Report: Obama Leans Against Last-ditch Action on Israel at UN

Frustrated by the deadlock in Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the president has been considering stepping up pressure. U.S. envoy: 'We will always oppose unilateral proposals.'

Obama in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., November. 30, 2016.
Obama in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., November. 30, 2016. Bloomberg

U.S. President Barack Obama has nearly ruled out any major last-ditch effort to put pressure on Israel over stalled peace negotiations with the Palestinians, U.S. officials told AP on condition of anonymity, indicating he will likely avoid one last row with Israel's government as he leaves office.

Also on Thursday, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro told Army Radio that the U.S. would always oppose unilateral proposals on Israel at the UN Security Council.

Asked by the radio host, "If there'll be a proposal by France, would the U.S. veto it, as has been the case until now?" to which Shapiro replied, "We will always oppose unilateral proposals."

Frustrated by the lack of progress, Obama had been considering giving a major speech or supporting a United Nations resolution laying out parameters for a future peace deal. But officials say discussions have fallen off since Donald Trump's surprise victory.

The Republican Party and many Trump supporters are vehemently opposed to UN actions targeting Israel. Any action by Obama would put Trump on the defensive, potentially leading him to stake out a hard-line position.