The White House officially confirmed that a meeting between Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and U.S. President, Barack Obama, will take place in Washington on Monday evening. The statement came to end several days of conflicting reports regarding the possibility that Obama would not be holding a meeting with Netanyahu due to his stance regarding settlements in the occupied West Bank.
The agenda of the meeting remains unknown as the White House did not provide any further details.
Netanyahu landed in Washington on Sunday evening. He will be participating in the general conference of Jewish groups in the U.S.
Obama was scheduled to address the forum but had to cancel as he will be in Texas participating in a memorial service for soldiers shot dead at the Fort Hood military base last week, Israeli Ynet News reported.
Obama’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, will be addressing the forum on Obama’s behalf.
Arab and Palestinian leaders where no pleased with Obama’s decision to meet Netanyahu as Israel rejects to halt its illegal settlement activities in the occupied West Bank and in occupied East Jerusalem.
The Obama administration changed its stances regarding settlements as it previously informed Israel that halting settlement activities is a precondition for the resumption of peace talks.
Israel’s settlements are built on Palestinian lands illegally annexed by Israel and constitute a direct violation to the International Law and the Fourth Geneva Convention. Settlements are illegal and also constitute war crimes.