Obama, Netanyahu to meet at White House

Afternoon meeting to be closed to press in unusual choice when hosting allies.

Netanyahu at AIPAC 311 (photo credit: Associated Press)
Netanyahu at AIPAC 311
(photo credit: Associated Press)
WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama is meeting Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Tuesday at the White House — his first meeting with the Israeli leader since the recent spat over Israel's announcement of new housing construction for east Jerusalem.
However, the afternoon meeting will be closed to reporters, an unusual choice when hosting a close ally and a sign that suggested the rift may not be entirely healed.
Obama has remained out of the fray as Secretary of State Hillary RodhamClinton and other US officials have rebuked Israel for its announcementof new construction in Jerusalem, which came while Vice President JoeBiden was visiting the country. It embarrassed Biden, a staunchsupporter of Israel, and led to new stress in relations betweenWashington and its top Middle Eastern ally.
On Monday, Clintonand Netanyahu presented dueling positions on Jerusalem constructionwhile simultaneously suggesting the incident is behind them.