Outgoing US President Barack Obama says Israel’s illegal settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories are making a "two-state solution impossible."
In his last press conference held on Wednesday just two days before leaving the White House, Obama also warned of an “explosive” Middle East after “sudden unilateral moves,” by the United States, in an apparent reference to Donald Trump’s calls for moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to East Jerusalem al-Quds.
Trump believes East Jerusalem al-Quds, occupied by Israel since 1967, is “the eternal capital of the Jewish people,” and has promised to move the US embassy to it.
Obama warned that "the president-elect will have his own policy," towards the situation in Palestine, asserting that “it's a volatile environment. What we have seen in the past is when some unilateral moves are made that speak to some of the core issues and sensitivities of either side, that can be explosive."
Sending Israel ‘a signal’
Obama also defended his recent decision not to block a UN Security Council resolution against construction of illegal settlements Israel builds in Palestine, a measure that further complicated ties between Washington and Tel Aviv.
"The goal of the resolution was to simply say that the ... growth of the settlements are creating a reality on the ground that increasingly will make a two-state solution impossible," he said. "It was important for us to send a signal, a wakeup call that this moment may be passing."
The 44th US president told the news conference that “The growth of the settlements is creating a reality on the ground that increasingly will make a two-state solution impossible.”
The presence and continued expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestine has created a major obstacle for the efforts to establish peace in the Middle East.
Over half a million Israelis live in more than 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank including East al-Quds.
All Israeli settlements are illegal under the international law.