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Netanyahu faces an awkward five days in America

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Netanyahu faces an awkward five days in America


Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is visiting Washington, but for the first part of their meeting had to sit and wait while President Barack Obama spent time addressing the Ukrainian crisis.

When he finally got his chance, he started with Iran rather than tackle Israel’s domestic issues and the peace process, on which Obama warned him he faced some tough decisions before the end of April.

“We vacated cities in Judea and Samaria, we left Gaza entirely, we’ve not only frozen
settlements, we’ve uprooted entire settlements, we’ve released hundreds of terrorist prisoners, including dozens in recent months, so Israel has been doing its part and I regret to say the Palestinians haven’t,” Netanyahu insisted.

Despite his assertion on settlement freezes official Israeli figures released today show twice as many building projects in the occupied West Bank were started in 2013 compared to the year before.

Benjamin Netanyahu will spend five days in America, during which he will attempt to firm up flagging support, above all for Israel’s primary concern, the existential threat it believes is posed by Iran’s nuclear programme, which the Israelis maintain is focused on producing nuclear weapons. Tehran says it is for electricity generation and civil use.

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