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Netanyahu, Obama at odds over Mideast peace

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Netanyahu, Obama at odds over Mideast peace


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to meet President Barack Obama later on Friday for talks on the Middle East peace process.

But Netanyahu has rejected Obama’s latest vision of a Palestinian state, saying it could leave Israel “indefensible”.

In a policy speech on the uprisings across the Middle East on Thursday, Obama said: “The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognised borders are established for both states.”

Some 300,000 Israelis live on the Palestinian side of those borders, mainly in settlements declared illegal under international law. The Israeli Interior Ministry discussed further settlement expansion plans on Thursday.

An Israeli security wall also pushes into Palestinian territory in several places.

These are some of the reasons why, although the official Palestinian response to Obama’s comments has been warm, on the streets few expect Israel’s staunchest ally to do much.

“Unfortunately speeches, especially those of American leaders, are repetitive,” commented one Gaza resident. “Promises are made, but execution on the ground does not happen.”

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