June 13, 2024

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Biden: Two-state solution must follow Israel-Hamas war

2 min read

It’s one, he argues, where finally finding agreement on a long-sought two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict should be a priority.

“There’s no going back to the status quo as it stood on Oct. 6,” Biden told reporters, referring to the day before Hamas militants attacked Israel and set off the latest war. The White House says Biden conveyed the same message directly to Netanyahu during a telephone call this past week.

“It also means that when this crisis is over, there has to be a vision of what comes next, and in our view it has to be a two-state solution,” Biden said.

The push for a two-state solution — one in which Israel would co-exist with an independent Palestinian state — has eluded U.S. presidents and Middle East diplomats for decades. It’s been put on the back burner since the last American-led effort at peace talks collapsed in 2014 amid disagreements on Israeli settlements, the release of Palestinian prisoners and other issues.

Palestinian statehood is something that Biden rarely addressed in the early going of his administration. During his visit to the West Bank last year, Biden said the “ground is not ripe” for new attempts to reach a permanent peace even as he reiterated to Palestinians the long-held U.S. support for statehood.

Now, at a moment of heightened concern that the Israel-Hamas war could spiral into a broader regional conflict, Biden has begun to emphasize that once the bombing and shooting stop, working toward a Palestinian state should no longer be ignored.

Until recently, Biden had put far more emphasis on what his administration saw as the achievable ambition of normalizing relations between Israel and its Arab neighbors than on restarting peace talks.

Even his national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, in a lengthy essay that was written shortly before the Oct. 7 attack and described Biden’s global foreign policy efforts made no mention of Palestinian statehood….

Aamer Madhani, Chris Megerian, Will Weissert, Seung Min Kim, The Associated Press

2023-10-29 10:36:18

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