President Biden Urges Reduction in Tensions and Violence in Occupied West Bank During Meeting with Israeli Prime Minister
US President Joe Biden Calls for Reduction in Tensions in the West Bank
During a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Joe Biden urged for a decrease in tensions and violence in the occupied West Bank. The meeting took place on the sidelines of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Promoting Peace and Security
The White House stated that Biden emphasized the immediate need to improve security and economic conditions, preserve the viability of the two-state solution, and promote a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians. He also called on all parties to fulfill their commitments made during earlier meetings in Aqaba, Jordan, and Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, and urged them to refrain from taking further unilateral actions.
Concerns Over Israeli Democratic System
Biden expressed his concerns about any significant changes in the Israeli democratic system without broad consensus. This was seen as a reference to Netanyahu’s efforts to reform the Israeli judiciary, which critics argue could undermine the country’s system of checks and balances.
Tensions Between Allies
This meeting marked the first time Biden and Netanyahu met since the Israeli leader’s re-election. Tensions between the two allies have increased due to Biden’s public opposition to Netanyahu’s judicial reforms. The plan faced widespread protests and strikes in Israel, leading to delays in arranging the meeting. The decision to hold the meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, rather than at the White House, reflects the escalating tensions.
Biden invited Netanyahu to visit Washington before the end of the year to continue direct cooperation on various bilateral issues. During the meeting, Biden reaffirmed the unbreakable relationship between the United States and Israel, based on shared democratic values and the US commitment to Israel’s security. They also discussed progress towards creating a more integrated, prosperous, and peaceful Middle East, including efforts to deepen and expand normalization with countries in the region.