White House denies reported comments against Israeli PM

 The US has strongly refuted reports about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu being verbally attacked by a senior Obama administration official.

PTI| Updated: Oct 30, 2014, 10:31 AM IST

Washington: The US has strongly refuted reports about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu being verbally attacked by a senior Obama administration official.
"The fact is that comments like that do not reflect the administration's view, and we do believe that they are counterproductive. The Prime Minister and the President have forged an effective partnership," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said.

"I can tell you here, on the record and on camera, is that those comments do not reflect the United States position and they do not reflect the personal views of the President of the United States," he said.

The President of the United States has spoken to no world leader more often than Prime Minister Netanyahu. It shows the nature of the relationship that exists between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu. This is a critically important relationship, he said.

He said the US and Israel shared a very close relationship.

"The relationship between the US and Israel is as strong as ever. The security bonds between our two nations are unbreakable. And there are strong links between our two countries that aren't just historic, but are also persistent," Earnest said.

He said the US had repeatedly said that settlement activity was illegitimate and only serves to complicate efforts to achieve a two-state solution in the region.

"The United States is as committed as it has ever been to the security of Israel. Earlier this summer the President signed legislation that had been requested by the administration to spend USD 225 million on an Iron Dome system to protect Israeli citizens from rockets being fired by extremists in Gaza," he said.

"That is another illustration of the strong and enduring security relationship that exists between the United States and Israel and the fact that the Obama administration specifically requested this funding I think is indicative of the President's own personal commitment to the enduring security bond between the United States and Israel," he added.

In a report in The Atlantic this week an unidentified US officials lambasted the Israeli premier for his settlement policies and for undermining American peace efforts. The officials derided Netanyahu as cowardly and recalcitrant, among other insults.