Will have to 'examine' policy towards Israel: US envoy
Describing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent comments denouncing his support for a Palestinian state as "confusing", the US envoy to Israel on Sunday said Washington will have to "examine" its next step when it comes to its policy towards the Jewish state.
Jerusalem: Describing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent comments denouncing his support for a Palestinian state as "confusing", the US envoy to Israel on Sunday said Washington will have to "examine" its next step when it comes to its policy towards the Jewish state.
Netanyahu, during his re-election campaign ahead of the March 17 parliamentary polls, had declared that a Palestinian state will not be established under his watch.
US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro said: "This was not Israel's stance until those comments. It is confusing and raises doubts regarding Israel's true stance."
"The question we are still focusing on is how to progress towards the solution of two states for two nations," Shapiro told the Army Radio.
Netanyahu's divisive comments had infuriated the United States and the White House threatened to re-assess its support for Israel at the UN.
The hawkish Israeli premier had said whoever moves to "establish a Palestinian state or intends to withdraw from territory is simply yielding territory for radical Islamic terrorist attacks against Israel."
He had also urged right-wing voters to vote in large numbers as Arabs were coming out "in droves" to topple his Prime Ministership, in remarks that have been dubbed "racist" by many.
However, a day after the elections and after securing 30 seats in the 120-member Israeli parliament, Netanyahu quickly backtracked on his earlier statement telling?US media?that he did want a "sustainable, peaceful two-state solution" but that the current situation does not allow for that to happen.
"I haven't changed my policy. I never retracted my speech in Bar-Ilan University six years ago calling for a demilitarised Palestinian state that recognises the Jewish state," he had said.
Shapiro's comments today followed earlier remarks by US President Barack Obama who has said he?did not believe Netanyahu supports the establishment of a Palestinian state.
The Israeli media has widely reported that Obama expressed his displeasure during a tough call to congratulate Netanyahu at his election success.
Washington generally vetoes on resolutions perceived as anti-Israel at the United Nations Security Council.