Tough Talk

Obama Bashes Israeli Settlement Plans

President Barack Obama bashed Israel’s plan to build 1,300 settlements in east Jerusalem. "This kind of activity is never helpful when it comes to peace negotiations," the president said Tuesday during his visit to Indonesia. "I'm concerned that we're not seeing each side make the extra effort to get a breakthrough that could finally create a framework for a secure Israel living side-by-side in peace with a sovereign Palestine," Obama added. Jerusalem isn’t backing down as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office reiterated its commitment to continuing construction in Israel’s capital city. The most recent talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders were held in September but broke down over the settlement issue.