United States President, Barack Obama, held a meeting with Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, for 90 minutes and discussed the bilateral U.S-Israeli relations and the construction of settlements in East Jerusalem, yet, no progress was mentioned after their extended meeting. The meeting was mainly focused on the recent tension between Israel and the United States over settlement activities in occupied East Jerusalem. It also came amidst the announcement of further settlement construction in East Jerusalem.
The two leaders did not speak to the press after their 90 minutes meeting, while Netanyahu remained at the White House for 2 more hours after the meeting ended.
Israeli online daily, Haaretz, reported that the crisis between the two sides was not resolved and that the white House and the Obama administration still lack trust towards Netanyahu.
Yet, Haaretz added that Obama and Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, made a decision to test Netanyahu and see whether he would implement the gestures of good will he promised to conduct towards the Palestinians.
Netanyahu handed the U.S. Administration a letter detailing his “plan to rebuild trust with the White House”, but Obama and Clinton were not satisfied with the letter.
The Israeli Prime Minister and his aides held a meeting with Clinton and U.S. Vice President, Joe Biden, on Monday.
Described as positive, the meeting facilitated the way for the unscheduled Netanyahu-Obama meeting.
Both Biden and Clinton told Netanyahu that the current measures are not enough and that he must make “further concessions” in order to restore trust.
A source at the White House said that Biden and Clinton were not satisfied with the answers of Netanyahu.
Haaretz reported that White House officials were annoyed by the attempts of Netanyahu in which he tried to claim that building in East Jerusalem is equivalent to building in its West.
Netanyahu still insists on constructing settlements in East Jerusalem, and told White House spokesperson, Nancy Pelosi, along with other congressional leaders, that the Palestinian demand that Israel should halt its settlement activities “is illogical and unreasonable”.