February 1, 2024

Biden Admin Reportedly Considering Recognition of Palestinian State

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has reportedly directed the State Department to explore the possibility of unilaterally recognizing a Palestinian state at the conclusion of the conflict between Hamas and Israel.

This marks a significant departure from longstanding U.S. policy, which has traditionally opposed recognizing Palestine as a state, emphasizing that statehood should be achieved through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The consideration of such options signals a shift in the Biden administration's stance on Palestinian statehood, a sensitive issue both internationally and domestically.

While U.S. officials maintain that there has been no official policy change, the leaked information suggests a change in thinking within the administration.

"While U.S. officials say there has been no policy change, the fact the State Department is even considering such options signals a shift in thinking within the Biden administration on possible Palestinian statehood recognition, which is highly sensitive both internationally and domestically," Axios reported.

"For decades, U.S. policy has been to oppose the recognition of Palestine as a state both bilaterally and in UN institutions and to stress Palestinian statehood should only be achieved through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority," it added.

Secretary Blinken, who is preparing for his fifth visit to Israel since the start of the conflict triggered by the Hamas attack on October 7, has expressed sympathy for the Israeli people while also attempting to limit Israel's military response.

He has become increasingly insistent on pushing for the acceptance of a Palestinian state, a development that could be viewed as a major victory for Hamas.

Blinken has attributed Israeli intransigence to the Palestinian state issue and has positioned the U.S. administration as actively pursuing the idea even before the October 7 incident.

This purportedly included blocking a Saudi-Israeli peace deal unless it incorporated provisions for a Palestinian state, irrespective of the Palestinians' readiness for such a state.

In contrast, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu staunchly opposes a Palestinian state as the resolution of the ongoing conflict.

Despite this, Netanyahu has gained support in some polls as Israelis rally behind a leader perceived as the only one capable of standing up to U.S. pressure.

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