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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

US Envoy Puts Mideast Trip On Hold As Feud With Israel Deepens

The diplomatic dispute with the U.S. was sparked by Israel's announcement last week of plans for 1,600 apartments in east Jerusalem, which undercut a visit by Vice President Joe Biden aimed at bolstering peace talks. Palestinians claim that sector of the city for a future capital. Israel claims all of the holy city as its eternal capital.
The announcement enraged Palestinians, who have threatened to bow out of U.S.-brokered peace talks that were supposed to begin in the coming days. The Obama administration has angrily demanded that Israel call off the project.
Tensions Rise As Israel Announces New Homes
Dominic Waghorn, Middle East correspondent
Israel is being accused of deepening the crisis with the US by announcing it is set to build 426 new settler homes - in addition to the 1,600 announced last week.
The plans, for two areas of East Jerusalem, come the day after Israel's ambassador to the US described relations between the two countries as at their lowest in 35 years.
Palestinians mounted violent protests in a "day of rage" in Jerusalem on Tuesday as Washington said US special envoy for Mideast peace, George Mitchell, had cancelled plans for talks this week with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. LinkHere


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