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Wednesday, March 10, 2010 

US government again opposes housing in east Jerusalem

Joe Biden's visit, predictably has served little other use than to serve as a platform for him to voice the Obama administration's disrespect for Israel's right to build in Jerusalem. The same goes for Fatah's Saeb Erekat:
The decision by an Interior Ministry committee to announce approval of plans for some 1,600 housing units in northeast Jerusalem’s Ramat Shlomo neighborhood cast a pall Tuesday night over the visit of US Vice President Joe Biden, who squarely condemned the move.

Soon after having dinner with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who said that neither he nor Interior Minister Eli Yishai had known that the plans would come up for approval on Tuesday, Biden issued a statement saying, “The substance and timing of the announcement, particularly with the launching of proximity talks, is precisely the kind of step that undermines the trust we need right now and runs counter to the constructive discussions that I’ve had here in Israel.”

Biden said that what was needed now was to build “an atmosphere to support negotiation, not complicate them.”

“The United States recognizes that Jerusalem is a deeply important issue for Israelis and Palestinians and for Jews, Muslims and Christians,” the statement read. “We believe that through good faith negotiations, the parties can mutually agree on an outcome that realizes the aspirations of both parties for Jerusalem and safeguards its status for people around the world. Unilateral action taken by either party cannot prejudge the outcome of negotiations on permanent-status issues.”

The government’s 10-month moratorium on housing starts in the settlements does not apply to Jerusalem.

The Palestinian Authority slammed the government’s approval of the new housing units in Ramat Shlomo, saying the move threatened to derail peace negotiations a day after US Middle East envoy George Mitchell had announced their resumption.
Oh great, it's not just Biden we have to worry about, but also Mitchell for the umpteenth time. Undermining another country's legitimacy in governing, and also in the free market, that's them.

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