U.S. State Secretary Antony Blinken asked his department to review and present possible policy options to advance the recognition of a Palestinian state by the U.S. and international actors after the end of the current war in Gaza, Axios reported on Wednesday.
Soon after the report was published, State Department Spokesman Matt Miller denied that official U.S. policy had changed on the matter but noted that the issue has been considered by several administrations in the past.
“We have been quite clear publicly that we support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state… with security guarantees for Israel… That’s been the policy of the United States for some time. That has been the policy of this administration,” Miller said.
He added, “We look at any number of options. That’s part of the normal planning process. The vast majority of options never usually get implemented.”
The negotiations surrounding a diplomatic solution to the war between Israel and the terror organization Hamas have led the administration to begin rethinking old paradigms, a senior official told Axios.
Among possible options for the U.S. are the bilateral recognition of a Palestinian state, forgoing a veto in the UN Security Council to allow the admission of Palestine as a full UN member state, or allowing or even encouraging other nations to recognize Palestine.
As the war in Gaza drags on, Washington has increasingly pressured the Israeli government to present a viable post-Hamas vision for both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank while repeating its commitment to implementing a two-state solution.
NBC recently reported that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had turned down a U.S. proposal to link the coveted normalization agreement with Saudi Arabia with the establishment of a Palestinian state next to Israel.
In response, Netanyahu emphasized that “in any future arrangement,” Israel would have no choice but to continue maintaining overall “security control” of Judea and Samaria, internationally known as the West Bank.
The idea of linking the end of the war in Gaza with a roadmap to a Palestinian state seems to have picked up momentum recently, with UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron also mentioning it on Tuesday.
Once the remaining hostages are released by Hamas, such a recognition could represent “irreversible progress to a two-state solution and, crucially, the establishment of a Palestinian state,” he said.
Cameron’s comments came as he spoke to the Conservative Middle East Council at the House of Commons shortly before embarking on a trip to the region.
The former UK prime minister also called Israel’s policies toward Palestinians over the last 30 years “a failure” because Israel couldn’t provide security for its citizens.
His remarks were praised by the Palestinian Foreign Ministry, which said international support of a Palestinian state is “a necessary strategic step to resolve the conflict and achieve security and stability in the Middle East and the world.”
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.