February 21, 2024 | Flash Brief

Israeli Knesset Agrees: No Unilateral Palestinian Statehood

February 21, 2024 | Flash Brief

Israeli Knesset Agrees: No Unilateral Palestinian Statehood

Latest Developments

Israel’s parliament on February 21 reinforced the government in formally opposing any attempt to impose Palestinian statehood unilaterally. By a vote of 99 lawmakers in favor and only nine opposed in the 120-seat plenum, the Knesset endorsed a statement by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that on February 18 was unilaterally passed by his cabinet. “Israel utterly rejects international diktats regarding a permanent settlement with the Palestinians. A settlement, if it is to be reached, will come about solely through direct negotiations between the parties, without preconditions,” the statement said.

“Israel will continue to oppose unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state,” the statement added. “Such recognition in the wake of the October 7th massacre would be a massive and unprecedented reward to terrorism and would prevent any future peace settlement.”

Expert Analysis

“The Knesset is as raucous and polarized as any legislative body, so today’s sweeping vote in favor of the government’s motion is especially remarkable. Across the ruling coalition and well into the parliamentary opposition, there is an understanding that a Palestinian state, if not established through careful negotiations and with ironclad security assurances, would be a threat to Israel.” — Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“Some Western powers may have good intentions in wanting to recognize a Palestinian state, but currently, there is no viable leader or Palestinian government that can govern it. With Israel taking action against Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza, the situation in the West Bank remains precarious, as Hamas and other armed organizations operate with little pushback from the Palestinian Authority. Before any talks of recognition, the Palestinian Authority must establish a capable leadership that can govern effectively and control terrorist groups.” Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Declining Support for Palestinian Statehood

Almost five months into the Gaza war, some Western powers have been urging that efforts to establish a Palestinian state alongside Israel be factored into day-after planning. This follows calls by the United States for a “revitalized” Palestinian Authority that would retake control of Gaza’s governance.

But the ideas have not found purchase in Israel. According to an Israel Democracy Institute poll published on February 20, 63 percent of the country’s Jewish majority would oppose it while agreeing in principle to the creation of an independent and demilitarized Palestinian state. Eighty-one percent of the public — including more than two-thirds of the Arab minority — see a low probability of the PA being sufficiently reformed in the near future to be able to govern effectively.

Israel Formalizes Opposition to Unilateral Imposition of Palestinian Statehood,” FDD Flash Brief

U.S. and Arab Partners Plan for Palestinian Statehood,” FDD Flash Brief

Facing Low Poll Numbers, PA President Pushes for Palestinian Statehood,” FDD Flash Brief

Majority of Israelis Oppose Palestinian Statehood Due to Security Threats,” FDD Flash Brief


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