Monday, April 15, 2024

Netanyahu told Sec. Blinken that US recognizing Palestinian state would be a ‘prize’ for planners of Oct. 7

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently told Secretary of State Antony Blinken that any U.S. recognition of a Palestinian state would be a “prize” for the Hamas terrorists who planned the Oct. 7 massacre.

Netanyahu made the comment to Blinken when the pair met face-to-face last week, Axios reported Thursday. The prime minister told Blinken that direct or even indirect recognition “would be a prize for those who planned and orchestrated the Oct. 7 massacre.”

President Biden and other U.S. officials have repeatedly said that Israel’s war against Hamas should end with a two-state solution, implying that the U.S. would recognize a Palestinian state.

The U.S. could potentially recognize a Palestinian state indirectly by not using its veto to stop the U.N. from fully recognizing Palestinian officials as a member state.

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Blinken meets Netanyahu in Tel Aviv

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently told Secretary of State Antony Blinken that any U.S. recognition of a Palestinian state would be a “prize” for the Hamas terrorists who planned the Oct. 7 massacre. (Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Israeli cabinet officials have also reportedly made it clear to Palestinian counterparts that a two-state solution is off the table.

Israeli national security adviser Tzachi Hanegbi also met with Palestinian minister Hussein al-Sheikh last week and told him he would receive the same answer from future Israeli governments, an Israeli official told Axios.

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“It is not only the Likud government. There was no Palestinian state when we had other governments in Israel, so you need to be realistic and put forward more practical goals for the day after the war,” Hanegbi told al-Sheikh.

President Joe Biden

President Biden has made it clear that he wants the Israel-Hamas war to end with a two-state solution for Palestinians, but Israel is proving unwilling. (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Biden first pushed for a two-state solution in a November 2023 opinion article in the Washington Post, arguing, “The Palestinian people deserve a state of their own and a future free from Hamas.”

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Israel has made repeated efforts to negotiate a peace deal and two-state solution with Palestinian and Arab leaders over the past 75 years, but each offer has been rejected.

“I do not think a two-state solution is possible, and, even if possible, it is not advisable. For more than 50 years, hundreds of self-proclaimed ‘peacemakers,’ led by the United States, have attempted to coerce Israel and the Palestinians into a two-state solution,” former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman told Fox News Digital last month.

President Joe Biden is greeted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

There has been friction between President Biden and Prime Minister Netanyahu over how the war against Hamas should be prosecuted and how it should end. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

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Friedman, who served as the U.S. ambassador under former President Trump, said, “The efforts repeatedly fail regardless of who’s in charge and the reasons are profound and immutable: 1) the Palestinians are not willing to accept a Jewish State; 2) the likelihood of a Palestinian state becoming a terror state is extremely high, presenting an existential threat to Israel; and 3) the West Bank (referred to by Biblical adherents as Judea and Samaria) is biblical Israel and, absent Israeli control, hundreds of Jewish and Christian holy sites will be destroyed.”

Fox News’ Benjamin Weinthal contributed to this report

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