The president was interviewed by Israel's Channel 2 after the 90-minute session with the
prime minister, which marked the first time Obama met the Israeli media
since he entered office.
The president, who has pursued a reconciliation policy with
Teheran, said the strategic relationship between Israel and the United
States would not allow for a unilateral Israeli strike, Middle East Newsline reported.
"I think the relationship between Israel and the U.S. is sufficiently
strong that neither of us try to surprise each other," Obama said.
In 2010, the Obama administration, including Vice President Joseph
Biden, warned Israel not to attack Iran. Netanyahu, who has urged the
international community to intensify sanctions, has repeatedly assured that
Israel was not planning an imminent strike on Iran.
Since 2007, officials said, the United States has withheld military
systems that could facilitate an Israeli air strike on Iran. The banned
systems were said to have included air refueling, advanced reconnaissance
and buster-bunker bombs, long requested by Israel.
Obama also said Israel and the PA could reach a full settlement by the
end of his first term in 2013. The president did not respond to a question
of whether he was pressing Israel to extend its 10-month ban on Jewish
construction in the West Bank and most of Jerusalem.
"I think [Netanyahu] understands we've got a fairly narrow window of
opportunity," Obama said. "We probably won’t have a better opportunity than
we have right now. And that has to be seized. It’s going to be difficult."
"But we try to coordinate on issues of mutual concern," Obama said.