Knesset votes 99-11 to reject unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state

Netanyahu: ‘My position (against a unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state) was and remains clear, and it has only become stronger after the terrible massacre of October 7.’

By JNS

The Knesset plenum on Wednesday voted 99-11 to back the government’s decision to reject any unilateral recognition of Palestinian statehood, amid reports the Biden administration is considering such a move.

All coalition lawmakers and most members of the opposition Yesh Atid, National Unity and Yisrael Beiteinu parties voted in favor of supporting Sunday’s Cabinet statement against “international diktats regarding a permanent settlement with the Palestinians.”

The Labor Party boycotted the vote and its members were not in attendance. The Arab parties voted against the measure.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated the opposition for voting with his coalition on the proposal.

“I congratulate the MKs, including from the opposition, who voted with a huge majority in favor of my proposal that Israel oppose unilaterally dictating to us a Palestinian state,” he said.

Opposition leader and Yesh Atid Party head Yair Lapid took a combative tone after the vote, criticizing Netanyahu for pushing for the vote in the Knesset.

“My party and I are against unilateral measures and therefore we voted for it, but you invented a threat that doesn’t exist. There is not a single party that offers recognition of the Palestinians, you invented a spin so that they don’t talk about the fact that you are guilty regarding the conscription law and the budget.”

The text of the statement approved at Sunday’s Cabinet meeting and affirmed by the Knesset plenum on Wednesday:

1. Israel utterly rejects international diktats regarding a permanent settlement with the Palestinians. A settlement, if it is to be reached, will come about solely through direct negotiations between the parties, without preconditions.

2. Israel will continue to oppose unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state. Such recognition in the wake of the October 7th massacre would be a massive and unprecedented reward to terrorism and would prevent any future peace settlement.

On Monday, Netanyahu came out forcefully against the prospect of any unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state.

“In the last few days we are witnessing a new type of pressure: An attempt to unilaterally impose upon us the establishment of a Palestinian state that would endanger the existence of Israel,” continued the premier.

“We reject it outright,” he said.

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“My position was and remains clear, and only got stronger after the terrible massacre of October 7,” added Netanyahu.

“In any situation, with or without a permanent settlement [with the Palestinians], Israel will maintain full security control over the entire area west of Jordan. This of course includes Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip,” he said.

Last week, The Washington Post reported that the Biden administration was preparing to make a major push for Palestinian statehood.

According to the report, the U.S. and its Arab partners are “rushing” to finalize a plan to establish a Palestinian state, which could be announced in the next few weeks if a deal to release the remaining 134 hostages held by Hamas terrorists in Gaza in exchange for a six-week pause in the war takes effect before the start of Ramadan next month.