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JERUSALEM: Israel will not be pressured into accepting a Palestinian state, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday, following a Washington Post report that Israel’s main ally the United States was moving plans to establish a Palestinian state.

“Israel categorically rejects international dictates regarding a permanent settlement with the Palestinians,” said Netanyahu, in a statement published following a call with US President Joe Biden. “Israel will continue to oppose unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state.”

Netanyahu said statehood would be a “huge reward” in the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attack on Israel, which triggered the latest war in Gaza. He said such an arrangement can only be reached in direct negotiations between the two sides, though no talks have been held since 2014.

Top Israeli ministers reject Palestinian statehood as part of post war plan

The Washington Post reported on Thursday that the United States was working with some Arab countries, including Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia – with which Israel has long sought to establish diplomatic ties - on a post war plan for the region that would include a firm timeline for the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Top Israeli ministers strongly rejected such a development on Thursday, with Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who lives in a West Bank settlement, saying a Palestinian state would pose “an existential threat” to Israel.

The two-state solution, which would create a state for the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza alongside Israel, has been a core Western policy in the region.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry said on Friday Netanyahu was invoking negotiations only to have the process fail again. “The Palestinian state is not a gift or a favour from Netanyahu, but a right imposed by international law and legitimate international resolutions,” it said in a statement.

Benjamin Netanyahu pledges ‘safe passage’ for Rafah civilians

Among the obstacles impeding Palestinian statehood are expanding Israeli settlements in territories Israel occupied in the 1967 Middle East war, which most countries consider violate international law and which sever Palestinian communities from each other.

In its Gaza offensive, Israel has killed more than 28,700 Palestinians, according to Palestinian health authorities, laid much of the strip to waste and displaced most of its 2.3 million population.

Israel says its so-called goal is to destroy Hamas.

Comments

200 characters
Az_Iz Feb 16, 2024 06:37pm
You first attack and take Palestinian land, under the pretext of self defense, and then want to return some of it, not all of it, thru negotiations, if at all. Very clever.
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Az_Iz Feb 16, 2024 06:39pm
Aquiring land thru war is illegal under Fourth Geneva convention. Israel needs to withdraw from Palestinian lands. It is not doing any favour by withdrawing.
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Az_Iz Feb 16, 2024 06:42pm
Someone takes your land, and will only return it, thru negotiations, so it can keep some of it, and return some of it with control over the part that is returned. Evil genius.
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