JERUSALEM, July 1 (Xinhua) -- The close relations
between Israel and the United States are unbreakable, said Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, despite the recent emergence of
notable tensions between the two allies over Israel's settlement policy.
"We have a close relationship with the United States,
which President Barack Obama defined in his speech in Cairo as unbreakable, and
it is indeed unbreakable," local news service Ynet quoted him as saying at an
event celebrating the United States' 233rd Independence Day.
For his part, U.S. ambassador James Cunningham
reaffirmed the close ties between the United States and Israel, stressing that
Washington is committed to Israel's security and that of its citizens.
The reiteration of the close ties between the two
nations came at a time when notable tensions could be sensed between the pair of
traditional allies over the Jewish state's policy regarding the settlements in
the West Bank.
The Obama administration has repeatedly urged Israel
to freeze settlement expansion. In his Cairo speech last month, which was
intended to mend ties with the Muslim world, the president said that his
government saw no legitimacy in the settlements built in Palestinian
Yet the Israeli side has so far not backed down from
its demand that "natural growth" be allowed in order for settlers to lead a
normal life. The Jewish state wants to retain certain major settlement blocs in
any final agreement with the Palestinians.