Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday giving Palestinians a state is the only way to reach peace in the region as he lauds ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
‘President Biden’s been very clear that he remains committed to a two-state solution,’ Blinken told ABC ‘This Week’ host George Stephanopoulos.
‘Look, ultimately it is the only way to ensure Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state, and, of course, the only way to give Palestinians the state to which they’re entitled,’ he added. ‘That’s where we have to go.
President Biden underscored Friday that the ‘only answer’ to reaching peace in Israel is to establish two states as he faces pressure from Democrats to do more to protect Palestinians.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday that a two-state solution is the only way to ensure the future of Israel
‘There is no shift in my commitment, commitment to the security of Israel,’ he said during a press conference to mark the visit of South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
‘It is the only answer,’ Biden said of the two-state solution.
Blinken painted the compromise, however, as a long-term solution.
‘That, I don’t think, is something necessarily for today,’ he said of establishing a state for the Palestinians. ‘We have to start putting in place the conditions that will allow both sides to engage in a meaningful and positive way toward two states.’
This week, Israel and Hamas reached a ceasefire after several nations publicly called for it – including the U.S.
‘It was critical to get to the cease-fire,’ Blinken said. ‘And President Biden’s focus on relentless, determined, but quiet diplomacy is what got us to where we needed to be, which was to get the violence ended as quickly as possible, to stop more human suffering, and to at least put ourselves in a position to make a turn, to make a pivot to building something more positive.’
Both Hamas and Israel and lauding the cease-fire as a victory for their respective sides of the conflict.
The rocket-fire between Israel and the Gaza Strip led to more than 250 deaths and thousands more wounded.
Now, the region and American officials are concerned with recovering from the destruction and working toward a more permanent solution.
Israel and Hamas reached a cease-fire this week. Above, a Palestinian man looks at the damage from a building destroyed by an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City on May 18, 2021
An Israeli soldier sits on top of a tank at a staging ground near the border with Gaza Strip, southern Israel on Friday, May 21, 2021. Both Israel and Hamas are claiming the ceasefire as a win for their respective sides
‘That has to start now with dealing with the grave humanitarian situation in Gaza, then reconstruction, rebuilding what’s been lost, and, critically, engaging both sides in trying to start to make real improvements in the lives of people, so that Israelis and Palestinians can live with equal measures of security, of peace and of dignity,’ Biden’s secretary of state told ABC on Sunday morning.
Biden is facing a sticky situation as he attempts to strike a balance between America’s historically pro-Israel stance, but also appeal to the progressive base who want more solutions for Palestinians.
The president announced Friday that plans to help Palestinians in Gaza rebuild their lives so long as Hamas militants, who rained rockets on Israel, were not able to rebuild their armaments.
‘I am prepared to put together, and am going to attempt to put together, a major package with other nations who share our view to rebuild the homes and – without providing Hamas the ability to rebuild their weapons systems – rebuild Gaza,’ he said.
‘They need help and I’m committed to get that done.’