WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, discussing a future Palestinian state that would need to be negotiated.
Biden’s call with Netanyahu was the first in nearly a month, NSC spokesperson John Kirby said Friday. The main focus of the call was Israel’s ongoing war with Gaza.
The call came after Netanyahu said in a press conference Thursday that he told U.S. officials he objects to any Palestinian statehood that did not guarantee Israel’s security.
“In any future arrangement … Israel needs security control all territory west of Jordan. This clashes with the idea of (Palestinian) sovereignty. What can you do?” he said.
Democrats were horrified at the comments. Lawmakers, including Democrats, have been supportive of Israel throughout its war against the Hamas, which killed over 1,200 people.
“He is effectively ruling out a sustainable, peaceful outcome in the long-term,” Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) said. “The only viable path to lasting peace is establishing a Palestinian nation-state alongside Israel.”
Kirby told reporters Friday that the call from Biden did not in response to Netanyahu’s comment.
“The president still believes in the promise and the possibility of a two-state solution. He recognizes that it’s going to take a lot of hard work. It’s going to take a lot of leadership there in the region, particularly, on both sides of the issue and the United States stands firmly committed to eventually seeing that outcome,” Kirby said.
Biden on Friday said he believed a two-state solution between the Israelis and Palestinians could still happen even with Netanyahu in power.
“No it’s not,” he said in response to a question if he thought the an outcome was impossible with the current Israeli government in power.
The Biden administration has forcefully pushed for a two-state solution in the region, but Netanyahu’s recent remarks cast serious doubt.
A person familiar with the conversation on Friday told Fwrd Axis News that Netanyahu told Biden in the call the comments he made Thursday were not meant to cast doubt on any outcome.
“There’s a number of countries that are members of the UN that … don’t have their own military; a number of states that have limitations, and so I think there’s ways in which this can work,” Biden said Friday.
“I think we’ll be able to work something out … I think there’s ways in which this could work,” he added.