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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Israel Rejects Criticism

JERUSALEM -- Israel on Tuesday rejected criticism by U.S. President Bill Clinton on Jewish settlements and vowed to strengthen its hold on the outposts that Clinton called an obstacle to peace.

At the White House on Monday, Clinton toughened his stance against an Israeli settlement revival in occupied Arab lands by right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"The policy of this government is to strengthen settlement in places where it exists," Israeli Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai said in the Gaza Strip after visiting Jewish settlers there.

Asked at the White House on Monday if he would call settlements an obstacle to peace, Clinton said: "Absolutely."