U.S. condemns Israeli rabbi's inflammatory remarks

14:25, August 30, 2010      

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The United States on Sunday condemned the remarks made by an influential Israeli rabbi on the Palestinians and their leader Mahmoud Abbas, warning the remarks would hurt the peace process.

"We regret and condemn the inflammatory statement by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef," said State Department spokesman Philip Crowley, adding that "these remarks are not only deeply offensive, but incitement such as this hurts the cause of peace."

The 89-year-old spiritual leader of the Shas Party said Saturday that Abbas and all the Palestinians should "perish from this earth," and that "God should strike them and these Palestinians -- evil haters of Israel -- with a plague."

The Israeli government said in a statement that Yosef's remarks do not reflect Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's viewpoints and the government's stance.

Crowley urged both Israel and the Palestinians to avoid taking actions that would hurt peace process. "As we move forward to relaunch peace negotiations, it is important that actions by people on all sides help to advance our effort, not hinder it."

The Obama administration is expected to host the direct talks on Sept. 2 in Washington, in an attempt to solve all the final status issues between Israel and the Palestinians within one year.

Source: Xinhua


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