Israel slams Clegg's settlement remarks
Islam Times - An Israeli minister has considered UK Deputy Prime Minister as being “irresponsible and ill-informed” for criticizing Israeli settlements as "deliberate vandalism" to stalled Palestinian-Israeli talks.
Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon claimed that Nick Clegg's remarks would provide the Palestinians with a justification to set prerequisites for launching negotiations with Israel over a peace settlement.
"I think it was unfortunate, I think it was gratuitous, I think it was ill-informed, I think it was somewhat irresponsible," Ayalon said in an interview during an event at Chatham House, a private UK thinktank.
While speaking during a visit by Acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas to the British capital, Clegg stressed that Israel's continued settlement buildings in the occupied West Bank and East al-Quds caused “immense damage” to the peace process.
"It is an act of deliberate vandalism to the basic premise on which negotiations have taken place for years and years and years," Clegg said.
However, Aylon insisted that the Clegg's comments “was far from the truth and gave the Palestinians an excuse to set more pre-conditions for talks that would create obstacles to moving forward with negotiations.”
In September 2010, direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks broke off after Israel refused to extend a limited and partial 10-month freeze on illegal settlement constructions in the West Bank.
British government is the close ally of Israel but has recently voiced its condemnation of Israel's illegal settlements.
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