09/25/2010, 00.00
ISRAEL - PALESTINE

Clashes in East Jerusalem as talks stall between Netanyahu and Abbas

Hundreds of young Palestinians clashed with Israeli police in Issauia, Silwan, Wadi Joz, Ras al-Amud. Israel willing to "compromise" on the colonies, but not to point of zero growth. Abbas calls for a total freeze. Obama is pushing for the extension of the moratorium on settlements.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - For the third consecutive day, young Palestinians clashed with Israeli police in the neighbourhoods of East Jerusalem. Several hundred youths threw stones at security forces in the district of Issauia, while minor incidents continued in Silwan, Wadi Joz, Ras al-Amud.

Tensions erupted after the killing of a Palestinian in the neighbourhood of Silwan by a guard in defence of Israeli settlers, three days ago. Yesterday was also the news that a Palestinian child died of asphyxiation after the launch of a tear by the Israeli police.

Eighteen Palestinians were arrested. Among them members of Fatah linked to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Some of them declared they were defending the Palestinians against the abuses of the colonists.

In many parts of East Jerusalem Israeli settlements expand by eliminating the presence of the Palestinians, often resorting to expropriation and expulsion.

The issue of Jewish settlements on Palestinian land (in East Jerusalem and West Bank) risks scuttling talks between Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu in New York.

Under international pressure, and especially that of President Barack Obama, Israel says it is ready to "compromise" on the colonies. But – say authorities- "zero development is not an option”. Instead the Palestinian side is demanding a total freeze of the illegal settlements.

Prime Minister Netanyahu, however, seems unable to make concessions on settlements, given that his support base is drawn from those who advocate their expansion. A moratorium on settlements - in the last 10 months construction has only been partly curbed - is about to expire at the end of the month. Obama is calling on Israel to extend the moratorium.
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