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State Department weighs options for recognizing Palestinian state after Gaza war: report

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has ordered a review of the prospects of US and worldwide recognition of a Palestinian state following the conclusion of Israel’s war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The review, reported Wednesday by Axios, is meant to present a series of options for the Biden administration — including allowing the United Nations to admit “Palestine” as a full member state and encouraging other countries to recognize a Palestinian state.

Separately, Blinken has reportedly asked for a review of models for a possible demilitarized Palestinian state based on other countries around the world — such as Grenada following the US invasion in 1983

The analyses mark a rethink of US policy as official Washington grapples with the fallout of the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attack against Israel, which killed an estimated 1,200 people and led to the capture of around 200 hostages — more than half of whom remain held in Gaza.

The State Department reviews also appear to be a response to Saudi Arabian officials, who Axios reported have publicly and privately insisted on an “irrevocable” pathway to Palestinian statehood as a condition for potential normalization of relations with Israel.

Blinken has ordered a review of the prospects of US and worldwide recognition of a Palestinian state following the conclusion of Israel’s war against Hamas. REUTERS

US policy has long been to oppose recognition of a Palestinian state unless and until it is achieved through direct negotiations between the Jewish state and the Palestinian Authority, which controls the West Bank, but lost power in Gaza in 2007.

However, Axios reported that some Biden administration officials are considering making recognition of a Palestinian state the first step in negotiations rather than the final achievement.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz on Jan. 9. POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Top Israeli officials, such as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have soured on the prospect of a Palestinian state since the Oct. 7 attack.

“[Israel] must have security control over the entire territory west of the Jordan River,” Netanyahu said during a news conference Jan. 18, warning that a Palestinian state would serve as a launching ground for future attacks.

“I tell to our American friends, and I put the brakes on the attempt to coerce us to a reality that would endanger the state of Israel,” he added.

Almost 30,000 people are estimated to have been killed on both sides of the conflict. AFP via Getty Images
Almost 30,000 people are estimated to have been killed on both sides of the conflict. YAHYA ARHAB/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

In other statements, Netanyahu has publicly laid out his “three pillars” for peace in the region: the destruction of Hamas, the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip, and the deradicalization of Palestinian society — similar to Germany and Japan after World War II

Critics were appalled by the implications of the review.

“The notion of rewarding corruption and systemic failure, not to mention terrorism finance, strikes me as insane,” Jonathan Schanzer, vice president of research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, wrote on X.

National Review senior writer Noah Rothman called the State Department “utterly detached from regional reality” and wrote that the concept of a state called “Palestine” is “a fiction.”

“It’s especially telling that the State Department is evincing so much frustration with the uncooperative world,” said Rothman, “that it appears inclined to simply impose statehood on the Palestinian territories in the absence of any reliable Palestinian negotiating partner.”

The State Department declined to comment Wednesday evening.

Written by SaleemBaloch

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