JERUSALEM (AFP) -- US President Barack Obama said in an interview broadcast Tuesday that Israel risks losing "credibility" over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's stance on the creation of a Palestinian state.
Obama made the comments to an Israeli television station in response to a question about Netanyahu's comments regarding the establishment of a Palestinian state before and after March elections.
Netanyahu sparked international concern when he clearly ruled out the establishment of a Palestinian state while campaigning for the March 17 general election, later backtracking on the comments.
"... The danger here is that Israel as a whole loses credibility," Obama said in the interview with Israel's channel 2.
"Already, the international community does not believe that Israel is serious about a two-state solution," Obama stated.
Decades of government-promoted expansion of Jewish-only settlements throughout occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank have made potential establishment of a contiguous independent Palestinian state nearly impossible, rights groups say.
Furthermore, the majority of members in Netanyahu's far right coalition pieced together last month publicly deny support for a Palestinian state and actively promote settlement expansion.
On Sunday, Netanyahu said he was committed to the establishment of a Palestinian state, calling on the Palestinian leadership to return to negotiations unconditionally.
Obama however said Netanyahu's statements on the subject after the election have had "so many caveats, so many conditions, that it is not realistic to think that those conditions would be met any time in the near future."
"And I think that it is difficult to simply accept at face value the statement made after an election that would appear to look as if this is simply an effort to return to the previous status quo in which we talk about peace in the abstract, but it's always tomorrow, it's always later," Obama said.
Asked about a continued US veto at the United Nations on resolutions condemning Israel, Obama said that a lack of progress in peace efforts would make such a policy more "difficult."
"Up until this point, we have pushed away against European efforts, for example, or other efforts because we've said, the only way this gets resolved is if the two parties work together," said Obama.
"...If, in fact, there's no prospect of an actual peace process, if nobody believes there's a peace process, then it becomes more difficult to argue with those who are concerned about settlement construction, those who are concerned about the current situation..."
Intent of past condemnations of Israeli policy by the White House have been questioned amid ongoing US support for Israel.
Last month the US announced plans to sell $1.9 billion in bombs and munitions to Israel.
Israel is also the largest cumulative recipient of US foreign assistance since World War II, the United States providing Israel a total of $121 billion as of April 2014, according to a report prepared for the US Congress by the Congressional Research Service, the majority in military assistance.
In light of continuous failure by peace agreements to give Palestinians an autonomous and contiguous state, Palestinian leadership has pursued national aims through international bodies including the International Criminal Court and football governing body FIFA, attempts that have yet to materialize so far.