Obama Middle East Policy ‘Regression’

A Palestinian official has criticized the administration of US President Barack Obama for offering inducements to bribe Tel Aviv into postponing its settlement activities for another 90 days.

"The US policy clearly is witnessing a real regression," Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the executive of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said on Tuesday.

US officials "are desperately trying to accommodate Israeli demands by paying them in strategic currency in order to obtain some temporarily tactical gains," she was quoted as saying by Reuters.

The ongoing Israeli settlement construction issue put an end to the US-sponsored direct talks between Tel Aviv and the Palestinian Authority.

A new report indicates that Israelis have begun construction of 1,650 new settler units in the occupied Palestinian territories since the end of Tel Aviv’s 10-month partial settlement freeze in late September.

In an effort to persuade Tel Aviv to extend the freeze, the US agreed to give twenty F-35 fighters to Israel and to veto any anti-Israeli resolution at the United Nations Security Council, in exchange for a three-month settlement freeze.

The US offer was proposed when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held talks in New York last week.

Israeli vice Prime Minister Dan Meridor confirmed on Tuesday that Netanyahu was waiting to receive the offer in written form before putting it to a vote in cabinet, which is expected to convene on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Monday that the US would offer more assistance to Israel, in case of extending the partial settlement freeze for 90 days.

(Press TV)

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