'Netanyahu taking coalition further than it wants to go'

Obama refuses to condemn Jewish state, says that it is not good for Israel's security to have millions of individuals feeling hopeless.

January 28, 2010 23:05
1 minute read.
US President Barack Obama speaks at the University

obama pointing 311. (photo credit: AP)


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US President Barack Obama said Thursday that he's working to get the Israelis and Palestinians to resume peace talks.

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At a town hall meeting in Tampa, Obama declined under questioning to condemn Israel for actions against the Palestinians. He said Israel is a strong US ally and that he will never waver from helping Israel keep its people safe in a hostile Middle East.

But Obama also said the situation facing the Palestinian people is one that needs attention. He said he is seeking a solution in which Israelis and Palestinians can live side by side in peace. But both parties must return to the bargaining table, and that is something Obama said he is working to achieve.

The administration's efforts to jump start peace talks have stalled since Obama took office a year ago.

The US President on Thursday blamed internal political strife in Israel as well as among the Palestinians for hampering the peace process.

He spoke of problems that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had had to deal with within his own governing coalition, saying that the premier "is making efforts to move a little bit further than his coalition wants to go."

Obama said that while Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas genuinely desires peace, he has had to deal with the terrorist group Hamas, whose power and grip on the Gaza Strip has only grown in recent years.

While Obama referred to Israel as "one of our strongest allies,"  he also stated that the plight of the Palestinians is something that cannot be ignored. Obama went on to say that it is not good for Israel's security to have millions of individuals feeling hopeless.


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