US VP Biden Backs Israel vs Iran, Not in Palestinian E Jerusalem
U.S. Vice-president Joe Biden pledged U.S. support of Israel's security with respect to increasing sabre rattling from Iran, but was taken aback by the Israeli Interior Ministry who announced plans to build more housing units in occupied East Jerusalem.
The Palestinians have called for a moratorium on further building in the occupied territory as a condition for peace talks. The land in question was occupied by Israel in 1967 during the Six Day War, which was initiated by enemies of Israel.
VP Biden said that the action of the interior ministry undermined the fragile trust that was building between the parties.
It is incumbent on all parties to grow an atmosphere of support for the negotiations and not to complicate," Biden said at a news conference with Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, on Wednesday, after the two held talks in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Yesterday, the decision by the Israeli government to advance planning for new planning units in east Jerusalem undermines that very trust, the trust that we need right now in order to begin, as well as produce profitable negotiations," he said.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu expressed surprise at the announcement as he had ordered a 10 month stop in November to building in the disputed area.