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Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Thursday called for a two-state solution to decades of Israeli-Palestinian conflict and reiterated that Israel would do “whatever it takes” to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear b*mb.

His mention of a two-state solution, the first by an Israeli leader in years at the United Nations General Assembly, echoed US President Joe Biden’s support in Israel in August for the long-dormant proposal.

“An agreement with the Palestinians, based on two states for two peoples, is the right thing for Israel’s security, for Israel’s economy and for the future of our children,” Lapid said.

He added that any agreement would be conditional on a peaceful Palestinian state that would not threaten Israel.

Lapid spoke less than six weeks before the Nov. 1 election that could return right-wing former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a longtime opponent of the two-state solution, to power.

Israel captured East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza – areas the Palestinians seek for an independent state – in a war in the Middle East in 1967. US-sponsored Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have failed in 2014.

In his speech, Lapid again denounced Iran and expressed Israel’s determination to prevent its longtime enemy from acquiring nuclear weapons.

“The only way to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons is to put a credible military threat on the table,” he said. “We have abilities and we are not afraid to use them.”

Widely considered to have the only nuclear weapons in the Middle East, Israel sees Iran as an existential threat. Tehran denies trying to develop a nuclear weapon.

Palestinians and the United States react

Efforts to reach a two-state Israeli-Palestinian agreement have long stalled.

Palestinians and rights groups say Israel has tightened its control over the occupied Palestinian territories through its military rule over millions of Palestinians and persistent settlement building.

Wasel Abu Youssef, a senior Palestine Liberation Organization official, told Reuters that Lapid’s words “mean nothing”.

“Anyone who wants a two-state solution must implement it on the ground,” he said, respecting previously reached agreements, halting settlement expansion and recognizing East Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. a future Palestinian state.

US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides called Lapid’s speech “brave” for his support for the two-state solution.

Lapid praised the efforts of Middle Eastern countries to normalize relations and cooperate with Israel. He urged Muslim countries from Indonesia to Saudi Arabia to make peace with him.

(Reuters)

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