New Delhi, Jan 21: Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has once again rejected the idea of creating a Palestinian state, reinforcing his long-standing position.
This stance contradicts the belief held by the US, including President Joe Biden, who indicated that a two-state solution remains possible with Netanyahu in office.
Following a phone call between the two leaders, Biden emphasized the possibility of various types of two-state solutions, but Netanyahu, in a statement released by his office, reiterated his policy.
According to Netanyahu, Israel must retain security control over Gaza, even after dealing with Hamas, a condition that conflicts with the demand for Palestinian sovereignty.
Media reported that the UK Defence Secretary, Grant Shapps, expressed disappointment over Netanyahu's statement, echoing sentiments shared by some hoping for renewed diplomatic negotiations amid the Gaza crisis.
Netanyahu's increasing isolation on the international stage contrasts with domestic support for the ongoing conflict and protests over the fate of hostages held by Hamas.
Internally, Israel's leadership faces divisions, with former military chief Gadi Eisenkot calling for snap elections, accusing the government of lacking transparency about its offensive against Hamas.
Amidst this, an initiative from Arab states seeks to broker a ceasefire and hostage release, offering normalisation of relations with Israel in exchange for progress towards a Palestinian state.
Despite these efforts, Netanyahu rejected the proposed plan, reinforcing his opposition to a Palestinian state and asserting Israel's intent to retain security control.
Qatar and Egypt are separately mediating between Israel and Hamas, exploring options for a temporary ceasefire and a lasting agreement.
President Biden's recent focus on a two-state solution in the call with Netanyahu signals a shift from the previous administration's approach.
While some in the US express frustration over Israel's resistance, others hope for progress towards lasting peace. The ongoing internal divisions within Israel's leadership raise questions about the country's strategy, unity, and the potential for political change during an already volatile situation.