Ministers Rule Out Palestinian, Ben Gvir argues, “I do rule out a Palestinian state, always,” while Smotrich claims that a two-state solution will lead to the “next massacre.”
Ministers Rule Out Palestinian State After Biden Says Netanyahu Could Allow It
Ministers were enraged on Saturday night after learning that US President Joe Biden had been informed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he hadn’t ruled out the establishment of a Palestinian state. Netanyahu had claimed that such a move would jeopardize Israel’s security and strengthen its adversaries.
After CNN revealed that Netanyahu had recanted remarks he had made earlier that seemed to dismiss the possibility of establishing a Palestinian state, Netanyahu himself released an unusual statement on Saturday.
“Prime Minister Netanyahu reiterated his long-standing stance, which he also stated at a press conference the previous day, in his talk with President Biden last night:
Following Hamas’ defeat, Israel must maintain complete security control over the Gaza Strip to guarantee that Gaza will no longer be a threat to Israel — and this conflicts with demands for Palestinian sovereignty,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement on Saturday afternoon.
Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich claimed on X Saturday night—despite Netanyahu’s denial—that the creation of a Palestinian state would trigger “the next massacre.” She was alluding to Hamas’s October 7 attack in southern Israel, which claimed the lives of about 1,200 people and resulted in the kidnapping of over 240 people, the majority of whom were civilians.
“Wise up on the concepts that led to [this] national disaster in Israel,” Smotrich remarked of the White House.
Like Smotrich, a prominent member of Netanyahu’s cabinet on the far-right, National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir posted on X on Saturday night, saying, “I do rule out a Palestinian state, always.”
Speaking out on Saturday night, Miki Zohar, the Culture and Sports Minister for Netanyahu’s Likud party, wrote on X, saying, “Our brothers’ and sisters’ blood was not spilled so that the Palestinians would be rewarded and we would risk our future in our land.”
To everyone who is still trapped on October 6, I say this clearly: We will never take part in the creation of a Palestinian state. This is our pledge to the martyrs and fallen heroes who are holy.
According to Energy Minister Eli Cohen, the creation of a Palestinian state would “bolster Iran’s axis of evil” and act as a “reward for terrorism.” He exclaimed, “We won’t give in to that,” on Saturday night.
The carefully written PMO statement did not, however, completely rule out the prospect of a Palestinian state with partial sovereignty.
Biden had alluded to this possibility in remarks made following a Friday phone conversation with Netanyahu, in which the latter discussed “types” of a two-state solution.
According to the CNN article, Biden considered recent discussions about a possible future demilitarized Palestinian state among his administration’s officials to be “intriguing.”
Even with Netanyahu in office, Biden said late on Friday that the two leaders had spoken over the phone earlier in the day about the possibility of the Palestinians establishing their independent state.
Regarding the Gaza War, which Israel started on October 7 in reaction to the attack conducted by Hamas, there has been increasing agreement between Washington and Jerusalem.
Biden’s plan for a post-war Gaza that would be reunited politically with the West Bank under the control of the Palestinian Authority (PA) following reforms has been rejected by Netanyahu. This plan was part of a larger diplomatic effort aimed at an eventual two-state solution and an expanded Abraham Accords.
Although Netanyahu has expressed opposition to the creation of a Palestinian state, he has not provided much information about his alternative plan for Gaza and has prevented the cabinet from debating the issue because he is aware that doing so could lead to the disintegration of his hardline coalition.
According to reports, Netanyahu turned down a US proposal made by Secretary of State Antony Blinken during his visit earlier this month.
The proposal called for Saudi Arabia to agree to normalize relations with Israel and assist in Gaza reconstruction along with many other Arab nations provided that Jerusalem also agreed to take steps toward paving the way for the eventual establishment of a Palestinian state.