Israel attracts heavy censure / News / The Foreigner

Israel attracts heavy censure. Government protests strongly against building in East Jerusalem. Renewed, indirect talks to get the Middle East peace process started again have attracted strong criticism from the Norwegian government.“No understanding” Labour’s (Ap) Foreign Minister, Jonas Gahr Støre, has denounced Israel’s plans to build 1600 new housing units in East Jerusalem, claiming their decision has put the process at risk.

jonas, gahr, stoere, israel, norway, peace, process, building, east, jerusalem, criticism, un, us, ban, ki-moon, joe, biden



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Israel attracts heavy censure

Published on Thursday, 11th March, 2010 at 11:22 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

Government protests strongly against building in East Jerusalem.

Jonas Gahr Støre
Jonas Gahr Støre
Photo: Jan Tjernsli/ambassaden Moskva/Flickr


Renewed, indirect talks to get the Middle East peace process started again have attracted strong criticism from the Norwegian government.

“No understanding”

Labour’s (Ap) Foreign Minister, Jonas Gahr Støre, has denounced Israel’s plans to build 1600 new housing units in East Jerusalem, claiming their decision has put the process at risk.

 “Norway deeply deplores Israel’s expansion of its settlement in East Jerusalem. The peace process is in a critical phase, and Israel’s decision is jeopardising the process,” says Støre in a Ministry press release.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg (Ap) was slightly sharper in his tone, claiming the Israeli’s have made an extremely ill-advised conclusion.

“It shows a total lack of understanding as to what is needed to achieve peace in the Middle East,” he told NRK yesterday.

Bad timing

The construction plans have also been censured by the International Community. US Vice-President Joe Biden, who is in Israel for the talks at the moment, has attacked the timing of the Israeli declaration.

“I condemn the decision by the government of Israel to advance planning for new housing units in East Jerusalem. 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,” he says.

Illegal

In a press statement issued by the UN, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon reiterates that the Israeli settlements are also illegal under international law.

“The Secretary-General condemns the approval of plans for the building of 1,600 new housing units in East Jerusalem by the Israeli Ministry of Interior earlier today,” he says.

Støre reiterates this, and urges the UN, the US, the EU and Russia to protest and put pressure on Israel to stop building illegal settlements.

“The entire international community regards the expansion of the Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank as illegal under international law. Norway protests against Israel’s settlement expansion and its decision regarding the cultural heritage sites in the West Bank. The most important thing now is that Israel changes its policy before a two-state solution becomes impossible.”




Published on Thursday, 11th March, 2010 at 11:22 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: jonas, gahr, stoere, israel, norway, peace, process, building, east, jerusalem, criticism, un, us, ban, ki-moon, joe, biden.





  
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