Two Palestinians shot dead as Netanyahu vows to continue building in Jerusalem

Published March 21st, 2010 - 11:41 GMT

Israeli forces in the West Bank killed two Palestinians who tried to stab a soldier on Sunday, the Israeli army said. The deaths raised to four the number of Palestinians killed in the past two days in violent incidents in the occupied territory.


"Two men tried to stab a soldier during a routine patrol near the Awarta security crossing near Nablus. The force opened fire and confirmed their death," an army spokeswoman said, according to Reuters.


On Saturday, occupation troops shot and killed a Palestinian near Nablus in clashes with stone throwers. A second Palestinian died of his wounds on Sunday.


Meanwhile, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday he had written to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton making clear Israel would not curb Jewish housing construction in occupied east Jerusalem. Netanyahu's comments came as he prepares to start of a Washington visit on Monday.


"Our policy on Jerusalem is the same policy followed by all Israeli governments for the 42 years, and it has not changed. As far as we are concerned, building in Jerusalem is the same as building in Tel Aviv," Netanyahu said, while opening the weekly cabinet meeting. "I believed it would be of great importance for these things not to remain in the context of commentary or speculation. I subsequently wrote a letter, at my own initiative, to the secretary of state so that things would be crystal clear."


Netanyahu also said he also wrote in his letter to Clinton that while each side was free to set forward its positions at indirect talks, core issues could be resolved only in face-to-face negotiations. "I believe that Israel's position is very clear. It will be clear during my visit to the U.S. capital, Netanyahu told his ministers.


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