US reaffirms support for two-state solution as Netanyahu prepares far-right govt
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken reaffirmed Washington's commitment to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestine issue in a phone call with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the State Department said Saturday.
The move came as Israel's hawkish former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has never endorsed a two-state solution, sealed his return to power following Tuesday's election and launched negotiations on forming what could be the most right-wing government in Israel's history.
In a call with Abbas on Friday, Blinken "further reaffirmed our commitment to a two-state solution," the State Department said in a statement.
Blinken and Abbas also discussed "joint efforts to improve the quality of life for the Palestinian people and enhance their security and freedom."
This week's election result came against the backdrop of soaring violence against Palestinians throughout 2022.
On Thursday four Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.
And Israeli fighter jets bombed the Gaza Strip on Friday, the first assault on the besieged Palestinian enclave since August.
The move was allegedly in response to rockets fired towards Israel, one of which was intercepted while three others "exploded inside the Gaza Strip", Israeli forces said on Thursday.
Blinken "underscored his deep concern over the situation in the West Bank, including heightened tensions, violence, and loss of both Palestinian and Israeli lives, and emphasized the need for all parties to de-escalate the situation urgently," according to the State Department.
On Thursday, Israel elected the most far-right government ever in its history, with politicians known for incendiary hate-speech against Palestinians expected to take positions in a cabinet led by Netanyahu.