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Israeli government rejects unilateral recognition of Palestinian state

February 18, 2024 at 1:50 pm

Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu (3rd R) holds weekly cabinet meeting at the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) in Jerusalem, on January 08, 2023 [Israeli Government Press Office/Anadolu Agency]

The Israeli government on Sunday approved a declaration rejecting unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state, Anadolu news agency reported.

“Israel categorically rejects international diktats around a permanent settlement with the Palestinians,” reads the Cabinet decision cited by The Times of Israel.

“A settlement, if it is achieved, will come about only through direct negotiations between the sides, with no preconditions.”

Ahead of a cabinet meeting on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he will present a declaration rejecting international pressure “to impose a Palestinian state on Israel unilaterally.”

“Israel will continue to oppose a unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state,” the cabinet decision said, terming such a move as a “massive, unprecedented prize for terror.”

According to the Washington Post newspaper, the US and a number of Arab countries are finalising a long-term peace plan between Israel and Palestinians. The plan includes ”a firm timeline for the establishment of a Palestinian state, that could be announced as early as the next several weeks,” it said.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Saturday that Israel has a great opportunity to achieve peace with Palestinians, adding that the creation of a Palestinian state has become an urgent need.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming all of Jerusalem as its “eternal and undivided” capital in a move never recognised by the international community.

The Palestinians, for their part, hope to establish an independent state of their own in the Gaza Strip and West Bank with East Jerusalem as its capital.

READ: 2-state solution should move past talk into implementation, says Palestinian premier