On 28 January President Donald Trump formally unveiled his plan for Middle East peace, authored by a team led by his son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner, at the White House alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with Palestinian authorities rejecting the proposal as flagrantly biased.
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Tuesday offered his most vocal to date opposition to the Israel’s government’s moves to annex Jewish settlements as part of the move to claim sovereignty over the West Bank and Jordan Valley, reported The Hill citing a transcript of the former vice president’s statement.
“I do not support annexation…The fact is, I will reverse Trump’s undercutting of peace,” said Biden at a virtual fundraiser with members of the American Jewish community.
Voicing concerns that Israel’s moves could torpedo any hopes for a negotiated solution with the Palestinians, Biden said:
“Israel needs to stop the threats of annexation and stop settlement activity because it will choke off any hope of peace,” he said.
Nonetheless, Biden stopped short of using the issue of US military assistance to Tel Aviv as a means of exerting pressure on Israel to reject annexation
“I will not place conditions on security assistance given the serious threat Israelis face,” said Biden.
The Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee also urged the Palestinian leadership to recognise Israel as a Jewish state.
“They have to acknowledge flat out Israel’s right to exist. Period. As an independent Jewish state, and guarantee the borders,” he said.
In previous statements, Biden was wary of openly opposing annexation, arguing that unilateral steps of both Israel and Palestine render achieving a two-state solution even more difficult.