Resignation possible

Barack Obama, the US president, has openly embraced the idea that peacemaking between Israel and the Palestinians would aid negotiation efforts over Iran's nuclear programme

"To the extent that we can make peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis, then I actually think it strengthens our hand in the international community in dealing with the potential Iranian threat," he had said after meeting Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, last week.

The US state department has forbidden Ross from promoting the book, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on Wednesday.

Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera's senior political analyst, said it was likely that Ross would have to retract his statements or resign his post.

"He stands in 180 degree contradiction to his own president. This book is going to undermine America's policy in the Middle East".