Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a meeting with ambassadors from NATO member states, in Jerusalem June 14, 2016. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will fly to Rome Sunday to try to fend off pressure from the United States and Europe over his settlements policy and opposition to a French-led effort to forge peace with the Palestinians.Israeli officials oppose the initiative, seeing it as side-stepping the need for Israel and the Palestinians to sit down and negotiate directly.Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, who addressed the European Parliament Wednesday, said Israel was feeling impatient with Europe and now was not the right time to push for peace.A nagging concern for Israel is that the conference will end up fixing a time frame for an agreement on ending Israel's 49-year-old occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem and reaching a two-state solution with the Palestinians.
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