Obama to Raise Concerns About Israel's Settlements at Meeting With Netanyahu

In his address to the UN General Assembly, the president said Israel cannot permanently occupy Palestinian land.

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at a luncheon on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York on September 20, 2016.
Lucas Jackson, AFP

U.S. President Barack Obama will raise concerns about Israeli settlement activity in Arab lands during a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York on Wednesday, White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said. 

Rhodes told reporters on Tuesday that the United States has discussed its concerns about Israeli settlements and "the potential viability of a Palestinian state in the face of that settlement activity ... I'm sure President Obama will do so tomorrow as well." 

In his address to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, Obama said that both sides would benefit if Israel recognized it cannot permanently occupy Palestinian land and if Palestinians rejected incitement and recognized Israel's legitimacy.

Obama's efforts to bring about an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement have failed over the nearly eight years he has been in the White House, with the latest push by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry collapsing in 2014.