by Dmitry Shapiro
October 1, 2014
Following a meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Oct. 1, Netanyahu rejected American criticism of an Israeli construction plan in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Givat Hamatos.
Obama, Netanyahu, Vice President Joe Biden, and other officials met for approximately two hours in the Oval Office to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, and the American offensive against the Islamic State terrorist organization. Chief among Netanyahu’s concerns was the Iranian nuclear issue, against the backdrop of perceptions that the U.S. is diplomatically edging toward Iran in the effort to combat Islamic State.
On the same day, in response to the reported publication of a plan (already approved by the Jerusalem Municipality two years ago) to construct 2,500 residential units in Givat Hamatos, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said, “This development will only draw condemnation from the international community, distance Israel from even its closest allies, poison the atmosphere, not only with the Palestinians but also with the very Arab governments with which Prime Minister Netanyahu said he wanted to build relations.” Earnest also called the Israeli construction plan “provocative.”
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