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Netanyahu rejects US proposal for normalization with Saudi Arabia over Palestinian state – NBC report

Biden administration and Netanyahu at odds over two-state solution

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads a government conference at Hakirya base in Tel Aviv on December 31, 2023. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90

According to a report from NBC, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected a U.S. proposal for normalization with Saudi Arabia that included concrete steps toward a two-state solution and the establishment of a Palestinian state. 

Netanyahu rejected the proposal, presented by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who reportedly told the prime minister that Hamas cannot be removed with military force alone.

The U.S. Biden administration upholds a two-state solution, consistently engaging in discussions with Netanyahu regarding the matter. Despite the administration's efforts, the Israeli prime minister has systematically opposed the implementation of a two-state solution throughout his three terms, spanning 16 years in office. His stance was notably evident in December when he boasted: "I take pride in my role in preventing the establishment of a Palestinian state."

Blinken warned that Israel’s failure to recognize the need to negotiate will result in repeated cycles of violence and respite that have characterized the period since Hamas took control of Gaza.

The American proposal was reportedly undertaken at the impetus of the Saudi government, which agreed to help in the reconstruction of Gaza following the war, and the establishment of a government that included a reformed Palestinian Authority as part of a normalization agreement with Israel. 

Blinken also shared U.S. concerns about the situation with Hezbollah terror forces on Israel’s northern border. He allegedly requested that Israel not escalate the current conflict with a full attack on Hezbollah in Lebanon, to which Netanyahu reportedly agreed.

During his visit to Israel, Blinken met separately with other Israeli politicians, including War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz. Some believe the visit may indicate Netanyahu's diminishing popularity, as Gantz has been favored by Israelis in recent polls.

The international community, led by the United States and the European Union, has begun to press the Israeli government for details about the “day after” the war ends in Gaza.

So far the coalition government has not released an official position and proposal, however, there have been several discussions, including talks with international representatives

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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