Biden points to a militarized Palestinian state: Netanyahu is not opposed to it

US President Joe Biden said on Friday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was not opposed to any two-state solution, and hinted at the possibility of establishing a demilitarized Palestinian state: “There are many possible forms, like some member states of Ikea. States do not have armed forces.

Biden added that the establishment of an independent Palestinian state was not impossible with Netanyahu in power, adding that they had discussed the matter on Friday.

Asked if a two-state solution was “impossible” with Netanyahu in office, Biden responded: “No, it's not.”

Earlier on Friday, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Biden had assured the Israeli prime minister of his “strong confidence in the possibility of implementing a two-state solution.”

“The long-term solution is to establish a free and independent Palestinian state,” he said, explaining that Biden discussed the matter with Netanyahu during their recent phone call.

During a press conference at the White House, Kirby expressed his hope that the United States can work with the Israeli government and its counterparts on the governance of Gaza. The region “includes a discussion of the post-war phase.”

He said Biden welcomed Israel's decision to allow flour to be sent directly to the Palestinian people, and the two sides discussed Israel's responsibility to limit harm to civilians. Kirby opined that Washington's approach to the conflict was “paying off when Israel started.” Go for less drastic measures in Gaza.”

Washington still opposes a general ceasefire in Gaza, which he said would benefit Hamas.

Kirby added: “As I said we support humanitarian ceasefires to get hostages out and get more aid, but we don't support a ceasefire at this time.”

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The U.S. official continued: “I think it's important to remember that the ceasefire was in effect on October 6,” indicating that “serious” negotiations had been held to reach a second agreement to release the hostages in Gaza, and he said Washington did not have much information about them and their detention. conditions

Kirby announced that the U.S. military had conducted 3 successful defensive strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen, adding that the strikes were “a deterrent against missile launchers preparing to launch attacks.”

Attacks in the Red Sea led to an increase in the number of ships heading for the Cape of Good Hope instead of the Suez Canal. .

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told US President Joe Biden that his statements about refusing to establish a Palestinian state did not rule out the possibility, a source told CNN on Saturday.

The source added that Biden and Netanyahu discussed possible aspects of a future Palestinian state “at length and intensively.”

He said Biden administration officials had recently discussed establishing a demilitarized Palestinian state.

First call a month ago

On Friday, US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a phone call over Gaza, their first conversation in nearly a month amid reports of tensions between the two leaders.

Biden and Netanyahu “discussed recent developments in Israel and Gaza,” the White House said in a statement, adding that it would release an explanation of the call soon.

On Thursday, Netanyahu rejected Biden's repeated call for future coexistence between the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority: “Israel must have security control over the entire area west of the Jordan River. This is a necessary condition and it contradicts the idea of ​​(Palestinian) sovereignty,” he explained, which was aimed directly at the Americans. has

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The Israeli prime minister's position is not new, but his statement and the way it was framed once again highlight the differences between the US and its allies.

Asked about Netanyahu's comments, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby replied, “Obviously we see things differently.”

On Wednesday, at the Davos Economic Forum, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken repeated his call to find “a path towards a Palestinian state”, arguing that “without that it is impossible to achieve real security”.

During his tour of the Middle East last week, Blinken told Israeli officials that Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, had expressed their “commitment” to help with the reconstruction of Gaza, particularly in Gaza, if Israel forges a concrete path to establishing Palestine. condition.

Washington is urging Israel to help rather than hinder the Palestinian Authority, an authority that cannot function effectively without this “support,” according to Blinken.

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