Sources in the American administration said that despite the comments made during his speech, US President Barack Obama – just like his predecessor George W. Bush – knows that Israel will not withdraw to 1967 lines as part of any peace agreement signed between the Jewish State and the Palestinians.
Quoted by the Washington Post, the officials noted that Obama opted to apply pressure and shift the starting point of the negotiations in order to pull them out of a standstill – even though he fully realizes that the final result, if and when an agreement is signed, will probably remain the same.
Obama's statement, saying that the 1967 lines must be the basis for negotiations between the sides, became the main bone of contention during the Friday meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the American president.
Netanyahu bluntly told Obama that Israel will not retreat to pre-Six-Day War lines because they are 'indefensible,' adding that demographic changes along the border will not allow full withdrawal.
Following their White House meeting, which lasted much longer than scheduled, Obama made no further comment on his previous statement, only saying that the main disagreements with Israel remain over how to achieve peace in the Middle East.
'Netanyahu not a peace partner'Meanwhile, Fatah Central Committee member Nabil Shaath said the Palestinians will move ahead with seeking UN recognition of a state in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, despite Obama's warning that it would be pointless.
Shaath said late Friday that Netanyahu's statements make it clear the Israeli leader is not a partner for peace. Shaath says that "we will escalate our diplomatic effort to get recognition" of a state.
On Saturday,Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhari commented on Netanyahu's statement, saying his remarks "prove the absurdity of the negotiations."
In a statement issued by the terror organization, Abu Zuhari noted that Netanyahu's commnts show that the attempt to reach an agreement with Israel is a mistake.
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