Biden Calls Netanyahu, Says Palestinian State Still Possible

U.S. President Joe Biden says it was still possible Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could agree to some form of Palestinian state, after the two leaders spoke for the first time in nearly a month amid tensions over the Gaza war.

Their call came a day after Netanyahu said he opposes allowing Palestinian sovereignty in the wake of the conflict with Hamas, deepening Israeli divisions with key backer Washington over the conduct of Israel’s offensive and what comes next.

But Biden said after the call that it was not impossible Netanyahu might come round to some form of so-called two-state solution, mooted for decades as a way to end tensions in the Middle East, despite the Israeli premier’s comments.

“There are a number of types of two-state solutions. There’s a number of countries that are members of the UN that… don’t have their own militaries,” Biden told reporters after an event at the White House.

“And so, I think there’s ways in which this could work.”

Asked what Netanyahu was open to, Biden replied: “I’ll let you know.”

Biden and Netanyahu, who have a complicated relationship stretching back some 40 years, last spoke on December 23 and the silence between them since has led to repeated questions about a rift.

Netanyahu has pledged to destroy Hamas and demilitarize Gaza following the October 7 attacks on Israel, and is increasingly resistant to US pressure for a plan that includes any form of Palestinian statehood that could threaten his country.

The Israeli premier said that his country “must have security control over all the territory west of the Jordan (River)” and that he had made this clear to Israel’s “American friends”.


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