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Clinton calls Jerusalem evacuation ‘regrettable’

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Hillary Rodham Clinton said Israel’s evacuation of Palestinians from their homes in eastern Jerusalem was "deeply regrettable."

"I have said before that the eviction of families and demolition of homes in East Jerusalem is not in keeping with Israeli obligations, and I urge the Government of Israel and municipal officials to refrain from such provocative actions," the U.S. secretary of state said Monday during a meeting with her Jordanian counterpart.

Israel this weekend moved out two families from homes they had lived in for decades. Jewish groups claimed the ownership of the homes were based on prestate documents, and Jewish families immediately moved into the buildings in the Palestinian neighborhood Sheikh Jarrah.

Clinton called on both sides to "refrain from provocative actions" and warned that such actions "cannot be used to prejudge the outcome of negotiations, and they will not be recognized as changing the status quo."

Nasser Judeh, the Jordanian foreign minister, thanked Clinton for her "clear position" and said the evacuation complicated the Obama administration’s efforts to accelerate the peace process.

"Eviction, demolitions of home, excavations, anything to change the current status quo in the city" he said, prejudice "the outcome of the efforts that are currently undertaken to relaunch negotiations."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has said that Jewish settlement in Jerusalem is not negotiable.

Police arrested three protesters at a demonstration Monday against the evacuation.

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