Israel: No Building Restrictions in East Jerusalem

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in Washington, D.C., for talks with the Obama administration concerning the housing construction in East Jerusalem.

He met, Monday, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden. Netanyahu is expected to meet with President Obama later in the week.

His visit comes during a tense time for U.S.-Israeli relations.  Just before leaving Israel, Netanyahu stated again that Israel will not back down from plans to build new housing in the East Jerusalem.

"As far as we are concerned, building in Jerusalem is like building in Tel Aviv and there would be no restrictions," Netanyahu told his Cabinet.

On Sunday, Netanyahu met with George Mitchell, Obama's special Mideast envoy. Mitchell delivered the invitation to Netanyahu and is set to mediate the talks.

"Our shared the resumption of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians in an environment that can result in an agreement that ends the conflict and resolves all permanent status issues," Mitchell said during the meeting with Netanyahu.

The Obama administration is demanding that Israel drop those plans, because it angers the Palestinians.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday the U.S. is still committed to Israel's security.

Still she said it was America's duty "to tell the truth when it is needed," and called on Israel to take action to resolve the conflict with Palestine, which she described as being a threat to "Israel's long-term future as a secure and democratic Jewish state."

That comes on the heels of a dispute between the U.S. and Israel, after Israel announced its construction plans during a visit from Vice President Joe Biden.

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