Rice attacks Israel over new settlements plans
The US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, yesterday accused Israel of undermining peace talks as Israel announced plans to build thousands more homes in settlements in east Jerusalem.
Upon arrival in Jerusalem to help the faltering peace talks, Rice expressed her frustration at the Israeli housing ministry announcement of plans to build 1,300 more homes in Ramat Shlomo, a settlement on Palestinian land in east Jerusalem which was captured in the 1967 war.
"I do believe that the actions and announcements that are taking place are having a negative effect on the atmosphere for negotiations," Rice said in a joint news conference with Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas. "We should be encouraging confidence, not undermining it. No party should be taking steps that could prejudice the outcome."