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May 29, 2024

Netanyahu Defies Biden, Rejects Palestinian Statehood After Gaza War

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Jan 21, 2024

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stirred controversy after stating that Israel must maintain full control over the West Bank and rejecting the establishment of a Palestinian state in the aftermath of the recent Gaza war. His comments defy longstanding U.S. policy supporting a two-state solution to the conflict.

Netanyahu Spurns Two-State Solution, Sparking Backlash

In a phone call with President Biden on Thursday, Netanyahu asserted that Israel could not allow the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state following the latest round of fighting with Hamas militants in Gaza. He argued that Israel must maintain security control across the entire territory “from the river to the sea,” including the occupied West Bank.

Netanyahu’s controversial remarks were swiftly condemned by the White House, with Press Secretary describing his position as “unacceptable”. Biden stressed the importance of a two-state solution during the call, though Netanyahu remained firmly opposed.

The Israeli leader doubled down on his rejection of Palestinian statehood in subsequent statements, insisting “there’s no room for a Palestinian state” under current conditions. His defiance has provoked criticism from European allies as well as progressive Democrats in Congress.

Families Ramp Up Pressure for Hostage Deal

Meanwhile, the families of two Israeli civilians believed held captive by Hamas in Gaza continued demonstrations outside Netanyahu’s residence to demand government action.

The protest comes after Israel allowed the entry of medical supplies to treat the health condition of one of the hostages last week, stoking hopes of progress on securing their release. Hamas has linked any potential prisoner swap to rebuilding Gaza following the recent 11-day conflict, but agreement has remained elusive so far.

What’s Next: Growing Rift With Washington Over Two-State Solution

Netanyahu’s defiant stance threatens to further strain his relationship with the Biden administration and widen the divide over establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state. With the Israeli leader gearing up for parliamentary elections in November, political analysts say Netanyahu may be playing to his right-wing base by taking a hard line against concessions to the Palestinians.

However, his categorical rejection of Palestinian statehood appears to mark the end of even rhetorical commitment to a cornerstone of U.S. policy in the region. While Washington has lost patience with failed negotiations in the past, Netanyahu’s latest comments suggest more fundamental incompatibility on the desired end goal of the peace process.

As Biden weighs potential steps to signal displeasure with the Israeli government, some experts say the administration has limited leverage or political will to apply meaningful pressure. But if Netanyahu secures another term as expected, the growing rift with his most important international ally could have significant implications for the future of the moribund Middle East peace efforts.

Table 1 summarizes the key developments covered in this story:

Event Date Significance
Netanyahu tells Biden he opposes Palestinian statehood, wants Israeli control “from river to sea” January 18, 2024 Defies U.S. two-state policy, prompts White House condemnation
Families of Israeli hostages held in Gaza protest outside Netanyahu’s home January 20, 2024 Increases pressure on Israeli government to reach prisoner swap deal with Hamas
Netanyahu doubles down on rejecting Palestinian state despite criticism January 20, 2024 Signals end of even rhetorical support for two-state solution by Israeli leader

This has been a breaking news update on the continuing tensions between Netanyahu’s government and the Biden administration over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the aftermath of the latest Gaza war.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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