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Ceasefire in Gaza… Egypt doubts Israel’s intention to close an agreement

Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu said the recognition of the State of Palestine by Spain, Ireland and Norway on Wednesday was a “reward for terrorism.”

“The intention of several European countries to recognize a Palestinian state is a reward for terrorism,” he said in a statement, adding that a sovereign state of Palestine would be a “terrorist state” that would “repeatedly attempt to carry out the October massacre.” 7th”.

Additionally, the White House said Wednesday that it opposed “unilateral recognition” of a Palestinian state.

President Joe Biden “has gone on record to support a two-state solution,” his national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, told reporters.

“He has been equally emphatic that the two-state solution should be achieved through direct negotiations between the parties, not through unilateral recognition,” he said, AFP reported.

He stopped short of criticizing the decision to formally recognize the State of Palestine by the three European countries, all of them close allies of the United States.

“Each country has the right to make its own decisions, but the United States’ position on this is clear,” Sullivan said.

For his part, far-right Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich told Netanyahu he wants to take retaliatory measures, including breaking up an agreement under which Norway handles funds destined for the Palestinian Authority.

Under peace deals negotiated in part by Norway in the 1990s, Israel raises money for the Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited autonomy in parts of the West Bank.

But Israel has blocked the transfers since the Oct. 7 attack.

Sullivan said funds should continue to go to the Palestinian Authority, which the Biden administration wants to strengthen in hopes it can take over control of Gaza from Hamas.

“I think it’s wrong from a strategic point of view, because withholding funds destabilizes the West Bank,” Sullivan said of Israeli moves to stop the funds.

“It undermines the Palestinian people’s quest for security and prosperity, which is in Israel’s interest, and I think it is wrong to withhold funds that provide basic goods and services to innocent people,” he said.

Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken have been pressing Israel to move forward on a timetable for a Palestinian state, in part by raising the prospect of Saudi Arabia normalizing relations with Israel.

But Washington vetoed a recent UN Security Council attempt to recognize the State of Palestine, saying recognition could only come through negotiations that take into account Israel’s security interests.

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