Senior US official have ruled out that president Barack Obama is planning to ask the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to propose a scheduled plan for Israel’s withdrawal from the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian newspaper, Al-Quds, said on Tuesday.
“It seems that there is no super propelling power to make the peace process top the priorities of US foreign policy,” the official told the newspaper correspondent in Washington. “Philip Gordon, the new chief of the Middle East dossier in the National Security Council is talented, but his expertise is on the EU issues, not on the Middle East.”
However, the official said that the “distinctive” presidential team can suggest a “strong initiative” to achieve something tangible should Obama want it. “Such achievement could be a part of a comprehensive deal that includes the Iranian nuclear file and the Syrian situation,” he said.
The presidential team, which was described by the official as “distinctive and strong”, consists of Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel.
The correspondent at the Palestinian newspaper said that such information was leaked from the latest AIPAC conference, which pushed toward ignoring the peace process. It was clear that the main points of concern during the AIPAC conference, according to the correspondent, were the issue of the nuclear Iranian and Syrian chemical weapons.
This is what was reported by the Senator, Marco Rebio, when he returned from Israel to the US last Wednesday. “I am fully persuaded that Israel has other priorities rather than peace with the Palestinians,” he said. “The top priority is getting rid of the Iranian nuclear ambition, while the second is handling the consequences of the Arab Spring.” Rebio said that currently, this was “reasonable.”
An Al-Quds correspondent suggested that AIPAC wanted to send a message to Obama through what Rebio said. That message, according to the correspondent, is that Obama has to evaluate the Israeli issue though “Israel’s eye”, including the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
The US deputy president, Joe Biden, told the gathering at the AIPAC conference that “US-Israeli relations are not shaken, but are stronger than ever under the presidency of Barack Obama, who considers Israel’s security the same as US security.”
Conflicting reports about asking Netanyahu to prepare a withdrawal plan from the West Bank were emerged in the previous days.
The American World Tribune reported this news. It also said: “Obama’s visit to Israel is not just for taking photos, but to seriously tackle Iran’s nukes issue and discussing the Palestinians state.”
According to the newspaper, Obama is going to act by his own should Netanyahu did not show concern regarding these issues.