Ma'an News Agency
May 27, 2010 - 12:00am

Fatah Central Committee member Nabil Sha'ath called US President Barack Obama's sudden invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu part of the American framework to put pressure on Israel.

Netanyahu will be "satisfied with gifts" from the American administration, Sha'ath told Ma'an radio on Wednesday, referring to a recent promise to fund an anti-missile defense system in Israel for some 250 million dollars.

The comments came following the announcement that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel extended an invitation to Netanyahu on behalf of Obama "for a working meeting to discuss our shared security interests, as well as our close co-operation in achieving peace between Israel and its neighbors."

Israeli sources called the invitation a "snap decision" by Obama, the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz wrote, following a tense end to the last meeting of the two leaders in March.

Sha'ath said he believed the invitation was a result of changes in the "strategic alliance between the United States and Israel," which allowed Obama to put pressure on the country, because it is "what Washington sees as appropriate for both countries."

Sha'ath warned that the current movement of US-Israel relations are being carried out "in the interest of the two nations, not for anyone else," but said he believed that the US push to "solve the Israeli-Palestinian problem is part of an initiative to make the situation easier in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere."

This, Sha'ath explained "is how we can understand what is going on, as Obama puts pressure on Netanyahu from one side, and give him gifts from the other."

He said the outcome of the latest readjustment in Israel-US relations would "become clear in the days following the meeting," but said he was not worried, as proximity talks continued with "everything in its place," and a vow from US Special Envoy and mediator to the proximity talks George Mitchell that "better steps" were coming.


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