Visiting Washington, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has urged Barack Obama to get tough on Israel after last week’s deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid convoy.
Obama described the situation there as “unsustainable”, calling for the full facts about the incident.
“I have said to the Israelis directly and certainly my team has communicated the fact that it is in Israel’s interest to make sure everybody knows how this happened so we don’t see these kinds of events occurring again and we expect the standard called for in the UN Security Council to be met,” Obama said.
Obama pledged the equivalent of 333 million euros in new US assisstance for the West Bank and Gaza. Abbas vowed Palestinians would press ahead in the search for a Middle East solution.
“We know that time is of the essence and we know that we must not miss this opportunity. We afirm the importance of bringing peace and security to the region,” Abbas said.
The Obama administration still hopes to push Israel and the Palestinians to direct negotiations. US envoy George Mitchell is due back in the Middle East next week.