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US-Israel ties: Why Obama wants more from Netanyahu

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Mr. Netanyahu's trip to Washington will be his first since March. Coming amid what some characterized as unprecedented strains in the US-Israel relationship, Netanyahu's last White House visit was widely seen as humiliating – no press conference, and not even a photo opportunity. Since then, the international furor over Israel's fatal intercept of a Gaza-bound aid flotilla has left Netanyahu more isolated than ever.

Netanyahu's reception is expected to be warmer this time after Israel showed responsiveness to US demands for an easing of the Gaza blockade.

COVER STORY: What drives Israel's Netanyahu

What Obama wants

The Israeli leader is expected to be pressed by the Obama administration to extend a temporary moratorium on building new housing in the Jewish settlements, say analysts.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who visited the White House last month, will be prodded to drop his reluctance to engage in the face-to-face negotiations that Netanyahu keeps asking for. Mr. Abbas has been under pressure from Palestinians not to enter direct negotiations until Israel commits to a permanent settlement freeze. So far, Israel has agreed only to a 10-month building moratorium, which expires at the end of September.

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