Netanyahu worried Obama could turn 'anti-Israel' before leaving office

Netanyahu worried Obama could turn 'anti-Israel' before leaving office
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is worried outgoing President Barack Obama could support an "anti-Israel" UN resolution laying out parameters to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
2 min read
20 October, 2016
Obama has publicly criticised the surge in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank [AFP]
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is concerned 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 Obama could support - or at least not veto - a UN Security Council resolution outlining a plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

There has also been speculation he could give a speech before leaving office in January that would do the same.

"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 timeframe 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.

Obama has previously expressed concern over the ongoing and accelerating building of settler homes on land Palestinians see as part of their future state.

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.

The report 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's statement denied he had said that during the meeting with a group of Israeli settlers.

Settlements are a key political issue within Israel, with those in favour advocating that Jews must return to their biblical homeland, including the West Bank, which is home to 2.7 million Palestinians.