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Netanyahu Rejects Obama's Call for Withdrawal 1967 Borders, Approves 1600 Illegal Settlement Units in Defiance

Israeli PM rejects 1967 borders pullout

Press TV, Fri May 20, 2011 5:37AM

Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu (L) is set to hold talks with US President Barack Obama in Washington on Friday. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected US President Barack Obama's call for withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territories to the 1967 borders.

Netanyahu also rejected any pullout from East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

"Those borders are not defensible," and the establishment of a Palestinian state must not come "at Israel's expense," Jerusalem Post quoted Netanyahu as saying on Friday.

In his Middle East policy speech on Thursday, President Obama called for the formation of an independent Palestinian state based on the lines before the 1967 Mideast war.

"We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states," said Obama.
Israel captured the West Bank, East al-Quds and the Gaza Strip during the 1967 war.

Netanyahu noted that he plans to keep the West Bank, including a strategic section of land along the Jordanian border that he believes is vital to Israel's security.

The prime minister said he would reiterate his security demands with Obama as he is scheduled to meet him at the White House on Friday.

The Palestinians oppose any Israeli presence in their future state, saying they will ask the United Nations to recognize their independence in September.

The UN General Assembly is expected to discuss the establishment of a Palestinian state in September.

Negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority have been on hold since the two sides resumed the talks in Washington in September 2010.

The two sides failed to continue the talks after Tel Aviv refused to extend a 10-month partial freeze on its illegal settlement activities.


Addressing Muslims, US backs Israel

Press TV, Thu May 19, 2011 6:26PM

US President Barack Obama On the heels of a Washington visit by the Israeli prime minister, US President Barack Obama vowed, in a televised speech intended to address recent events in the Muslim world, to persist in protecting the Israeli regime and 'counter terrorism.'

While admitting that “short-term interests may not represent the long term vision of the region,” Obama assured his regional allies in his Thursday speech that the United States will keep its “commitment to friends and partners.”

Two long-time US-backed dictators, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia were ousted from power following massive anti-government protests. Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia and Mubarak has been detained and awaits trial over criminal charges against the Egyptian people.

Obama warned Palestinians that they would never gain independence by denying the Israeli regime the “right to exist,” claiming that efforts to “de-legitimize Israel” would fail.

The pro-Israeli remarks by the US president comes despite his acknowledgment that a new generation has emerged in the Muslim world demanding 'change' that cannot be denied. Recent popular protests in Middle Eastern and North African countries have included numerous expressions of anti-Israeli and anti-US feelings.

Obama also reminded Israeli officials that their status quo was “unsustainable,” and said that the Tel Aviv regime's conflict “has meant suffering and the humiliation of occupation” for Palestinians.

In conclusion, the US president said it was ultimately up to the Israeli regime and the Palestinians to hammer out a peace deal, adding that the US supported a two state solution with permanent borders based on the 1967 lines, and hinted at the prospect of “mutually agreed swap.”

According to observers and a number of published opinion poll results, most Palestinians and Muslim populations have expressed distrust of the US as an objective mediator in the Middle East, citing its unconditional support for the Israeli regime and all of its many violations against Palestinians and neighboring countries.


Israel OK's over 1,500 new settler units

Press TV, Thu May 19, 2011 8:51PM

A section of the East Al-Quds illegal settlements of Pisgat Zeev, where Israel has approved another 620 units to be constructed. Israel has once again defied international law by approving the construction of over 1,500 more illegal settlement units on occupied territories of Palestine, a report says.

Israel's Interior Ministry Planning Committee has given the final approval for construction of 620 settlement units in Pisgat Zeev in northeastern Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and another 900 in Har Homa in the south of the city.

The plan was approved on Thursday just hours before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was to leave for Washington, where he is to meet US President Barack Obama in the White House on Friday.

Israel occupied and annexed East Al-Quds (Jerusalem) with the rest of the West Bank in 1967 six-day war, but the measure was never recognized by the international community.

The United Nations has repeatedly declared Israel's settlement building on Palestinian lands as illegal under international law.

Israel aims to strengthen the presence of settlers in the occupied Palestinians territories with the goal to bring about a demographic change in the region to gain points when they resume negotiations in the future.

The Palestinians, however, want East Al-Quds as the capital of their future state, a move opposed by the Israelis.



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