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Netanyahu faces growing US pressure
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Officials: US wants dramatic statements
While Prime Minister Netanyahu reportedly prepares to present new peace initiative, officials in Jerusalem fear Obama Administration to demand clear reference to 1967 borders

The Obama Administration will not make do with statements that are "not dramatic" alongside a new peace initiative reportedly planned by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, officials in Jerusalem say.

 

The political sources said they fear that the US Administration will demand clear reference to the 1967 borders as part of the plan and a subsequent Netanyahu speech.

 

The officials said the PM would not be able to address sensitive issues such as Jerusalem's division or Palestinian refugees. Hence, the sources estimated that the issue of borders "must be on the table," with America expecting Netanyahu to refer to the 1967 borders as the basis for a final-status agreement and the establishment of a Palestinian state.

 

In the past, the prime minister has refrained from addressing the issue of borders, for fear that any statement on the matter would obligate Israel to agree to such boundaries in a future agreement.

 

'US mistrusts Bibi' 

At this time, Washington is boosting the pressure on Netanyahu to produce diplomatic momentum. For the time being President Barack Obama is refraining from presenting a diplomatic plan and forcing it upon Israel and the Palestinians. Instead, the Americans are expecting Israel to undertake significant steps that would revive the diplomatic process, especially in the face of current Mideast turmoil.

 

Talks between Israel and the US continued in recent months in an effort to find ways to renew negotiations; however, the contacts have not been successful. Now, officials at the White House and State Department, as well as members of Washington research institutes are saying that the US is expecting Netanyahu to take action.

 

Political sources said that while ties with America have not been harmed, the relationship between President Obama and PM Netanyahu is "not as intimate as it should have been. An Israeli source said that the White House holds "great mistrust" towards Netanyahu and "has not granted him one minute of mercy."

 

 

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