Clinton: U.S. to work for creation of Palestinian state
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton promised Tuesday to work with the incoming Israeli government, and stressed that movement toward the establishment of a Palestinian state is "inescapable."
Asked about the prime minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu, Clinton acknowledged the possibility of disagreements with any Israeli government and made clear the U.S. would push forward with its efforts to forge a peace deal that includes the creation of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel. "The United States will be vigorously engaged in the pursuit of a two-state solution every step of the way," she said, according to the AP. "The inevitability of working toward a two state-solution is inescapable."
Netanyahu, who opposes Palestinian, said after meeting Clinton in Jerusalem that the two had "found a common language."
Clinton signaled that an open quarrel with Israel was unlikely, stressing the close relationship between the two countries and saying Israel must ultimately decide what is in its best interests. "We happen to believe that moving toward the two-state solution, step by step, is in Israel's best interests. But obviously it's up to the people and the government of Israel to decide how to define your interests," she said.
Meanwhile, Hamas officials reacted harshly to Clinton's comments. "We haven't seen anything good," said Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza. "She approves of occupation and its crimes and interferes in Palestinian internal affairs."