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Business News/ News / World/  Israel rejects international recognition of Palestinian state, cites, ‘would offer enormous reward to terrorism’
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Israel rejects international recognition of Palestinian state, cites, ‘would offer enormous reward to terrorism’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejects plan for international recognition of a Palestinian state, citing reward to terrorism.

FILE - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a press conference with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz in the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023.(Abir Sultan/Pool Photo via AP, File) (AP)Premium
FILE - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a press conference with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz in the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023.(Abir Sultan/Pool Photo via AP, File) (AP)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated his rejection of a plan for international recognition of a Palestinian state, stating that such a move would be a significant reward for terrorism.

AFP reported that Netanyahu's comments follow a similar rejection by influential far-right ministers Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, who responded to reports of the plan in The Washington Post.

The newspaper article, citing various US and Arab diplomats, detailed ongoing efforts by the United States, Israel's primary ally, along with several Arab nations, to devise a comprehensive peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians. Among the plan's components was a defined timeline for the establishment of a Palestinian state, as per the newspaper report.

Also Read: Al Jazeera journalists targeted and injured in Israeli airstrike, network condemns

“Israel will continue to oppose unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state," Netanyahu said in a post in Hebrew on social media platform X.

“Such recognition, in the wake of the October 7 massacre, would offer an enormous reward to unprecedented terrorism and would prevent any future peace agreement," he said.

"Israel categorically rejects international diktats concerning a permanent settlement with the Palestinians," he added, saying that a peace agreement could only result from “direct negotiations without preconditions", AFP reported.

The Washington Post reported that the plan would begin with a ceasefire “expected to last at least six weeks", with officials hoping that an agreement could be reached before the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on March 10.

Also Read: Gaza war to stop? Hamas gives ‘positive’ reply to truce deal; Israel says ‘studying it intensely’

The agreement would include a pause in the fighting, the release of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza since the October 7 attack, and a timetable for the eventual establishment of a Palestinian state.

"We will never agree to such a plan, which in reality says that the Palestinians deserve a reward for the terrible massacre they have committed," Smotrich wrote on X, describing a Palestinian state as “an existential threat to the State of Israel".

Meanwhile, Reuters reported that US President Joe Biden reiterated to Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that proceeding with military action in Rafah without a credible plan to protect Palestinian civilians is not advisable, as per the White House statement.

Also Read: Israel-Hamas War Highlights: ‘No winners in war where thousands of children are killed,’ says UN committee

This marks the second time within a week that Biden has cautioned Netanyahu against entering the southern part of the Gaza Strip without ensuring the safety of approximately 1 million people taking shelter there.

Additionally, they discussed ongoing hostage negotiations, with Biden committing to continue efforts to secure the release of hostages who have been in Hamas captivity for 132 days, according to the White House's account of the call.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 16 Feb 2024, 07:50 AM IST
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