(IsraelNN.com) A top State Department official spelled out on Tuesday that the goal of the United States in its negotiations in the Middle East is to pressure Israel into expelling Jews from Judea and Samaria in order to "end the occupation that began in 1967."
William J. Burns, Under Secretary for Political Affairs, said in his address to the Middle East Institute Tuesday that he sees the U.S.mandate as one of "determined leadership" and that American must be straightforward about its intentions. "Our goal in the region is clear," he said, "two states living side by side in peace and security; a Jewish state of Israel, with which America retains unbreakable bonds, and with true security for all Israelis; and a viable, independent Palestinian state with contiguous territory that ends the occupation that began in 1967, that ends the daily humiliations of Palestinians under occupation, and that realizes the full and remarkable potential of the Palestinian people."
Although he made no mention of any demands upon the PA in order to achieve its goal of establishing a new Arab state within Israel's current borders, Burns was blunt about America's expectations of Israel.
"We do not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements; we consider the Israeli offer to restrain settlement activity to be a potentially important step, but it obviously falls short of the continuing Roadmap obligation for a full settlement freeze," he said.
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