[Updated at 1:51 p.m.] President Barack Obama Tuesday commended Israel for easing limits on goods going to Gaza, saying there had been "real progress on the ground" that was happening "more quickly and more effectively than many people anticipated."
Speaking to reporters after talks with visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Obama said the United States wanted to "ensure the people of Gaza are able to prosper economically while Israel is able to maintain its legitimate security needs in not allowing missiles and weapons to get to Hamas."
[Updated at 1:37 p.m.] Netanyahu said Tuesday that recent sanctions adopted by United Nations are helping to delegitimize Iran's nuclear program. The sanctions "have teeth" and "bite," he said.
[Updated at 1:36 p.m.] Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that reports of damaged relations between his country and the United States "aren't just
premature, they're just flat wrong."
[Posted at 1:30 p.m.] President Barack Obama said Tuesday he is convinced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "wants peace" in the Middle East and is "willing to take risks for peace."
The United States will never ask Israel to "take any steps that would undermine (its) security interests," he said.
The relationship between Israel and the United States has improved over the last year, he asserted.
"The bond between the United States and Israel is unbreakable," Obama said.
He made his remarks during a White House meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.