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Barak lashes out at east Jerusalem demolition plan

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[June 22, 2010]  JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel's defense minister says the approval by a Jerusalem planning body of a plan to raze 22 Palestinian homes in east Jerusalem lacks "common sense."

Ehud Barak is in the United States for talks with the Obama administration. In a statement Tuesday, he criticized the Jerusalem municipality for not exercising "common sense" and "a sense of timing."

The plan to make room for an Israeli tourist center could raise tensions in the divided city and deepen a conflict with the Americans. The Obama administration has already condemned the plan.

In March, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pressured Jerusalem's mayor to hold up the plan so authorities could consult with Palestinians who would lose their homes. The delay appeared designed to fend off U.S. criticism.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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