Clinton says Israel must act to ease Palestinian tensions
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today called on Israel to make greater efforts to ease tensions with Palestinians as she tried to overcome Arab anger over Jewish settlements.world Updated: Nov 02, 2009 20:57 IST
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday called on Israel to make greater efforts to ease tensions with Palestinians as she tried to overcome Arab anger over Jewish settlements.
The United States had urged a halt to all settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as a precursor to relaunching the peace process, but on Saturday Clinton endorsed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's offer of a partial freeze.
Speaking ahead of an international conference in Marrakech, Morocco, she admitted that the Israeli offer "falls far short of our preferences" but was still worth seizing.
"If it is acted upon it will be an unprecedented restriction on settlements and will have a significant and meaningful effect on restraining their growth," Clinton said.
"The Obama administration's position on settlements is clear and unequivocal. It has not changed. The US does not accept the legitimacy of continuing Israeli settlements."
Clinton said she has pressured Israel to do "much more" to reciprocate measures taken by the Palestinians to improve security.
"I told Prime Minister Netanyahu that these positive steps on the part of the Palestinians should be met by positive steps from Israel on movements, access.