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Mitchell: US Wants 'Contiguous' Palestinian State

Umm, yeah. About that "treating our allis as allies" and regaining their trust bit from the 2008 presidential campaign... It doesn't apply to Israel, our closest ally in the Middle East, in case you haven't yet noticed.

President Obama's MidEast envoy George Mitchell said from the West Bank that the US doesn't just support a Palestinian state, but that Washington wants a "contiguous" Palestinian state.

U.S. special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell told reporters after meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday that Washington supports the creation of a Palestinian state with "contiguous territory."

The "contiguous" Palestinian state suggests that Palestinians would be able to travel between any two places of their future state without entering Israel.

Analysts believe that Mitchell was reassuring Palestinians over its position of upholding the creation of a Palestinian state.

Jonathan Rynhold, a senior research associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies near Tel Aviv, said Mitchell used the word "contiguity" to make the Palestinians understand that the U.S. is not prepared to allow Israel to continue settlement expansion, despite Benjamin Netanyahu's reticence over a complete freeze on Israeli construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Mitchell "used the word "contiguity" to make the Palestinians understand that the U.S. is not prepared to allow Israel to continue settlement expansion"?

Or does it, Mr. Rynhold? A "contiguous" Palestinian state may also mean taking land from Israel and giving it to the Palestinians to connect the West Bank with Gaza. The West bank is not a Palestinian state. The West Bank and Gaza would form a Palestinian state.

With the way language can be twisted around presumptions, I'd prefer to hear clarification from George Mitchell (or the White House) rather than a third party opining on perceived intent.

Mr. Mitchell?

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