US President Joe Biden reaffirmed the US support for “two states for two peoples,” adding, however, that the “ground is not ripe” to restart Israel-Palestinian talks.
Speaking alongside Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem, Biden said the Palestinians require a political path toward peace with Israel, even if a two-state solution to the conflict appears far off.
“There must be a political horizon that the Palestinian people can actually see or at least feel. We cannot allow the hopelessness to steal away the future,” Biden said.
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Abbas articulated long-standing Palestinian frustrations over Israel’s five-decade occupation.
The veteran leader said Palestinians “look forward” to US efforts to “stop settlements and settler violence” and an end to the “expulsion of Palestinians from their land.”
“The key to peace begins with recognizing the state of Palestine,” Abbas said.
On Abu Akleh, a veteran reporter revered among Palestinians, Biden described her death an “enormous loss to the essential work of sharing with the world the story of the Palestinian people.”
She was killed while covering an Israeli army raid in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin in May.
The United Nations has concluded she was killed by Israeli fire, something Washington said was likely while noting the US found no evidence to suggest Israeli forces intended to kill an unarmed journalist.
“I hope that her legacy will inspire more young people to carry out her work on reporting the truth and telling stories that are too often overlook. The United States will continue to insist on a full and transparent accounting of her death,” Biden said.
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