JERUSALEM — U.S. President Barack Obama has demanded a timetable for an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank.
Israeli sources said Obama, scheduled to arrive in Israel on March 20, wants a detailed Israeli withdrawal plan from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the president’s visit. The sources said the Israeli plan would be considered in what could be an imminent U.S. initiative to establish a Palestinian state in the West Bank in 2014.
“Obama has made it clear to Netanyahu that his visit is not about photo-ops, but the business of Iran and a Palestinian state,” a source said. “The implication is that if Israel won’t give him something he can work with, then he’ll act on his own.”
The sources said the White House warned that Obama’s forthcoming visit could characterize U.S. relations with Israel over the next four years. They said Obama aides stressed that Congress, which approved $3.1 billion in military aid to Israel for 2013, supported the establishment of a Palestinian state as a U.S. priority.
“The Obama people are making this a litmus test of Netanyahu’s leadership and credibility,” the Israeli source said. “Obama supporters in Congress have sent Netanyahu a similar message.”
Full article: Obama plans to extract timetable for Israeli pullout from West Bank (World Tribune)