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Obama threatens to abandon Israel?

Barack Obama has warned Israel he will pave the way for an independent Palestinian state if the peace process remains deadlocked until the autumn.

The US president is proposing to hand control of the Middle East peace process to the international community unless there is a breakthrough in the next few months, Israeli officials have said.

Mr Obama has formulated a secret plan with leading European allies to convene an international peace conference by the end of the year, according to Israel’s Haaretz newspaper.

The move would fulfil one of Israel’s deepest fears by effectively stripping the Jewish state of its power to dictate the course of talks.

The conference would attempt to end decades of Israeli-Palestinian conflict by pressing both sides to accept difficult compromises on issues ranging from the future of millions of Palestinian refugees to the status of Jerusalem.

Mr Obama is also eager to gain international recognition for the creation of a Palestinian state.

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