by David Rosenberg
Senior diplomats say upcoming report to 'put Israel on notice' that patience thinning in Obama administration.
The Middle East Quartet, made up of the US, EU, UN, and Russia, is scheduled to release a major policy report later in coming weeks, and senior diplomats involved in its drafting have indicated that the US is taking a far harder line on Israel than in the past.
The report, which is likely to be released in late May or early June, will focus heavily on Israeli construction in Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem, senior diplomats told AP. The Quartet’s report will also take Israel to task for the demolition of illegal Arab buildings – many of which were built with the support of the European Union.
While in the past the US worked to soften some of the criticism against Israel leveled by the EU, UN, and Russia, now, say officials working on the Quartet report, US diplomats are pushing for harsher language against the Jewish state.
One diplomat said the report was the Obama administration’s way of putting Israel “on notice” that its patience was wearing thin.
Other officials involved in the drafting of the document claimed the report will also criticize Israel for the legalization of some Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.
News of the Quartet report comes amid leaks indicating the Obama administration is considering unprecedented moves to force Israel and the Palestinian Authority to the negotiating channel. One option reportedly on the table is a United Nations Security Council Resolution to layout the frame work for a final status agreement – and force both Israel and the Palestinian Authority into final talks.
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