US President Joe Biden on Tuesday warned Israel it "cannot continue" pressing for deeply controversial judicial reforms -- now on hold -- which have prompted months of unrest and criticism among Western allies.
"Like many strong supporters of Israel I'm very concerned.... They cannot continue down this road, and I've sort of made that clear," Biden told reporters during a visit to North Carolina.
"Hopefully the prime minister (Benjamin Netanyahu) will act in a way that he will try to work out some genuine compromise, but that remains to be seen," Biden said, adding he was not considering inviting the Israeli leader to the White House, at least "not in the near term."
Arriving back in Washington, Biden repeated his concern over the situation in Israel, where Netanyahu has been accused by opponents of riding roughshod over Israeli democracy in an attempt to strengthen his own power.
Asked if Israel's democracy is at an inflection point -- a phrase Biden frequently uses to describe the danger facing democracies worldwide -- the US president said: "I don't know that they're at an inflection point but I think that's a difficult spot to be in and they've got to work it out."
He called for the controversial judiciary law to be dropped.
"I hope they walk away from it," he told reporters.
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