Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told Israel Hayom on Tuesday that Clegg’s comments were “gratuitous and ill informed,” and damaged chances for peace by giving more excuses to the Palestinians not to negotiate or compromise. Ayalon added that he would be delivering this message to his counterparts in London.
Clegg was speaking alongside Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who also was holding talks in London with British Prime Minister David Cameron and Foreign Secretary William Hague, both of whom have previously expressed concern over settlements.
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said Clegg’s choice of language would do little to help attempts to restart peace talks. “It would be much better to contribute to peace by encouraging the fragile revival of Israeli-Palestinian talks rather than engaging in gratuitous bashing,” Palmor said.