After calling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the first time in weeks, President Joe Biden revealed Friday whether he thought a two-state solution was possible while Netanyahu was still in office.
During a Thursday press conference, Netanyahu dismissed the idea of a two-state solution following the conclusion of the Israel-Hamas war, openly disagreeing with the Biden administration on such an idea, according to The Times of Israel. Biden called Netanyahu on Friday to discuss ongoing efforts to secure the release of hostages while also discussing a two-state solution that would guarantee Israel’s “security.” (RELATED: Biden Says It Would Be ‘Big Mistake’ For Israel To Occupy Gaza, Hamas Doesn’t Represent Palestinians)
After being asked if a two-state solution was impossible with Netanyahu in office, Biden responded “No, it’s not.”
While on the phone with Netanyahu, the two leaders discussed how a shift in Israel’s attack would allow more humanitarian aid into Gaza for the Palestinian people, according to a readout of the call.
“The President discussed Israel’s responsibility even as it maintains military pressure on Hamas and its leaders to reduce civilian harm and protect the innocent,” the White House said in a readout of the call. “The President also discussed his vision for a more durable peace and security for Israel fully integrated within the region and a two-state solution with Israel’s security guaranteed.”
The White House disputed speculation that Biden’s call with Netanyahu was in direct response to the prime minister’s Thursday comments.
“The president still believes in the promise and the possibility of a two-state solution. He recognizes that it’s going to take a lot of hard work. It’s going to take a lot of leadership there in the region, particularly, on both sides of the issue, and the United States stands firmly committed to eventually seeing that outcome,” White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said during a Friday press briefing.
The president and his administration have backed Israel since they were attacked Oct. 7 by the terrorist group, Hamas. Though over the last few weeks, tension appears to be growing between the two countries as Biden disagrees with some of Israel’s actions. (RELATED: Joe Biden Faces Yet Another Mutiny, This Time Within His Own Campaign Staff)
The president reportedly hung up Dec. 23 on Netanyahu after getting frustrated with him for backtracking on a previous solution to the Palestinian tax revenue dispute, U.S. and Israeli officials told Axios. Earlier in the month, Biden told donors Israel was losing global support because of its “indiscriminate bombing.”
“They’re starting to lose that support by indiscriminate bombing that takes place,” the president continued.