Obama. Pressure tactics
Photo: Reuters
Evacuation of West Bank outpost
Photo: Alon More secretariat

Report: Obama to press for outpost evacuation

New York Times quotes administration official as saying White House may consider end to automatic support for Israel at UN debates unless Netanyahu toes line on settlement issue. Washington believes this will stir public backlash against PM for endangering ties to US

The world is anxiously awaiting US President Barack Obama's upcoming visit to Cairo, where he is scheduled to make a speech about the regional peace process and America's expectations of Israel and the Palestinians.


One of Israel's main concerns regarding the issues Obama will address is his administration's demand that Jerusalem freeze all construction in West Bank settlements and dismantle all the illegal outposts.


Government officials have postulated that the Obama administration will attempt to pressure Israel into complying with these demands.  

“There are things that could get the attention of the Israeli public,” a senior administration official told the New York Times, referring to a belief within the US government that the any prime minister viewed by the Israeli public as endangering the state’s relationship with Washington would suffer substantial backlash.


But, the official added, “Israel is a critical United States ally, and no one in this administration expects that not to continue.”


Some of the steps being considered by the US administration include the withdrawal of automatic support for Israel in UN debates on the Middle East.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee earlier Monday "not to freeze life in Judea and Samaria."


He clarified, however, that he is committed to the evacuation of illegal West Bank outposts. "We won't build new settlements. The plan is to dismantle unauthorized outposts. There are reasonable demands and unreasonable demands. The settlements' fate will be determined in the permanent agreement," he said.


פרסום ראשון: 06.01.09, 19:40
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