Contact Us

Netanyahu reiterates rejection of Palestinian state in meeting with U.S. Republican lawmakers

Anadolu Agency MIDDLE EAST
Published April 04,2024
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (File Photo)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu renewed his absolute rejection Thursday of a Palestinian state when he met a U.S. delegation of Republican lawmakers, according to a statement from his office.

The delegation is visiting Israel on behalf of the pro-Israel lobby group, American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

"There is an attempt to shove a Palestinian state down our throats," Netanyahu told the delegation.

He claimed a Palestinian state "will serve as another refuge for terrorism, another launch pad for an attack, as was the Hamas 'state' in Gaza."

"The vast majority of Israelis oppose such a thing," he added.

Netanyahu also reviewed developments in the ongoing Israeli onslaught against Gaza, with the delegation, and his efforts to release Israeli hostages that are being held in the enclave.

The Israeli premier spoke with U.S. President Joe Biden on the telephone earlier Thursday during which Biden threw his weight behind an immediate cease-fire to halt the violence in the coastal enclave "to stabilize and improve the humanitarian situation and protect innocent civilians."

The American president implored Netanyahu "to empower his negotiators to conclude a deal without delay to bring the hostages home."

Hamas said Thursday that there is still no progress in indirect talks with Israel on a cease-fire deal because Tel Aviv is "intransigent," and has rejected every proposal that has been put forward.

The talks, which are being mediated by Egypt and Qatar with U.S. support, are seeking to broker a truce in exchange for the release of hostages that remain in Hamas captivity following an Oct. 7 cross-border attack by the Palestinian resistance group.

Israel has waged a deadly military offensive across Gaza in retaliation for the Hamas attack, which killed less than 1,200 people and led to roughly 250 hostages being taken back to Gaza as captives. Roughly 130 are still being held.

More than 33,000 Palestinians have since been killed and 75,577 injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities. Israel has also imposed a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip, leaving its population, particularly residents of northern Gaza, on the verge of starvation.

The Israeli war has pushed 85% of Gaza's population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which last week asked it to do more to prevent famine in Gaza.