Inner communal fighting in Jerusalem has to end, says US president.
A two-state solution is the only answer to a conflict between Israel and Palestine, US President Joe Biden said Friday, rejecting any shift in his commitment to Israel’s security.
In response to a question that asked if he recognizes a shift in the Democratic Party toward Israel, Biden said there was no change.
“There is no shift in my commitment to the security of Israel. Period. No shift, not at all. But I’ll tell you what there is a shift in. The shift is that we still need a two-state solution. It is the only answer. The only answer,” Biden said at a news conference with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
His remarks came after a group of progressive lawmakers and others in the Democratic Party called for a halt to military sales to Israel because of its bombardment of Gaza Strip, Palestine.
Biden said he spoke to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and told him his plans for Palestine that includes providing security in the West Bank.
“And recently we renewed the security commitment, as well as an economic commitment to the people on the West Bank,” said Biden. “I also indicated to the Israelis that I thought it was very important that they stop in Jerusalem this inner communal fighting, it has to end.”
The president also said he would put together a major package with other nations to rebuild Gaza, partly destroyed by Israeli bombardment that stopped with a cease-fire.
“I’m committed to get that done,” he added.
The cease-fire, brokered by Egypt, went into effect at 2 a.m. local time on Friday (2300 GMT Thursday). It came after 11 days of Israeli airstrikes on the blockaded Gaza Strip.
Earlier in the day, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the Biden administration had “strong assurances” the cease-fire brokered to halt Israel’s offensive on the Gaza Strip, and rocket fire from the enclave, would hold.
Psaki did not specify who the guarantees came from other than to note they were given by “relevant parties,” but said Biden had been engaged diplomatically with the Israeli and Egyptian governments to secure the truce before it went into effect early Friday.
A total of 248 Palestinians, including 39 women and 66 children, have been killed by Israeli attacks on Gaza since May 10.
In Israel, 12 people were killed by rocket fire from Gaza.