Israeli Officials: Obama Leaves Us No Choice but to Okay Palestinian State

Sources in Jerusalem told Israel Radio that U.S. refusal to yield makes two-state solution unavoidable.

United States President Barack Obama has left Israel with no alternative but to ultimately agree to the establishment of a Palestinian state, officials in Jerusalem told Israel Radio on Saturday.

Israel will be forced to acknowledge the necessity of a future Palestinian state because there are no signs that the Obama administration will yield on this issue, a source told Israel Radio.

Government sources in Jerusalem also told Israel Radio that the quicker Israel adopts the road map for peace as the preferred diplomatic initiative, the more likely it will ward off American pressure to concede to a Palestinian state within the framework of an alternative plan that is less agreeable to Israel.

U.S. President Barack Obama announced on Friday that he is dispatching his envoy, George Mitchell, to the region. Mitchell, who is due to arrive on Monday, is expected to meet with President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, according to Israel Radio.

Israeli officials involved in planning the Mitchell visit told Israel Radio that the Netanyahu government will hold firm on its insistence to allow for continued construction in large settlements to meet the needs of the communities' "natural growth."

The officials added that Israel is examining ways to dovetail Jerusalem's needs with Washington's new policy towards the region.

One day after his highly touted speech to the Muslim world, Obama said Friday that the "moment is now" to push forward a two-state solution, adding that both the Palestinians and Israel must get serious and prepare to make some difficult compromises.

"I am confident that if we stick with it, having started early, we can make some serious progress this year," Obama told a news conference in Dresden with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"The moment is now for us to act on what we all know to be the truth, which is that each side is going to have to make some difficult compromises," Obama said after talks with Merkel.