Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accuses the President Obama of making 'unreasonable' demands, and vows to continue the settlement expansion:
"There are reasonable demands and demands that are not reasonable," Netanyahu told the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
He was referring to a request made by U.S. President Barack Obama during a recent meeting in Washington with the premier. Netanyahu, however, did pledge that Israel would not build any new settlements.
According to Haaretz, the Obama administration is considering sanctions to force Israel to halt all construction in West Bank settlements including:
- Dropping the U.S. support of Israel in the United Nations:
- Reviewing loan guarantees to Israel; and
- Less cooperation with Israel on security matters.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said last week that President Obama "wants to see a stop to settlements — not some settlements, not outposts, not ‘natural growth’ exceptions."
Analysts say the settlement kefuffle shows how far apart Israel and the United States are on the issue of settlements.