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January 20, 2021 4:13 pm

Biden Administration Will Avoid Major Moves on Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, but Will Seek to Contain Netanyahu: Report

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Then-Vice President Joe Biden with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel, March 2016. Photo: US Embassy Tel Aviv/Wikimedia Commons.

The administration of newly sworn-in President Joe Biden will not make any major moves on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but will attempt to prevent Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from “aggravating” the situation on the ground, Israeli media reported Wednesday.

Israel’s public broadcaster Kan cited unnamed sources in the new Biden administration saying that Biden and his advisors assess that no meaningful action can be taken on the Israeli-Palestinian issue at the moment, and they will therefore seek to ameliorate potential problems rather than attempt to solve the conflict as a whole.

In particular, they are concerned that Netanyahu could worsen the situation with the Palestinians, though they did not say how. As a result, their strategy is to ease tensions and contain Netanyahu, the report said.

One possible area of disagreement will be the issue of settlements, as Netanyahu has recently pushed for the approval of dozens of outposts and the construction of hundreds of new settlement homes in the West Bank.

The new administration has already made it publicly clear that it seeks a two-state solution and Palestinian statehood in the West Bank.

At his Tuesday confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Biden’s nominee for Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, said, “The only way to ensure Israel’s future as a Jewish, democratic state and to give the Palestinians a state to which they are entitled is through the so-called two-state solution.”

However, he added, “I think realistically it’s hard to see near-term prospects for moving forward on that.”

As the Biden administration began Wednesday, the name of the Twitter account of the American ambassador to Israel was briefly changed to read “US Ambassador to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza,” before reverting back to “US Ambassador to Israel.”

An embassy spokesperson said that it was “an inadvertent edit, and not reflective of a policy change.”

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