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Thursday, 23 May 2024 10:44

The US Remains Opposed to Unilateral Recognition of Palestine

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Two protesters put up flags while carrying out a solidarity action for the Palestinian people in front of the United States Embassy, ​​Jakarta, Friday (10/5/2024). ANTARA FOTO/Indrianto Eko Suwarso/Spt

VOInews, Jakarta: The White House on Wednesday (22/5) reiterated its rejection of unilateral recognition of the Palestinian state after three European countries, namely Ireland, Norway and Spain, recognized the Palestinian state.

Responding to the actions of the three European countries, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated that any Palestinian state must be formed through direct negotiations with Israel.

"What I can tell you is we believe the only way you're going to achieve a two-state solution that benefits both Israel and the Palestinians is through direct negotiations between the two sides," he told reporters at the White House.

The three European countries said Wednesday that they would officially recognize a Palestinian state on May 28, a move that was a major blow to Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has long opposed a Palestinian state, and most recently rejected it on Wednesday when he said recognition by Ireland, Norway and Spain "is a gift to terrorism and will not bring peace."

He charged that a Palestinian state would become a "terrorist state," and insisted that his government "will not agree to this" and "will not stop him from defeating Hamas."

Bezalel Smotrich, Israel's finance minister, separately threatened to take "harsh punitive measures" against the Palestinian Authority (PA) in retaliation for recognizing a Palestinian state, including cutting the government's tax revenues.

"At the last cabinet meeting, many ministers, including me, firmly put forward demands for harsh punitive measures against the Palestinian Authority for its unilateral actions against Israel, including its efforts to obtain unilateral recognition and its support for the legal case against Israel in The Hague," Smotrich said .

Tax revenues - known in Palestine and Israel as "maqasa" - are collected by the Israeli government on behalf of the Palestinian Authority on Palestinian imports and exports, and Israel in return gets a 3 percent commission.

His income is estimated at around 188 million US dollars (around Rp. 3 trillion) every month and is the main source of income for the Palestinian Authority.

"What the United States can do through tough diplomacy and 'informal' diplomacy, led by the president's secretary of state, myself and others is realizing the vision of an integrated region, a secure Israel, and a two-state solution," Sullivan said.

He said this when asked about Israel's longstanding refusal to get involved in any process that would lead to the creation of an independent Palestinian state.

“Israel is a sovereign country, ultimately they have to decide what they are going to do. "What we can do as friends is try to make efforts to make this happen," he added.

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