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US: Palestinian state should arise through direct negotiations

On Tuesday, the Palestinian Authority submitted a request for the United Nations Security Council to accept "Palestine" as a full member.

Matthew Miller, the U.S. State Department spokesman, moderates a press conference at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China, on June 19, 2023, as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken looks on. Credit: Chuck Kennedy/U.S. State Department.
Matthew Miller, the U.S. State Department spokesman, moderates a press conference at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China, on June 19, 2023, as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken looks on. Credit: Chuck Kennedy/U.S. State Department.

The Biden administration supports the creation of a Palestinian state via direct negotiations between Ramallah and Jerusalem and not unilateral moves at the United Nations, State Department Spokesman Matt Miller said on Wednesday.

“I am not going to speculate about what may happen down the road. But we have always made clear that…while we support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, and you’ve seen [Secretary of State Antony Blinken] engage in very intensive diplomacy over the past few months to try to establish a Palestinian state with security guarantees for Israel, that is something that should be done through direct negotiations through the parties—something we are pursuing at this time—and not at the United Nations,” said Miller during the daily press briefing.

On Tuesday, the Palestinian Authority submitted a request for the United Nations Security Council to vote this month on accepting the entity as a full member.

In a letter to U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, P.A. U.N. envoy Riyad Mansour asked that an application submitted in 2011 be reconsidered. A supporting letter was sent to Maltese diplomat Vanessa Frazier, who is currently serving as president of the 15-member council. That letter included the names of 140 countries that have recognized a Palestinian state.

Mansour said on Monday that he hoped the UNSC would make a decision at an April 18 meeting on the Middle East, and claimed Ramallah’s 2011 membership application was still pending because the council never issued a formal decision on the matter.

The P.A. currently holds U.N. observer status.

For the P.A. to gain full U.N. member status, at least nine of the 15 council members must approve the application, and then two-thirds of the U.N. General Assembly would have to support it in a vote.

The United States is expected to wield its veto power to nix the move.

However, recent reports suggested U.S. President Joe Biden is considering bucking decades of American foreign policy by considering a plan to unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state.

On Feb. 21, the Israeli Knesset voted 99-11 to back the government’s decision to reject any unilateral recognition of “Palestine.” All coalition lawmakers and most members of the Zionist opposition parties voted in favor of supporting a Cabinet statement rejecting “international diktats regarding a permanent settlement with the Palestinians.”

There is also widespread opposition among the Israeli public to the creation of a Palestinian state.

According to the most recent “Peace Index” survey released by Tel Aviv University, when asked whether they support the creation of a “Palestinian” state alongside Israel, 66% of Jewish respondents said they opposed such a move, while 27% expressed support for the creation of a “Palestine.”

Palestinian polls suggest that 89% of Palestinians support establishing a government that includes or is led by Hamas, which seeks to destroy Israel in its entirety and replace it with a Palestinian-Islamic state.

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