US Rebukes Netanyahu

US Rebukes NetanyahuUS Rebukes Netanyahu

Israel’s Premier Benjamin Netanyahu has compared Palestinian criticism of settlement activity to “ethnic cleansing”. The US has described the premier’s language as “inappropriate and unhelpful”, saying it undermines peace efforts.

Netanyahu on Friday equated Palestinian criticism of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank to “ethnic cleansing,” drawing sharp criticism from Washington, its key ally, Deutsche Welle reported.

In a video disseminated on social media platforms, Netanyahu said he had “always been perplexed” by the claim that settlements are an “obstacle to peace”.

“The Palestinian leadership actually demands a Palestinian state with one precondition: No Jews. There’s a phrase for that: It’s called ethnic cleansing,” Netanyahu said.

US State Department Spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau told reporters on Friday that “type of terminology is inappropriate and unhelpful”.

“We obviously strongly disagree with the characterization that those who oppose settlement activity or view it as an obstacle to peace are somehow calling for ethnic cleansing of Jews from the West Bank,” she added.

Trudeau said Israel’s expansion policy raised “real questions about Israel’s long-term intentions in the West Bank”.