U.S. reaffirms commitment to Israel's security (2)

09:01, April 22, 2010      

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Washington has been very angry at the Netanyahu-led government' s uncompromising stance on peace process with the Palestinians, considering Israel's settlement activities in East Jerusalem as an unacceptable pullback to the U.S. efforts for peace guided by the two-state solution.

The Obama administration has been exerting efforts to pressure on the Israeli government and the Palestinian National Authority ( PNA) to resume the talks, so that the two sides could reach a permanent peace agreement that leads to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state within two years.

The talks were stalled in December 2008 when Israel launched a massive military campaign against the Islamic Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip.

PNA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas insists that the talks shall not resume until the Israeli government totally freezes the Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank, while the Israeli side vows to ensure the "natural growth" of the Jewish settlements.

At least 450,000 Israelis live in more than 100 settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

After Israel's announcement to build 1,600 homes in East Jerusalem early in March, the PNA decided to suspend the indirect talks with Israel, which was brokered by U.S. special envoy George Mitchell following tough shuttle mediation between Israel and the Palestinians.

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