The U.S. State Department, which has recently criticized Israel for its resumption of construction in East Jerusalem, is now lauding the Jewish state for accepting a proposal from the Quartet to resume negotiations with the Palestinians with no preconditions.
“We welcome the Israeli government’s announcement today expressing readiness to resume negotiations with the Palestinians, as called for by the Quartet,” said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.
Nuland said the United States once again calls on both parties to resume negotiations without preconditions, on the timetable proposed by the Quartet. She termed this “best means to advance their interests, resolve their differences, and fulfill the president’s two-state vision.”
Although Nuland said the Palestinians had, on September 29, “expressed support for the Quartet approach,” the Palestinian Authority has also said it won’t sit down with the Israelis unless they agree to two preconditions, the rolling back of boundaries to before the 1967 war and an agreement to freeze all West Bank construction.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had previously ordered a halt to construction because the Palestinian Authority had demanded it as a precondition. But after the PA never returned to the negotiating table construction was resumed.