The American president, Joe Biden, and the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahuspoke about the Gaza Strip this Friday, in their first conversation in almost a month amid reports of tensions between the two leaders.
There is no immediate information from either party, but The Times of Israel He reported that the conversation lasted almost 40 minutes and was conducted in good humor.
The call also came a day after Netanyahu said he had told Washington that opposes allowing a Palestinian state after the conflict with the Hamas terrorist group, which put it at odds with long-standing U.S. policy.
“President Biden spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to discuss the latest developments in Israel and Gaza. A readout of the call will be issued soon,” the White House said in a statement.
The pair last spoke on December 23 and the silence since then has led to repeated questions about a rift between Biden and Netanyahu – which both sides deny – over Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip and future plans.
Biden and Netanyahu have had a notoriously complicated relationship in the pastbut the president of The United States has strongly supported Israel since the Hamas attacks against the country on October 7.
Netanyahu said Thursday that his country “must have security control over all the territory west of the Jordan (river)” and that he had made it clear to Israel’s “American friends.” “This is a necessary condition and conflicts with the idea of (Palestinian) sovereignty,” the premier said in public statements.
Washington stressed in return that he believes that The creation of a Palestinian state is the only way to guarantee Israel’s security long-term.
The spokesman for the National Security Council of the United States, John Kirbysaid Thursday that Washington and Israel “obviously see it differently.”
One day before, in World Economic Forum in DavosSwitzerland, the American Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, renewed his call for a “path to a Palestinian state.” “Without that they won’t get the genuine security they need,” he said.
During a trip to the Middle East last week, Blinken emphasized to Israeli authorities that Arab countries, including Saudi Arabiawere committed to helping rebuild Gaza and assisting with the future Palestinian government, but only on the condition that Israel clear the way for a Palestinian state.
Netanyahu argued Thursday that “a prime minister in Israel should be able to say no, even to our best friends, say no when necessary and say yes if possible.”
US officials have publicly rejected reports of a rift between Biden and Netanyahu when asked about the lack of communication between them in recent weeks.
“These are two guys who have known each other for a long, long time; “They don’t agree on every issue and they wouldn’t be expected to,” the White House’s Kirby said earlier this month.
(With information from AFP)