The head of US diplomacy, Antony Blinken, defended on Friday to his Israeli counterpart the need to grant Palestinians “equal” rights to those of Israelis, according to a State Department summary.
“The Secretary of State underscored the administration’s belief that Israelis and Palestinians should enjoy an equal degree of freedom, security, prosperity and democracy,” spokesman Ned Price said after the telephone conversation between Blinken and Gabi Ashkenazi.
Among other things, the two men spoke of “humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians” after the Joe Biden administration resumed bilateral aid halted by former President Donald Trump.
“The Secretary of State reiterated the strong support of the United States to Israel and its security,” added the US spokesman.
After four years of pro-Israel policy under Trump, with the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel that caused a breakdown in the dialogue between Washington and the Palestinians, the Biden administration is reactivating a diplomacy more in line with the international consensus.
Although he has decided not to back down on the decision on the capital, he is once again openly advocating a “two-state solution”, Israeli and Palestinian, largely abandoned by the previous Republican administration.
The Biden government does view the West Bank as “occupied” territory and that Israeli settlement activity “exacerbates tensions” and “runs counter to efforts to promote a negotiated two-state solution,” Price said Thursday.