Israel’s cabinet votes against “dictated peace with Palestinians”

As of: February 18, 2024 3:49 p.m

The government of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has made it clear: It continues to reject the “unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state”. Recently, pressure has increased on Israel to accept a two-state solution.

Israel’s government rejects a peace settlement with the Palestinians imposed by international parties. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet unanimously approved a declaration to this effect. They are opposed to a “dictated peace with Palestinians”; a peace settlement is only conceivable as the result of direct negotiations between both sides without preconditions. “Israel continues to reject the unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state,” the statement said. “Such recognition after the October 7 massacre would be a huge price to pay for the unprecedented terror and would prevent any future peace settlement.”

With the declaration, the cabinet followed Netanyahu’s instructions. He was responding to media reports that the United States and other allies could recognize a Palestinian state without Israeli consent. Before the vote, Netanyahu spoke of “talks recently heard in the international community about trying to unilaterally impose a Palestinian state on Israel.”

Netanyahu had previously announced that Israel would not allow itself to be forced into a two-state solution in the wake of the Gaza war. “Israel categorically rejects the international dictate regarding a permanent settlement with the Palestinians,” he wrote on Friday night on X. Israel will also defend itself against the unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state.

Netanyahu wants to expand offensive on Rafah

Despite urgent warnings from Western partners, Netanyahu wants to expand the military offensive to the border town of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. He emphasized that they would not bow to international pressure on the issue. “Anyone who wants to prevent us from operating in Rafah is ultimately telling us ‘Lose the war!’.” He won’t allow that. Before the start of an offensive, civilians in the combat areas will be given the opportunity to move to safe areas, said Netanyahu.

Israel is preparing a possible military offensive on the city that borders Egypt in order to take action against the Islamist Hamas there too. Hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people have sought protection in the town in the south of the Gaza Strip, which is why the plans have met with great international criticism.

Meanwhile, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtaje called on the Israeli government to allow the population crowded in the south of the coastal strip back to their residential areas. At the same time, he warned Netanyahu at the Munich Security Conference against attempting to drive people into Egypt. “Egypt will not allow anyone to cross the border,” said Shtaje.

The Israeli operation in the Gaza Strip was triggered by the massacre with more than 1,200 deaths that terrorists from Hamas and other extremist groups carried out in Israel on October 7th. Israel responded with an offensive in the coastal area that continues to this day. According to the Hamas-controlled health authority, almost 29,000 people have been killed so far. The information cannot be independently verified.

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