No Palestinian state – Netanyahu
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared that Israel “will not settle for anything short of an absolute victory,” rejecting calls from Washington to either wind down the hostilities in Gaza or support the creation of a Palestinian state.
The US pushed for the realization of the two-state solution earlier this week in Davos, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arguing that Israel’s path to “genuine security” lay with the formation of a Palestinian state.
The Israeli PM dismissed the idea on Thursday, asserting that “Israel must maintain security control over all the territory west of the Jordan River,” to ensure no “terror is leveled against” the Israeli people.
“We will not settle for anything short of an absolute victory… That collides with the idea of [Palestinian] sovereignty. What can we do?” Netanyahu said at a press briefing in Tel Aviv. “I have explained this truth to our American friends, and I put the brakes on the attempt to coerce us to a reality that would endanger the state of Israel.”
However, Washington believes there is no way to solve Israel and Gaza’s long- and short-term problems “without the establishment of a Palestinian state,” US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller reiterated on Thursday.
During Blinken’s Middle East tour last week, the US delegation allegedly secured agreements with several Arab leaders to participate in rebuilding Gaza, provided that Israel moves forward with a two-state solution for Palestine.
“For the first time in its history, you see the countries in the region who are ready to step up and further integrate with Israel and provide real security assurances to Israel and the United States is ready to play its part too, but they all have to have a willing partner on the other side,” Miller continued, calling this a “historic opportunity” for Israel.
The IDF military operation in Gaza has drawn condemnation from the surrounding Arab states, as well as the wider international community, as the death toll among Palestinians nears 25,000 people, according to local officials.
The war has caused widespread destruction of civilian infrastructure in Gaza and displaced over 80% of the enclave’s 2.3 million residents since the fighting erupted on October 7. Hamas militants attacked Israel on that day, killing more than 1,100 people and taking over 200 hostages. According to Israeli sources, more than 130 people remain in captivity.