Israel-US clash over the future of Gaza, thousands take to the streets in Tel Aviv against the government

Netanyahu denies Biden and says no to two states. UN: “Unacceptable”

There is an open conflict between Israel and the United States over the future of the Gaza Strip after Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu denied in an official statement what US President Joe Biden said about the possibility, accepted by Israel, of the birth of a Palestinian state.

Netanyahu: “Palestinian state incompatible with our security”

“In his conversation last night with President Biden – stated the statement sent yesterday despite the Saturday rest – Prime Minister Netanyahu repeated his consistent position for years, also expressed in a press conference the previous day: after the elimination of Hamas, Israel must maintain full security control of the Gaza Strip to ensure that Gaza no longer poses a threat to Israel, and this conflicts with the Palestinian demand for sovereignty“, states the statement. Asked by journalists in the US whether a two-state agreement is impossible as long as Netanyahu is prime minister, Biden replied that “it is not so”. “There are many types of two-state solutions. There are UN member countries that do not have military forces. Others who have limitations,” he explained.

Lapid: “No to public quarrels with the USA”

Criticism of the prime minister for his choice to make the clash with the US public came from opposition leader Yair Lapid. Relations with Washington “are too important to turn into public arguments for the sole purpose of political gain,” the Israeli opposition leader wrote on X. “I have had many clashes, some difficult, with the Americans. I have never handled them in a press conference in front of the cameras,” added Lapid, who has been prime minister and foreign minister. Netanyahu, he underlined, acted “irresponsibly”, especially since we are “in a time of war, with the United States at our side”.

Guterres: “Palestinians’ right to a state must be recognized”

Instead, UN Secretary General António Guterres enters into the merits of the Israeli line, harshly criticizing Netanyahu’s position: “The rejection of the two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians and the denial of the right to a state for the Palestinian people is unacceptable. After the abominable Hamas attacks on 7 October, the total destruction of Gaza and the number of civilian casualties caused by the Israeli army in such a short period of time is unprecedented,” he said in a speech in Kampala, Uganda. Guterres then recalled that among the victims there are 152 UN employees “a heartbreaking tragedy for our organization, their families and anyone who is working in Gaza” where humanitarian workers “are doing everything possible to get the aid in”, but they find themselves forced “to face constant bombing and daily dangers for them and their families”.

“People are not dying only from bombs and bullets – he continued describing the situation in Gaza – but also from the lack of food, drinking water, hospitals without electricity and medicines”. This conflict “must end”, added Guterres, reiterating that he will not stop calling for “an immediate and humanitarian ceasefire and the unconditional release of all hostages. And we must do everything possible – he insisted – to prevent this conflict from involving other countries in the region or the West Bank “. According to the UN secretary general, rejection of the two-state solution “would prolong a conflict that has become an enormous threat to global peace and security, exacerbating polarization and strengthening extremism everywhere. The right of the Palestinian people to build their own state must be recognized by all“, he concluded.

Street protests against the government

Meanwhile, thousands took to the streets in Israel last night to protest against the government. In Tel Aviv and Caesarea, under Netanyahu’s residence, marches blocked the streets demanding that the hostages held by Hamas since October 7 be brought home.

While in Jerusalem hundreds of people gathered outside the president’s residence for a protest calling for new elections to replace Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The protesters, ‘The Times of Israel’ reports, hold placards and banners, including one that reads: “The cry of the mothers: we will not sacrifice our children in the war to save the right“.

The first to speak out at the protest was Sigalit Tchernihovsky, whose son, Or Tchernihovsky, was killed during the rave on October 7. “I ask for wiser agreements, united thinking,” says Tchernihovsky. “We want a different kind of leadership,” he asks. “There are people who say it’s not right to come and protest tonight, during a war,” explains Avner Vilan, a former Defense Ministry official and now the CEO of a startup. “The problem is that no one will say when the war will end. The government is running the war as if it were a TikTok story. How can the Israel Defense Forces win if they have no idea what the post-war plan is?” “Our request is simple,” says Vilan. “Set a date for the elections now“.