“NThere is no way to return to the state we were in on October 6th”, said Biden, in statements to journalists, referring to the day before the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, considered terrorist by Washington and the European Union, attacked Israel and unleashed the recent war.
This message from the President of the United States was also directly transmitted by him to the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, during a phone call between the two last week.
“It also means that when this crisis is over, there must be a vision of what comes next and, in our opinion, it must be a two-state solution,” said Biden, considering that an agreement along these lines to resolve the Israeli- Palestinian should be a priority.
Regarding the two-state solution, Benjamin Netanyahu said it could be a “long and difficult” new stage.
The two-state solution — in which Israel coexists with an independent Palestinian state — has been attempted by U.S. presidents and Middle Eastern diplomats for decades. The issue has been put on the back burner since the last U.S.-led peace talks effort collapsed in 2014 due to disagreements over the release of Palestinian prisoners and other issues.
The creation of a Palestinian state is something Biden rarely addressed at the beginning of his presidency. During his visit to the West Bank in 2022, Biden said that “the ground is not ripe” for new attempts to achieve permanent peace, but reiterated to the Palestinians the United States’ long-standing support for statehood.
Now, at a time of heightened concern that the war between Israel and Hamas could escalate into a broader regional conflict, Biden has begun to emphasize that once the bombings and shootings cease, work toward a Palestinian state should no longer be ignored.
Until recently, Biden had placed much more emphasis on what his administration saw as the achievable ambition of normalizing relations between Israel and its Arab neighbors than on restarting peace talks.
The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, causing the death of more than 1,400 people, mainly civilians, according to authorities. More than 200 people were kidnapped and have remained in the hands of the Islamist group ever since.
After the attack, Israel responded with bombings and ground incursions into the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by Hamas.
Since the start of the war, more than 8,000 people have died in Gaza due to the bombings that Israel has carried out for three weeks, according to the Ministry of Health of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.
Read Also: Five Palestinians killed by the Israeli army in the West Bank
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