Jerusalem, 23 Rabiul Akhir 1434/ 5 March 2013 (MINA) – US President Barack Obama is going to demand a timetable for an Israeli withdrawal from the occupied West Bank during his visit to Israel later this month, a report says.
The World Tribune quoted on Monday an unnamed Israeli official as saying that “Obama has made it clear to Netanyahu that his visit is not about photo-ops, but the business of Iran and a Palestinian state”.
“The implication is that if Israel won’t give him something he can work with, then he’ll act on his own,” the report quoted the source as saying, according to IMEMC and Press TV reports monitored by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA), Tuesday.
According to the report, an Israeli pullout plan could be part of an imminent US push to form a Palestinian state in the West Bank in 2014.
Addressing the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Sunday, Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, stated that a comprehensive peace agreement with the Palestinians is not possible under the current circumstances.
Barak added that Israel wants an agreement “that guarantees its security”, and stated that Tel Aviv will have to take what he called “unilateral steps to avoid becoming a bi-national state”.
He also stated that the bilateral steps that Israel should take include ensuring that all of its settlement blocs, built in the occupied West Bank, will be part of Israel, and ensuring a Jewish majority in the country.
Barak also said that Israel must also maintain its security and military presence in the occupied Jordan Valley.
More than half a million Israelis live in more than 120 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
Meanwhile, violent acts are carried out on a weekly basis in the Palestinian territories by Israeli settlers.
The Israeli settlements are considered illegal by the UN and most countries because those territories were captured by Israel in the 1967 war, and are thus seen as being subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied lands.
The Israeli regime increased its settlement activities after an upgrade in the Palestinian status at the United Nations General Assembly on November 29, 2012. The 193-member General Assembly voted 138-9 with 41 abstentions to upgrade Palestine’s status to non-member observer state. (T/P01/E1).
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)