Obama softens Jerusalem stance in bid to appease Abbas – Haaretz – Israel News

President Barack Obama has promised the Palestinian leadership that there will be no change to U.S. policy on the issue of Jerusalem, and that East Jerusalem does not constitute part of the State of Israel. As such, any Israeli construction in East Jerusalem, like in the West Bank, is illegal. This promise was meant to resolve the crisis of confidence between Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and the U.S., and remove his threat to resign from political life.

Two weeks ago the U.S. administration asked Abbas and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to stop the reconciliation talks between Fatah and Hamas. The Americans announced that if a Palestinian unity government is set up that would include Hamas, the U.S. would have to cease it financial aid to the Palestinian Authority.

the decision to clarify the U.S. position on East Jerusalem was made as a result of the dissatisfaction Arab leaders expressed following statements by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that a freeze on settlement construction is not a precondition for the resumption of the negotiations on a final settlement.

The American plan will include inviting Abbas and Netanyahu to the White House, where the resumption of negotiations will be announced. This remains conditional on Abbas lifting his opposition. Subsequently an international conference will be held in Moscow,

via Obama softens Jerusalem stance in bid to appease Abbas – Haaretz – Israel News.

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