10:13 GMT24 November 2020
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    Every effort the Obama administration has attempted over the past eight years to achieve an Israeli-Palestinian peace and a two-state solution has totally failed, US Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes told reporters.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Rhodes was speaking shortly after the United States refused to veto an Egyptian-sponsored UN Security Council resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlements. The resolution was passed by 14 of the 15 council members with no nation voting against it.

    "We have tried everything," Rhodes said on Friday. "We have tried proximity talks. We have tried direct talks…The one consistent outcome was that it didn't work."

    Talking on the US' refusal to veto the resolution — taken when the Obama administration was a lame duck waiting for the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump to succeed it on January 20 — Rhodes described it as a culmination of long-growing US concerns about Israeli policy.

    "We made this decision on the basis of the trend lines on the ground… We have been warning for years that the trend line of settlement activity was increasing Israel's isolation… We have tried a different approach for years here… We have seen an acceleration of settlement activity," Rhodes stated.

    Rhodes said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has only himself for the outcome of the vote. While the Israeli government had publicly backed a two-state solution with Palestinians, its support for construction efforts on the West Bank contradicted the rhetoric.

    "We hear the words about a two-state solution then we see the actions…that make a two-state solution out of reach," Rhodes explained. "Netanyahu had the opportunity to pursue policies that would have led to a different outcome than we saw today."

    In this regard, Obama administration's decision to allow the UN Security Council vote on the Israel resolution was made "in good conscience," he added.

    "We could not in good conscience veto a resolution that expressed concerns about the very trends that are eroding the foundation for a two-state solution," Rhodes, deputy National Security Advisor for strategic communications, told reporters in a conference call on Friday.

    However, Rhodes noted that this is not the preferred course of actions for the United States.

    "If this was an outcome that we sought, we would have done this years ago," Rhodes added.


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    Israeli-Palestinian conflict, White House, Palestine, Israel, US
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