President Barack Obama says he's told Israel's leaders the U.S. does not consider settlement activity in the West Bank to be constructive or appropriate.

President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu view an Israeli technology exhibition at the Israel Museum (Debbie Hill-Pool/Getty Images)

He says the activity does not advance the cause of peace.

Obama spoke at a news conference with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Obama says he recognizes that halting settlement activity is tough politically for Israeli leaders.

But he suggests that Palestinians should not make it a condition to resuming peace negotiations with Israel. He says there's no point to negotiations if the expectation is that everything must be figured out in advance.

Abbas told Obama that peace with Israel should not be achieved through violence, occupation, settlements, arrests or denial of refugee rights.

Obama met Wednesday in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Obama: Mideast peace possible but difficult

President Barack Obama says a Mideast peace with two independent states is still possible but says it is difficult to achieve.

Obama said politics in Palestinian territories and in Israel complicate the search for peace.

Obama spoke at a joint news conference in the West Bank Thursday with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

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