The U.S. and Israel on Tuesday each blasted a supposedly leaked transcript of a call between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as completely false and not bearing "any semblance to reality."
The alleged transcript featured Obama purportedly demanding an "immediate, unilateral cease-fire" and said that "the ball's in Israel's court."
President Barack Obam meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House, March 3, 2014. (AFP PHOTO/Saul LOEB)
“We have seen reports of an alleged POTUS-Netanyahu transcript; neither reports nor alleged transcript bear any resemblance to reality,” the offices said. “[It's] shocking and disappointing someone would sink to misrepresenting a private conversation between POTUS and PM in fabrications to Israeli press.”
In the transcript, Obama is quoted supposedly telling Netanyahu, “I believe that Hamas will cease its rocket fire — silence will be met with silence.”
Netanyahu is later quoted: “I protest because Hamas can continue to launch rockets and use tunnels for terror attacks,” to which Obama responds: “The ball's in Israel's court, and it must end all its military activities.”
According to Politico, Israeli reporter Oren Nahari said the transcript was given to him by a senior American official, and that while he was standing by it, he "acknowledges that the quotes he published were merely an excerpt from a long conversation," the Times of Israel reported.
Here's the purported transcript:
Barack Obama: I demand that Israel agrees to an immediate, unilateral ceasefire and halt all offensive activities, in particular airstrikes.
Benjamin Netanyahu: And what will Israel receive in exchange for a ceasefire?
BO: I believe that Hamas will cease its rocket fire - silence will be met with silence.
BN: Hamas broke all five previous ceasefires. It's a terrorist organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel.
BO: I repeat and expect Israel to stop all its military activities unilaterally. The pictures of destruction in Gaza distance the world from Israel's position.
BN: Kerry's proposal was completely unrealistic and gives Hamas military and diplomatic advantages.
BO: Within a week of the end of Israel's military activities, Qatar and Turkey will begin negotiations with Hamas based on the 2012 understandings, including Israel's commitment to removing the siege and restrictions on Gaza.
BN: Qatar and Turkey are the biggest supporters of Hamas. It's impossible to rely on them to be fair mediators.
BO: I trust Qatar and Turkey. Israel is not in the position that it can choose its mediators.
BN: I protest because Hamas can continue to launch rockets and use tunnels for terror attacks -
BO: The ball's in Israel's court, and it must end all its military activities.