Netanyahu: Obama a threat to West Bank settlements

JERUSALEM,  Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu said U.S. President Barack Obama could harm Israeli interests before he leaves the White House.

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U.S. President Barack Obama (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the funeral of former Israeli president and prime minister Shimon Peres in Jerusalem on September 30, 2016. Netanyahu suggested Obama might support a United Nations resolution opposing Israeli West Bank settlements before he leaves office. Pool photo by Menahem Kahana/UPI | License Photo

Speaking Wednesday after a story on Israeli television suggested the United States could take steps to support a United Nations resolution against the growth of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Netanyahu said, “In the past there were [U.S.] presidents who at the end of their term in office advanced initiatives that were not in line with Israel’s interests. I hope this won’t repeat itself.”
Netanyahu referred to the call by Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian Authority’s U.N. ambassador, for the United Nations Security Council to issue a resolution condemning the settlements. Netanyahu has said Obama could be supportive of a resolution before he leaves office.

Mansour told the Security Council that the Palestinian U.N. mission has consulted with each of the council’s members in “determining a clear course of action” regarding the settlements, which are seen by the United States, the United Nations and the European Union, among others, as an obstacle to peace. The settlements, homes for Israelis on West Bank territory administered by Israel, are on land that would be regarded as Palestine if a two-state solution ever comes to pass. Israel, in building homes for settlers, can be seen as violating international law.

“This is not a matter of Palestinian opinion, narrative or perspective. It is the law. There can be no question about the clear legal dimensions of this issue, its standing as a peace and security issue, and the international community’s duty to act,” Mansour said.

By Ed Adamczyk