Netanyahu’s conditions for Palestinian statehood “impossible to meet” – Obama
WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama on Tuesday criticized Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s pledge in the run-up to the Knesset elections, that he will not allow the establishment of a Palestinian state under the US-conceived two-state solution.
“Netanyahu — stated that a Palestinian state would not occur while he was prime minister. And I took him at his word that that’s what he meant. And I think a lot of voters inside of Israel understood him to be saying that fairly unequivocally,” Obama said.
“Afterwards, he (Netanyahu) pointed out that he didn’t say never, but that there would be a series of conditions in which a Palestinian state could potentially be created, but, of course, the conditions were such that they would be impossible to meet any time soon,” he noted.
“So, even if you accept it, I think the corrective of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s in subsequent days, there still does not appear to be a prospect of a meaningful framework established that would lead to a Palestinian state, even if there were a whole range of conditions and security requirements that might be phased in over a long period of time, which was always the presumption.
“And so, when I said that we have to now do an evaluation of where we are, it’s not in reference to our commitment to Israel’s military edge in the region, Israel’s security, our intelligence cooperation, our military cooperation. That continues unabated.
“But I am required to evaluate honestly how we manage Israeli/Palestinian relations over the next several years,” he added.
Obama made the comments at a joint press conference with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani following their talks.