Clinton Read a Non-Existent Roadmap
United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last week incorrectly stated that the demolitions of houses in eastern Jerusalem violate the Roadmap. In fact, the American plan does not mention the subject of demolitions and specifically states that the future of the capital must be negotiated by the Palestinian Authority and Israel.
During her visit to Jerusalem and Ramallah, a reporter asked the new Secretary of State about 88 approved demolitions and another 55 slated to be razed for being built illegally. The reporter from the Washington Post labeled the orders “unilateral actions.”
Secretary Clinton picked up the cue and responded, "This kind of activity is unhelpful and not in keeping with the obligations entered into under the roadmap…. The new Israeli Government should abide by the Roadmap obligations and the two-state solution and to end all activities related to settlement and activities and demolition of homes. Otherwise, we cannot consider – they cannot consider themselves as partners in the peace process.”
However, a look at the Roadmap details show the she was not on the same page or even reading the same map. The document, as stated by the State Department, declares under the title “Unresolved Issues in the Palestine Problem, Jerusalem: The United States has maintained a policy since 1967 that the future of the city must be negotiated and cannot be decided unilaterally, and that the city should not be divided as it was between 1948 and 1967.
Following statements by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat criticizing Secretary Clinton for being ill-informed concerning the nature of the demolitions, U.S. officials said that his remarks were “an insult” to Clinton. The U.S. was so upset that the office of outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert tried to soothe ruffled feathers, saying that Mayor Barkat’s remarks were not directed to Secretary Clinton but rather to false claims by the Palestinian Authority. "We regret any implication that Secretary of State Clinton was in any way being criticized," the government stated.
Mayor Barkat did not let the matter rest and issued another rejection of the accusations, this time aimed “at those who
Mayor Barkat repeated his previous explanation that the demolitions are legal and that the city issues similar orders without prejudice.
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eastern [Jerusalem],” his office said in a statement.
“In the heart of the current disinformation is Emek Hamelech, an area that has important historical and archaeological meaning and is used solely as recreational space for the benefit of the residents of Silwan, and is a national garden. There are 57 buildings in different phases of legal proceedings from the area of Emek HaMelech. The judicial decision to demolish a building has only been issued to one complete structure and two new buildings currently under construction."
The demolition in Jabel Mukaber, and not in Silwan as reported by several sources, was carried out after the Supreme Court rejected an appeal against the order. The building was constructed without permits on open and public property, according to the statement.
Concerning the demolitions in Shuafat, Mayor Barkat’s office said, “Five administrative warning were issued to five unpopulated, illegal buildings in different stages of construction.”