BLAME GAME

Palestine Says U.S. Backpedaling on Israel

Palestinians have accused the U.S. of further stymieing its peace talks with Israel, after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton backed up Israel's right to continue settlement in the West Bank during a one-day visit on Saturday to the Middle East. Palestinians have imposed a freeze precondition for resuming negotiations that have been on hold since December. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has proposed limited building for settlement homes in the West Bank, told Palestinians to "get a grip" and drop the precondition. President Obama also backtracked on a previous call for a freeze, instead now encouraging "restraint" in the West Bank. "The negotiations are in a state of paralysis, and the result of Israel's intransigence and America's back-pedaling is that there is no hope of negotiations on the horizon," a Palestinian spokesperson said.