U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton criticised Israel on Wednesday over plans to demolish Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem and said Washington would engage Israeli leaders on Jewish settlements. Calling the planned destruction of more than 80 dwellings "unhelpful", Clinton said after talks with Palestinian leaders: "It is an issue that we intend to raise with the government of Israel and the government at the municipal level in Jerusalem."
At a news conference with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the occupied West Bank, Clinton stopped short of repeating U.S. calls for an immediate cessation of Israeli settlement expansion. "We will be looking for a way to put it on the table along with all the other issues that need to be discussed and resolved," she said, according to Reuters.
"I think at this time, we should wait until we have a new Israeli government. That will be soon and then we will look at whatever tools are available," Clinton stated.
Abbas said that unless Israel's incoming leaders were committed to a two-state solution and stopped settlement construction and Jerusalem demolitions, "we will not consider them as peace partners".