Peace in Israel, Palestinian, US interest, Biden says
Peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and the establishment of a Palestinian state, are profoundly in Israel's interest, that of the Palestinians, and in the interest of US national security, US Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday, DPA reported.
"To end this historic conflict, both sides must be historically bold," he said in an address at Tel Aviv University.
But, he said, "the status quo is not sustainable. The demographic realities make it difficult for Israel to be a Jewish homeland and a democratic country."
Biden, visiting Israel as the sides signalled a willingness to begin indirect talks, said an announcement by Israel that 1,600 new homes are to be built in Jerusalem on occupied West Bank land, "undermines the trust required for negotiations."
The Israeli announcement, made Tuesday night, caught Biden by surprise and led him to issue a sharp rebuke to his Israeli hosts.
He said in his speech Thursday that he had since received an explanation from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the project was still years away from being implemented.