Expanding settlements is not helpful to the peace
process, Barack Obama said.
Sen. Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, spoke to CNN
on Friday after an announcement by Israel’s Defense Ministry that it would add
22 houses to a barely inhabited Jordan Valley settlement.
"As a general proposition, the Israelis sitting down with the Palestinians
in Annapolis and in previous agreements have recognized that that these
settlements are not helpful," Obama said, referring to the latest round of
talks launched last November in Annapolis, Md. "I think its import for the
Israel to abide their agreements regarding settlements" just as
Palestinians must keep their promise to crack down on terrorism, he said. Obama
said U.S. involvement was also critical.
He would not be drawn into an apology for spending a day in Israel this week
while he only spent an hour on the West Bank, saying that he had met with
Palestinians on a previous visit.