Biden says Palestinian state should come via talks

President believes that what is happening in Gaza is not genocide and reiterated his support for Israel…reports Asian Lite News

President Joe Biden believes the two-state solution should be brought about through direct negotiations and not a ‘unilateral recognition’, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Wednesday after the leaders of Norway, Ireland, and Spain announced plans to recognise the Palestinian state.

Asked whether the US is concerned with other nations recognising a Palestinian state, Sullivan, at a press briefing, said, “Each country is entitled to make its own determinations, but the US position on this is clear President Biden as I just said has been on the record supporting a two-state solution.”

“He has been equally emphatic on the record that that two-state solution should be brought about through direct negotiations through the parties, not through unilateral recognition that’s a principled position that we have held on a consistent basis. We will communicate that to our partners around the world and we’ll see what unfolds,” he added.

Sullivan called Israel’s decision to withhold funds from Palestinian authority ‘wrong’, noting that withholding funds destabilises the West Bank and undermines the search for security and prosperity for the people of Palestine.

On the US’ reaction to Israel’s response to recognising Palestinian statehood by withholding funds from Palestinian authority, he said, “I think it’s wrong on a strategic basis because withholding funds destabilizes the West Bank. It undermines the search for security and prosperity for the Palestinian people which is in Israel’s interest and it’s wrong to withhold funds that provide basic goods and services to innocent people. So, from our perspective those funds should continue to go um with all of the necessary safeguards but they should continue to flow.”

As Spain, Norway, and Ireland announced plans to formally recognise a Palestinian state, Israel reacted to the decision of the three nations in anger and immediately recalled their ambassadors from each country, CNN reported.

Irish foreign minister Micheal Martin said the recognition of the Palestinian state will come into force in all three nations on May 28, with the prime ministers of the nations calling the move as an ‘important step’ towards “peace” in the region.

The Israeli embassy in Ireland, too, condemned the decision of Spain, Norway and Israel to recognise Palestinian statehood.

“We are disappointed by the Irish government’s decision on recognition, which follows worrying initiatives and statements in recent months,” Israel’s Embassy in Dublin said in a statement on Wednesday, according to a CNN report.

The Israeli embassy said the decision “brings more questions than answers”, alleging that recognising Palestinian statehood after the October 7 attacks conducted by Hamas “sends a message” that “terrorism pays.”

It warned that such a decision ‘jeopardises’ any possibility of Hamas releasing the hostages still being held in Gaza, CNN reported.

On Tuesday, the Israeli foreign ministry shared a video on its social media channels and warned Ireland that it risked becoming a “pawn” of Hamas and Iran if it went ahead with its plan to recognise the Palestinian state.

On Monday Biden said that what is happening in Gaza is not genocide and reiterated his support for Israel as he hosted a White House celebration for Jewish American Heritage month, The Hill reported.

Biden addressed dozens of guests gathered in the Rose Garden, where he rejected claims that Israel is carrying out genocide in Gaza, criticized an International Criminal Court request for a warrant against Israeli leaders for war crimes and pledged support for Israel in its war against Hamas.

“I know today’s reception falls on hard times. The trauma of October 7 and its aftermath … is still fresh and ongoing for many of you,” Biden said, referencing the Hamas attacks last year that killed more than 1,000 Israelis.

“Let me be clear, contrary to allegations against Israel made by the International Court of Justice, what’s happening is not genocide. We reject that,” he added. “And we’ll always stand with Israel in the threats against its security.”

Other Biden officials have in recent weeks similarly rejected the suggestion that Israel’s military campaign in Gaza, which has killed tens of thousands of Palestinians and left scores without access to adequate food, water and medicine, is genocide, The Hill reported.

Among the guests at Monday’s reception were Attorney General Merrick Garland, Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-Fla.), Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.). Biden also recognized the parents of Hersh Goldberg-Polin, an Israeli American who is being held hostage by Hamas.

Biden said his administration was working to negotiate the release of the remaining hostages who were taken October 7, “and we’re going to get them home.”

The Hill reported that the President has tried to walk a careful line with his approach to Israel in recent weeks, defending its right to respond to Hamas and repeatedly condemning antisemitism in the wake of the attack. But, at the same time, he is also calling for Israel to allow more aid into Gaza and urging the country to do more to protect civilians.

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