WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In a fresh rebuke to Benjamin Netanyahu, President Barack Obama said the Israeli leader's pre-election disavowal of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict makes it "hard to find a path" toward serious negotiations to resolve the issue.
In an interview with the Huffington Post, Obama also scolded Netanyahu over his remarks about Arab Israelis voting, making clear that the deep rift in relations between Israel and the United States, its most important ally, is not ending anytime soon.
In the interview, conducted on Friday and published on Saturday, Obama described his Thursday phone call with Netanyahu, two days after the Israeli leader was re-elected.
"I did indicate to him that we continue to believe that a two-state solution is the only way for the long-term security of Israel, if it wants to stay both a Jewish state and democratic," Obama said, in his first public comments on the issue.
"And I indicated to him that given his statements prior to the election, it is going to be hard to find a path where people are seriously believing that negotiations are possible."
The worst crisis in decades in U.S.-Israeli relations was worsened by Netanyahu’s declaration just before Tuesday's election that there would be no Palestinian state on his watch. Netanyahu sought on Thursday to backtrack from