since we had no intention of provoking anyone,” Yishai said. “It is definitely unpleasant that this happened during Biden’s visit.”

Yishai said he did not plan to cancel the approval of the plan. 

Jerusalem is not part of the 10-month West Bank construction freeze set by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in late November.

Biden met Wednesday in Ramallah with Palestinian leaders, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

During a news conference with Abbas, Biden spoke out against the new construction approval, as he had a day earlier.

“It’s incumbent on both parties to build an atmosphere of support for negotiations and not to complicate them,” he said.

“We call on Israel to cancel these decisions,” Abbas said. “I call on the Israeli government not to lose a chance to make peace. I call on them to halt settlement building and to stop imposing facts on the ground, and to give the efforts of the Obama administration and Senator Mitchell the chance to succeed.”

Fayyad thanked Biden for his “strong statement of condemnation.”

JewishJournal.com is produced by TRIBE Media Corp., a non-profit media company whose mission is to inform, connect and enlighten community
through independent journalism. TRIBE Media produces the 150,000-reader print weekly Jewish Journal in Los Angeles – the largest Jewish print
weekly in the West – and the monthly glossy Tribe magazine (TribeJournal.com). Please support us by clicking here.

© Copyright 2014 Tribe Media Corp.
All rights reserved. JewishJournal.com is hosted by Nexcess.net
Web Design & Development by Hop Studios 0.2394 / 37