US: Direct Dialogue Only Way to Deal with Israel-PA Conflict
The United States maintained its stance Wednesday that the only way to deal with the situation in Judea and Samaria -- and Palestinian Authority intransigence over talks with Israel -- is to force the two sides back to the negotiating table.
The statement came in the wake of a near-total condemnation of Israel by the United Nations Security Council in response to ongoing "price tag" attacks by vandals on Arab targets in mostly PA-controlled regions, and over renewed construction in Jewish towns and cities in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.
Israel responded sharply to the condemnation, telling the European Union members they should be concentrating on the slaughter on Syria, rather than on Jewish construction of homes in Jewish towns.State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters "The best way to deal with this issue is a direct dialogue between the parties and reaching an agreement on borders."
She added that "Shouting from the rooftops of the Security Council is not going to change the situation on the ground. The sides should get back to the table and solve the problems together, and that's the way we will have a lasting, stable peace."Four European Union nations who are currently members of the Council -- Britain, France, Germany and Portugal -- who sponsored the resolution said in a joint statement after the session that the construction sends a "devastating" message.
"All settlement activity, including in east Jerusalem, must cease immediately," they ordered in a statement released Tuesday. The EU also welcomed Israel's forceful response to "price-tag" vandalism. "The package of measures announced by Prime Minister [Binyamin] Netanyahu in response to settler violence goes in the right direction," the statement said. "We look forward to seeing the results of these measures and to seeing those behind the violence punished to the full extent of the law."The accelerated Arab construction throughout the same regions, both within and outside any village or city boundaries, and the terrorism perpetrated on the roads daily by PA Arab attackers against Jews, was completely ignored.