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Biden says Israel not opposed to two-state solution for Palestinians

This comes just a day after Netanyahu rejected two-state solution

Maroosha Muzaffar
Saturday 20 January 2024 09:20 GMT
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Israel to ‘control from the river to the sea’ after war ends, Netanyahu says

Joe Biden has said that the Israeli prime minister is not opposed to all two-state solutions for Palestinians.

The US president spoke with Benjamin Netanyahu on a call on Friday about possible solutions for the creation of an independent Palestinian state, suggesting one path could involve a non-militarised government, according to Reuters.

Mr Biden told reporters after the call: “There are a number of types of two-state solutions. There’s a number of countries that are members of the UN that ... don’t have their own militaries. And so, I think there’s ways in which this could work.”

This comes just a day after Mr Netanyahu said that Israel “must have security control over the entire territory west of the Jordan River”, which “contradicts the idea of [Palestinian] sovereignty”.

The two leaders had their first call since 23 December, occurring just after the Israeli leader reiterated his opposition to any form of Palestinian sovereignty.

White House said that the discussion between the two leaders was focused on Israel’s ongoing strikes in Gaza.

The White House, however, denied that the call was a response to Mr Netanyahu’s objection to a Palestinian statehood that didn’t guarantee Israel’s security.

White House spokesperson John Kirby told reporters that the president had been trying to schedule the call “for quite a bit of time”.

When Mr Biden was asked by reporters if a two-state solution was impossible while Mr Netanyahu was still in office, the president said, “No, it’s not”.

The president was asked about potentially reevaluating conditions on Israel aid in light of Mr Netanyahu’s rejection of a two-state solution. “I think we’ll be able to work something out… I think there’s ways in which this could work,” Mr Biden said.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) has said that the humanitarian situation in northern Gaza remains dire.

“People have returned to primitive methods for food preparation and general hygiene, to make bread,” Mohammed Abu Msabeh, director of ambulances and emergency centres in the Gaza Strip said.

“The daily struggle for water is a daily torment for Gaza residents to secure life-sustaining droplets, who stand in large crowds for hours with containers.”

This comes as a CNN report indicates that Israeli forces have desecrated at least 16 cemeteries in Gaza, as evidenced by satellite imagery and videos.

Nearly 25,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli strikes since 7 October.

Additional reporting with agencies

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