Biden admin considers recognition of Palestinian state

A senior US official explained that the Biden administration's diplomatic efforts between Israel and Saudi Arabia could make the recognition possible.

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has asked the State Department to devise policy options on the potential recognition of a Palestinian state following the war in Gaza, US officials told Axios.

The State Department is considering a variety of options that would create a pathway for the establishment of a Palestinian statehood. These options include bilaterally recognizing the state of Palestine, not using its veto to block the United Nations Security Council from admitting Palestine as a full UN member state, and encouraging other countries to recognize Palestine, according to the outlet.

Although US officials maintain that there has been no change in policy, the State Department's contemplation of such alternatives indicates a shift within the Biden administration regarding the potentially delicate matter of Palestinian statehood recognition, which has significant ramifications on both the global and domestic levels.

US policy has been to oppose bilateral and United Nations-based recognition of Palestine as a state for decades, emphasizing that direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are the only viable means to attain Palestinian statehood.

As per the statements made by the US officials, Blinken has now requested that the State Department examine several critical issues, including the possibility of recognizing a Palestinian state as a postwar strategy.

A senior US official explained that the Biden administration's diplomatic efforts between Israel and Saudi Arabia could make the recognition possible, according to the outlet.

The Biden administration is tying the establishment of a Palestinian state to the pathway to potential normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia. This initiative stems from the prior endeavors of the administration to conduct a peace accord between Israel and Saudi Arabia as part of a deal prior to the October 7 Palestinian Hamas terrorist attack on Israel.

Since October 7, Saudi authorities have asserted both in public and in private that the establishment of an "irrevocable" pathway toward a Palestinian state would be a must for any prospective normalization agreement with Israel.

According to a senior US official, some within the Biden administration are now considering that recognition of a Palestinian state might be the first rather than the last step in negotiations to end the Israeli-Palestinian issue, per Axios.

US officials stated that Blinken also requested an analysis of what a demilitarized Palestinian state might resemble in comparison to other models from around the globe.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu put forth the notion of a demilitarized Palestine on multiple occasions from 2009 to 2015, but has not mentioned it in recent times. Such an assessment, according to a US official, is intended to examine potential implementation strategies for a two-state solution that would ensure Israel's security.

However, the US official asserted that Secretary Blinken has not yet signed off on any policy changes. A spokesperson with the White House National Security Council told the outlet that it "has been longstanding US policy that any recognition of a Palestinian state must come through direct negotiations between the parties rather than through unilateral recognition at the UN. That policy has not changed."

This comes after British Foreign Minister David Cameron announced on Monday that the United Kingdom is considering recognition of a Palestinian statehood as part of its postwar strategy.
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