Hillary Clinton: Demand for Settlement Freeze Was 'Tactical Mistake'

In soon to be released memoir, former U.S. secretary of state (and possible presidential candidate) says hard line on settlements did not work, describes Obama's fury at Netanyahu.

ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid
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U.S. President Barack Obama with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the White House in Washington, September 1, 2010.
U.S. President Barack Obama with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the White House in Washington, September 1, 2010.Credit: Reuters
ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

Former U.S. Secretary of State claims in a new memoir that the American administration made a tactical error by demanding Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to freeze construction in the settlements in 2009.

"In retrospect, our early, hard line on settlements didn't work," Clinton writes in Hard Choices, to be released next week, AP reported.

Clinton, widely estimated in Washington to vie to the presidency in 2016, writes in her memoir that the demand for a construction freeze in the West Bank only hardened the stance of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who eventually rejected negotiations because the freeze did not include East Jerusalem.

Clinton lays the blame on both Isreal and the Palestinians for the failure in talks. However, she notes that Abbas ridiculed the Israeli concession even as she called it "unprecedented." However, Abbas demanded the freeze be extended when its expiration was near.

According to AP, which obtained an early copy of the book, Clinton does not show animosity toward Netanyahu but does not praise him either. On the other hand, she discusses the tattered relationship between the Israeli prime minister and President Obama, and notes the latter's fury when Israel announced new settlement construction during a state visit to Israel by Vice President Joe Biden.

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