Netanyahu told Biden Gaza plans clash with ‘Palestinian sovereignty’, statement says

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convenes the weekly cabinet meeting at the Defence Ministry in Tel Aviv, Israel, January 7, 2024. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun/Pool/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights
Published January 20, 2024
JERUSALEM, Jan 20 (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared on Saturday to push back against U.S. President Joe Biden’s remarks about Palestinian statehood after the war against Hamas in Gaza ends.
Biden on Friday said he spoke with Netanyahu about possible solutions for creation of an independent Palestinian state, suggesting one path could involve a non-militarized government.
“In his conversation with President Biden, Prime Minister Netanyahu reiterated his policy that after Hamas is destroyed Israel must retain security control over Gaza to ensure that Gaza will no longer pose a threat to Israel, a requirement that contradicts the demand for Palestinian sovereignty,” a statement from the Israeli prime minister’s office said.
Asked to clarify whether Netanyahu is opposed to any kind of Palestinian statehood, his office did not immediately respond.
Biden’s call with Netanyahu was the first in nearly a month, the White House said. Asked if a two-state solution was “impossible” while Netanyahu was in office, Biden said, “No, it’s not.”
He said Netanyahu was not opposed to all two-state solutions, and there were a number of types possible.
Netanyahu has stopped short of outright and explicit rejection of Palestinian statehood. But on Thursday he said that in any arrangement in the foreseeable future:


RELATED: Biden: Two-state solution still possible with Netanyahu in power

The two leaders also spoke by phone on Friday.

President Joe Biden “still believes in the promise and the possibility of a two-state solution,” said NSC spokesperson John Kirby. | Evan Vucci/AP
Published January 19, 2024

President Joe Biden on Friday said he believed a two-state solution between the Israelis and Palestinians could still happen even with the current Israeli government in power.

“No it’s not,” he said, when asked if he thought such an outcome was impossible with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his post.

Biden’s remarks came a day after Netanyahu rejected the idea of an independent Palestinian state once the fighting in the Gaza Strip concludes, saying Israel needed “security control over all territory” which collided “with the idea of sovereignty.”

Democrats expressed horror at those comments. But Biden said he believed Netanyahu was not opposed to all two-state solutions.

Biden’s comments came after he spoke with Netanyahu on phone for the first time in nearly a month about the ongoing war in Gaza and the potential for a post-war Palestinian state. The president nodded when asked if Netanyahu’s rejection of creating an independent Palestinian nation came up on the call.

The White House contended that the timing of the call was coincidental.



RELATED: Biden, Netanyahu Speak for First Time in Nearly Four Weeks

Published January 19, 2024

President Joe Biden spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, the first conversation between the two since December 23, as the U.S. administration pressures Israel to accept a Palestinian state at the end of the war started by Hamas.

Netanyahu, who had previously — if grudgingly — accepted the idea of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, has steadfastly refused to accept a Palestinian state as a plan for the “day after.”

He is supported by Israelis in that view, 65% of whom now oppose such a state — a complete reversal of public opinion since 2012, when 61% of Israelis supported a Palestinian state. The difference is due to the experience of being attacked by Hamas, which is armed and funded by Iran and has governed Gaza since a coup in 2007.

Biden, like President Barack Obama, has sought to appease Iran through nuclear agreements and the transfer of billions of dollars in cash and assets that the Iranian regime uses to finance its terror proxies around the region and tp repress its own population.

Rather than give up on appeasement — even in the face of escalation by other Iranian-backed proxies, such as Iranian units in Iraq and the Houthis in Yemen — the Biden administration has sought to shift blame for its failing policies onto Netanyahu.





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