President Obama does not see a possibility to move forward in the coming year to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but he will discuss with Prime Minister Netanyahu, during their meeting at the White House next Monday, confidence-building measures that both sides can take to calm the tension and this way ensure the realization of the two-state solution in the future, Israel Radio reported Friday morning, citing several Obama top advisers who spoke at a briefing for reporters in Washington ahead of the Netanyahu visit.
The president’s senior adviser on the Middle East, Rob Malley, said at the briefing that Obama doesn’t see how in his time left to him in office he could help the Israelis and the Palestinians reach a peace treaty, and he’s even doubtful the two sides will be able to resume direct talks on a permanent agreement. However, Obama will push Netanyahu to do what he can to keep Israel and the Palestinians from slipping toward a one-state solution.
“The main thing the president would want to hear from Netanyahu is that without peace talks how does he want to move forward to prevent a one-state solution, stabilize the situation on the ground and to signal he is committed to the two-state solution,” Malley said.
In preparation for the Obama-Netanyahu meeting, National Security Adviser Susan Rice met in the White House with her Israeli counterpart, Yossi Cohen. They discussed the possibility of the threats posed against Israel and the ways in which the United States could continue to help Israel in its ability to defend itself. With this, Rice’s deputy, Ben Rhodes, said he did not expect an announcement of a new security aid package to Israel during Netanyahu’s visit to Washington, because discussions of the subject are still at an early stage.
Administration sources estimated that the aid package will amount to more than $30 billion over 10 years and will include advanced weapons systems.