Netanyahu says he has told US he opposes Palestinian state for postwar Gaza

White House said President Joe Biden will 'not stop working' on two-state solution

US President Joe Biden and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have had a tense but close relationship for decades. AFP
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Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected US calls to scale back his country's military offensive in Gaza or take steps towards the establishment of a Palestinian state after the war, drawing a rebuke from the White House.

“I clarify that in any arrangement in the foreseeable future, with an accord or without an accord, Israel must have security control over the entire territory west of the Jordan River,” he said on Thursday.

“That's a necessary condition. It clashes with the principle of sovereignty, but what can you do.”

The Associated Press reported that Mr Netanyahu said he told the US of his position and “put the brakes” on what he called efforts to force a reality on Israel that would only hurt the country.

US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said President Joe Biden would “not stop working” towards a two-state solution.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other US officials have said a lasting peace wouldn’t be possible without an eventual state for Palestinians.

“Israel must stop taking steps that undercut Palestinians’ ability to govern themselves effectively,” Mr Blinken said this month.

Hamas and other militants killed about 1,000 people and abducted 240 others during its attack on Israel on October 7.

At least 24,000 people have been killed in Israeli subsequent strikes on Gaza and ground offensive.

Blinken says a Palestinian state is crucial to a stable region

Blinken says a Palestinian state is crucial to a stable region

“We will not settle for anything short of an absolute victory,” Mr Netanyahu said.

He added that Israel would accept a Gaza civil authority that “does not preach or educate for the destruction of the state of Israel and doesn’t send terrorists to Israel”.

The Palestinian Authority has been working with US officials on a plan to run Gaza after the war is over, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh told Bloomberg News.

“There is a historic opportunity that Israel has to deal with challenges that it has faced since its founding, and we hope the country will take that opportunity,” US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said on Thursday.

Updated: January 19, 2024, 6:09 AM