Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed concern that President Barack Obama’s support could waver before he leaves office over growing criticism of Israel’s settlement building.
Netanyahu’s statement comes after speculation that Obama could support – or at least not veto – a UN Security Council resolution outlining a plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“In the past, presidents at the end of their terms had promoted initiatives which were not in accordance with Israel’s interests,” a statement from Netanyahu’s office said.
“The prime minister added that he hoped this was not going to be repeated and that he expects the US not to change what has historically been its policy for decades: to prevent anti-Israel resolutions in the UN Security Council.”
The parameters of a resolution could include a time-frame for resolving the conflict and demands for action against settlements in the occupied West Bank, which are viewed as illegal under international law and hampering peace efforts.
Earlier this month, Washington issued an unusually sharp rebuke following Israel’s approval of 300 housing units in the occupied West Bank, stating it was “another step towards cementing a one state reality of perpetual occupation”.
Netanyahu’s office issued the statement in response to a report by Israel’s Channel 2 television which quoted him as saying in a private meeting that “the entire settlement enterprise is in existential danger” during the interim period between the US presidential election and when Obama leaves office.
Netanyahu denied his statement during a meeting with a group of Israeli settlers.