Netanyahu Rejects Palestinian Statehood, Deepening Divide with US

Netanyahu Rejects Palestinian Statehood

Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, reiterated his rejection of the idea of establishing a Palestinian state, following a phone call with US President Joe Biden. This stance, contrary to the US belief in a “two-state solution” for stability, underscores the differences between the two nations.

President Biden, after the call, suggested that Netanyahu might still consider a two-state solution. However, Netanyahu, in a statement released by his office, emphasized his long-standing policy. He asserted that Israel must maintain security control over Gaza even after dealing with Hamas, a condition conflicting with the demand for Palestinian sovereignty.

The US government, acknowledging the divergence in perspectives, maintains that a two-state solution remains possible with Netanyahu in office. Biden mentioned various types of two-state solutions, acknowledging countries in the UN without their own militaries.

On X (formerly Twitter), Netanyahu reiterated his position, emphasizing the need for Israel to retain “security control over the entire area west of [River] Jordan,” encompassing the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps expressed disappointment at Netanyahu’s statement, indicating potential challenges in diplomatic negotiations amid the ongoing Gaza crisis.

Netanyahu’s firm stance, amidst international isolation, comes as support for the war persists domestically. Simultaneously, protests in Tel Aviv demand a truce to facilitate the return of the estimated 130 hostages still held in Gaza by Hamas. The crisis began with Hamas’ surprise attack on southern Israel on October 7, resulting in casualties and hostages.

The increasing divide between Netanyahu and the international community raises questions about the prospects of diplomatic negotiations and the dormant peace process in the region.