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Israeli opposition leader urges Netanyahu to recognize Palestinian state 'under conditions’

On Wednesday, Yair Lapid, the leader of the centrist Yesh Atid party, called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to consider accepting Palestine as a state with specified conditions and protections. This statement came following similar announcements from Norway, Ireland, and Spain, declaring their recognition of Palestine as a state starting May 28.

Anadolu Agency WORLD
Published May 22,2024

Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept Palestine as a state under certain conditions and guarantees.

Lapid, a centrist Yesh Atid party leader, made his comments after Norway, Ireland, and Spain announced early Wednesday that they would recognize Palestine as a state effective on May 28.

Lapid, however, blamed National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir for preventing Netanyahu from adopting such a position, the local Yedioth Ahronoth daily reported.

"Netanyahu should declare that under certain conditions and specific guarantees, he is willing to accept a future Palestinian state that joins in fighting terrorism," he said. However, he did not go into detail during a press conference about these conditions and guarantees, or the nature of the cooperation from the proposed Palestinian state.

Criticizing extremist Ben-Gvir, the opposition leader said he "does not allow" Netanyahu to announce his readiness to recognize Palestinian as a state, describing the current situation as "the madness we are living in."

"This will not happen with this government. We need to send (Netanyahu government) it home and form an effective one," Lapid asserted.

Since 2022, Israel has been governed by a far-right coalition led by Netanyahu, which strongly opposes the idea of establishing a Palestinian state.

However, the announcement of three European countries followed EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell's statement on X, in which he vowed that he will "relentlessly work" to promote a common EU position on a two-state solution, and there is increasing pressure on Israel to accept Palestinian rights and end the ongoing assault on the Gaza Strip.

The announcements by the three European countries come as Israel continued its brutal offensive on the Gaza Strip since Oct. 7, 2023, despite a UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire in the besieged enclave.

Palestine is already recognized by eight European countries: Bulgaria, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, Sweden, and the Greek Cypriot administration.

Over 35,700 Palestinians have been killed, mostly women and children, and nearly 80,000 others injured since last October following an attack by the Palestinian group Hamas.

More than seven months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which has ordered it to ensure that its forces do not commit acts of genocide and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.