Palestinian negotiators have voiced disappointment after the first meeting between the US and Israeli leaders.
President Obama repeated his support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but failed to convince Benajamin Netanyahu to commit to Palestinian statehood. Netanyahu said: “I want to make it clear that we don’t want to govern the Palestinians. We want to live in peace with them. We want them to govern themselves, absent a handful of powers that could endanger the State of Israel. But Netanyahu did not mention the word state. He said Israel was willing to restart peace talks immediately, but only if the Palestinians recognised Israel as a Jewish nation. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said: “Unfortunately, Mr. Netanyahu failed to mention the two-state solution, failed to mention the agreement signed, failed to mention his commitment to stop settlement activities. And the only thing he mentioned was Palestinians entitled to govern themselves by themselves. “How can I govern myself by myself as a Palestinian with his occupation going on, on my neck, on the hour every hour? With his roadblocks segregating our towns and villages and refugee camps?” Obama also told Netanyahu that Israeli settlement expansion had to stop.