Washington, July 20: The US has flayed an Israeli
proposal to deport the families of suspected Palestinian
militants and said Washington would take up the matter with
"Taking punitive actions against innocent people will not
solve Israel's security problems," US State department
spokesman Richard Boucher said yesterday.
"The (President George W Bush's) administration would
raise the issue with the Israeli government," he added.
Boucher was responding to Israel's demolition of the
homes of the families of two Palestinians allegedly
responsible for two attacks against Israeli civilians this
week and arrested a number of family members.
The criticism came in the wake of a meeting on Thursday
between President Bush and Egyptian, Saudi and Jordanaian
The diplomats praised Bush's strong commitment to move
forward quickly on plans for Palestinian security reform,
withdrawal of Israeli troops to their September 2000 positions,
preparations for Palestinian elections and final Palestinian
statehood within three years.