Netanyahu denies telling Biden he might agree to Palestinian state

‘After Hamas is destroyed Israel must retain security control over Gaza to ensure that Gaza will no longer pose a threat to Israel.’

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

In a rare statement Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denied that he told US President Joe Biden that he might consider some form of Palestinian State, as was reported by CNN.

The Prime Minister’s statement reiterated his often repeated position that Israel must have security controls in Gaza following the war, a policy that would preclude the possibility of an autonomous Palestinian state.

The statement said, “In his conversation with President Biden, Prime Minister Netanyahu reiterated his policy that after Hamas is destroyed Israel must retain security control over Gaza to ensure that Gaza will no longer pose a threat to Israel, a requirement that contradicts the demand for Palestinian sovereignty.”

On Thursday, CNN reported that Netanyahu’s rejection of a Palestinian state “added tensions” to Israel’s relationship with the United States.

The news outlet quoted the Prime Minister’s remarks at a Tel Aviv press conference during which Netanyahu said, “In any future arrangement … Israel needs security control all territory west of Jordan.”

He added, “This clashes with the idea of (Palestinian) sovereignty.”

Responding to a journalist’s statement that this creates tension with the Biden Administration, which has encouraged the two-state solution at the conclusion of the war, Netanyahu said, “What can you do?”

Netanyahu added, “This conflict is not about the absence of a (Palestinian) state but about the existence of a state, the Jewish state.”

However, CNN published a story on Friday recounting a phone conversation between Netanyahu and Biden that was relayed by a source who was said to be close to the situation.

During the conversation, Netanyahu supposedly said that his comments the day before “were not meant to foreclose that outcome (a Palestinian state) in any form.”

After the phone call with Netanyahu, Biden told reporters at the White House, “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.”

Despite Biden’s discussion of a Palestinian state with reporters after getting off the phone with Netanyahu on Friday, the Prime Minister’s statement on Saturday reaffirmed his position that Israel should retain security controls in Gaza for the foreseeable future, and he denies conceding to the White House on this issue.