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March 24, 2010
Posted: 1720 GMT

I just turned my desktop TV to the router where the White House Press Secretary will be holding a news conference in a few minutes. We are expecting reaction to the Israeli announcement that it is building more homes in East Jerusalem, this time in an Arab neighborhood.

The announcement came as a surprise since the decision to expand another East Jerusalem settlement a few weeks ago, during a high-level visit by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, caused such diplomatic tension between American and Israel. Today's news raised even more eyebrows because it came during a visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Washington.

From the White House so far, Assistant Press Secretary Tommy Vietor said: "We've made our position on Jerusalem clear on many occasions. We believe this is a final-status issue, and that both sides should refrain from acts that could undermine trust or prejudge the outcome of negotiations. We are seeking clarification on this and other issues from the Israelis."

Robert Gibbs, the White House spokesman, remained relatively tight-lipped as well, saying only that Mister Obama asked the Israeli PM to "take steps to build confidence" to achieve Middle East peace.

That's all we'll hear from the U.S. at this point, it seems.

We will be going live to Jerusalem for more on the issue. Jill Dougherty will join us for analysis from the White House. And Richard Roth from the United Nations with more on the move the Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon called "provocative."

Also today, we will bring you the latest on arrest of suspected Al Qaeda terrorists in Saudi Arabia. Authorities are detaining dozens of men they say were operatives planning attacks on Saudi oil facilities, the beating heart of the Kingdom.

Frederick Pleitgen will join us to talk about Daimler's settlement with the U.S Justice Department over accusations the carmaker paid tens of millions of dollars in bribes to foreign officials in order to win contracts.

And guess who the world's richest football player is this year? it's not David Beckham anymore. We'll tell you in our World Sport segment.

All that and the rest of the day's top stories!

See you at the IDesk,

Hala

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Filed under: Israel-West Bank •Saudi Arabia •Today At The I-Desk


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Biruzz   March 25th, 2010 10:45 am ET

What would the heroes who liberated europe and the rest of the world that was under the siege, think of their America today?

The great nation that fought tyranny and communism now borrows money from a communist nation that now dictates part of their financial freedom. But these heroes liberated oppressed people and people love America because of that.

Today this great nation a pale comparison of what it used to be is now funding both morally and financially the state of Israel to butcher and murder innocent people. Go figure.

Israel will pay for this injustice one day.

Kyle Cox   March 25th, 2010 5:58 pm ET

I am South African and the system in place is pure apartheid enforced by israel. Furthermore, shouldn't the settlement be toward a 1 state solution instead of 2? They should set the example like South Africa. Israel hold the key to peace in the region and they need to accept and trust integration. Love thy neighbour after all.

A. Smith, Oregon   March 25th, 2010 7:15 pm ET

This whole issue of what portions if ANY in Jerusalem belong to the Palestinian people seems to be entirely in question. Some 40 years ago, a armature was signed which seems to have a portion of East Jerusalem as that of the Palestinian people.

Now however the hawkish Netanyahu is claiming all of Jerusalem is the capitol of Israel.

It would be entirely helpful if CNN used their computer generated graphics to show viewers what boundary's if any do indeed exist in Jerusalem. Otherwise it is rather confusing and both sides have very different claims.

Bill Cook   March 26th, 2010 12:27 pm ET

There are no clearly defined internationally recognised borders of Israel.
Viewing the landscape designated for the two states , it is as it presently set up, impossible for this to be acheived.
CNN and others have many discussions interviews ongoing , with the same results , basically nothing.
The failure of interviewers to ask Israel the hard questions or to have a competent articulate spokesperson from the Palestinian perpspective, who could explain among other things the self defeating innefective rocket launching from Gaza that only really damages the Palestinians, preventing progress by giving excuses to support Israels claims etc.
The impression is that Israel will do and say anything to assist in taking more and more land from the Palestinians, with tremendous , financial , moral and spiritual support from the USA,
It is difficult to dispute this fundamental truth , given the track record over past 50 plus years .

Muthyavan.   March 27th, 2010 2:18 am ET

Behind the scene it looks like a lot of activities are taking place regarding this long historic religious conflicts in middle east. Netanyahu who is heading an unstable coalition partners is struggling hard to satisfy Israel long time defender USA on one hand and his unstable extreme religious parties on the other hand. Only by his balancing of acts he can guarantee a stable future Israel with Internationally supported boarders and future stable peace for the peoples of Israel and Palestinians.

Will he be able to make use of this golden opportunity or will he be thrown out of office with another election in Israel to be fought on the issue of future settlement buildings. it might also start an escalating conflicts with more life lost in this, one of the most difficult issue of the present world today.

bl8ant   April 1st, 2010 5:21 pm ET

Hala, the insult is provocative and begs address , these initiatives and policies are being commanded by a sociopathic war criminal. Netanyahoo has shown himself clearly , I don't really understand how it needs to be a question. What i have always marveled at is how they are allowed to govern when they suffer such severe mental/psychological disabilities. Shouldn't elected officials be required to test for severe personality disorders?? He's a very sick man.

Aby   April 2nd, 2010 11:56 am ET

The issue is much simpler than it is shown. We are against an entity that keens to use any event to spread out on the land and confirm its legs permanently at any new position.

The unlimited support from the US government makes it silly for any of the Israeli leaders to give any back-steps. Therefore it is an irreversible process towards swallowing all the occupied Palestinian land. That's all.

Landon Phillips   October 1st, 2010 10:48 am ET

i would really like to achieve financial freedom in just a few years ,;-

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