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Widening Mideast Crisis: Iran Accuses Israel of Killing Intelligence Operatives

Widening Mideast Crisis: Iran Accuses Israel of Killing Intelligence Operatives



President Biden pressed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel on Friday to comply with the creation of a Palestinian state after the struggle in Gaza is over and raised choices that will restrict Palestinian sovereignty to make the prospect extra palatable to Israel.

Hoping to beat Mr. Netanyahu’s strenuous resistance, Mr. Biden floated the potential of a disarmed Palestinian nation that will not threaten Israel’s safety. While there was no indication that Mr. Netanyahu would ease his opposition, which is well-liked together with his fragile right-wing political coalition, Mr. Biden expressed optimism that they might but discover consensus.

“There are a lot of sorts of two-state options,” the president advised reporters on the White House a number of hours after the decision, their first in practically a month amid rigidity over the struggle. “There’s a lot of international locations which might be members of the U.N. which might be nonetheless — don’t have their very own militaries. Number of states which have limitations.” He added, “And so I feel there’s methods through which this might work.”

Asked what Mr. Netanyahu was open to, Mr. Biden mentioned, “I’ll let you realize.” But he rejected the notion {that a} so-called two-state resolution is unimaginable so long as Mr. Netanyahu is in energy — “no, it’s not” — and he disregarded the thought of imposing circumstances on American safety help to Israel if the prime minister continues to withstand.

“I feel we’ll have the ability to work one thing out,” Mr. Biden mentioned.

The final time the 2 leaders had been recognized to have talked was on Dec. 23, in a name that was later described as especially tense. The newest name got here a day after Mr. Netanyahu advised reporters in Israel that he had rebuffed Mr. Biden’s efforts to stress him right into a two-state resolution. Mr. Netanyahu mentioned Israel should keep safety management “over all of the territory west of the Jordan,” referring to each Gaza and the West Bank, regardless of American views. “The prime minister wants to have the ability to say no, even to our greatest buddies,” Mr. Netanyahu advised reporters.

Mr. Biden has argued that the creation of a Palestinian state that ensures Israel’s safety is the one viable long-term decision to a battle that has dragged on for many years, repeating a place held by most American presidents and European leaders in latest historical past. In the meantime, Mr. Biden has prompt {that a} “revitalized” version of the Palestinian Authority, which partially governs the West Bank, take over Gaza as properly as soon as Hamas has been faraway from energy there — one other thought Mr. Netanyahu has rejected as a result of he considers the authority corrupt and compromised by assist for terrorists.

“The president nonetheless believes within the promise and the potential of a two-state resolution,” John F. Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council, advised reporters on the White House after the decision, which he mentioned lasted 30 to 40 minutes. “He acknowledges that’s going to take loads of work. It’s going to take loads of management — there within the area notably, on either side of the difficulty. And the United States stands firmly dedicated to finally seeing that end result.”

Mr. Kirby mentioned the 2 leaders additionally mentioned hostages held by Hamas, humanitarian help to Gaza, the discharge of tax funds to the Palestinian Authority within the occupied West Bank and the shift in Israel’s navy technique to extra surgical operations. But Mr. Kirby revealed no particular new agreements and confirmed that the leaders continued to disagree concerning the prospect of a Palestinian state.

Mr. Biden and Mr. Netanyahu have recognized one another for many years, and the connection between the left-leaning president and right-leaning prime minister has long been complicated. They squared off final 12 months over Mr. Netanyahu’s try and strip away among the energy of Israel’s judiciary and over Mr. Biden’s drive to barter a brand new nuclear settlement with Iran.

After the Oct. 7 terrorist assault by Hamas killed 1,200 in Israel, they put their variations apart to embrace one another both figuratively and literally. But as Israel’s struggle towards Hamas has devastated a lot of Gaza, reportedly killing greater than 24,000 combatants and civilians, they’ve grown more and more at odds once more.

The lengthy hole between calls in itself was a sign of friction. In the 2 and a half months between the Oct. 7 assault and their pre-Christmas dialog, Mr. Biden and Mr. Netanyahu spoke 14 instances, or roughly as soon as each 5 and a half days. This time it took 27 days to achieve out once more.

But Mr. Kirby sought to minimize the discord, characterizing their clashes as trustworthy disagreements between buddies. “We’re not going to agree on all the pieces,” he mentioned. “We’ve mentioned that. Good buddies and allies can have these sorts of candid, forthright discussions and we do.”

He rejected the notion that Mr. Biden was attempting to coerce Mr. Netanyahu into accepting a Palestinian state. “This isn’t about attempting to twist any person’s arm or pressure a change of their pondering,” he mentioned. “Prime Minister Netanyahu has made clear his issues about that. President Biden has made clear his sturdy conviction {that a} two-state resolution remains to be the best path forward. And we’re going to proceed to make that case.”

Mr. Kirby cautioned Mr. Netanyahu about his use of language, referring to the prime minister’s assertion that Israel should keep safety management over Gaza and the West Bank. Mr. Netanyahu, talking in Hebrew, referred to “all of the territory west of the Jordan” however some translated it incorrectly into English as “from the river to the sea,” wording that has drawn criticism.

The latter phrase, typically utilized by Palestinians and their supporters, is taken by many backers of Israel as an antisemitic assertion advocating the eradication of Israel, which lies between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, as do the Palestinian territories. The House censured Representative Rashida Tlaib, Democrat of Michigan, in November for utilizing that phrase.

Asked about Mr. Netanyahu’s remark, Mr. Kirby mentioned, “It’s not a phrase that we suggest utilizing due to that context.”

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