The United States has affirmed it will work to “renew” its diplomatic relations with the Palestinian Authority and “closely” with Israel, in line with its commitment to strive to push for the two-state solution earlier negotiated between both parties.
US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said Biden’s administration believes that the two-state solution is the best way to ensure Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state, living in peace alongside a viable and democratic Palestinian state.
He noted that the US will work closely with Israel to achieve this goal, in addition to renewing its diplomatic relations with the Palestinians.
Consultations will take place with partners in the region and abroad (...) and with all those who have a common interest in supporting efforts exerted to advance a lasting peace in the Middle East, he explained.
Commenting on whether the administration plans to resume financial aids and cooperation with the Palestinian leadership in light of the latter's support for the International Criminal Court (ICC) probe into possible war crimes that may have been committed by Israel or the Palestinian factions, Price said it will find means to support the Palestinian people. “We have pledged to do so.”
He recalled Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s statements, in which he rejected ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s decision to open an investigation into Israel and Palestinian factions’ possible war crimes in the occupied territories since 1967.
“We firmly oppose and are disappointed by the ICC prosecutor’s announcement of an investigation into the Palestinian situation.”
“The ICC, as we have said, has no jurisdiction over this matter. Israel is not a party to the ICC, and it has not consented to the court’s jurisdiction, and we have serious concerns about the ICC’s attempts to exercise its jurisdiction over Israeli personnel.”
The Palestinians do not qualify as a sovereign state and therefore are not qualified to obtain membership as a state in or to participate as a state in or to delegate jurisdiction to the ICC, Price stressed.
Nevertheless, the senior US diplomat said his country “remains firmly committed to ensuring justice and accountability for international atrocity crimes.”
He pointed out that he “is aware of the role that international courts such as the ICC can play in pursuit of these major goals.
A peaceful, secure and more prosperous future for the Middle East population depends on building bridges and creating new means of dialogue, rather than unilateral judicial procedures that would lead to exacerbating tensions and undermining efforts to advance the two-state solution, he noted.
“Our position is consistent. We encouraged Israel to avoid unilateral steps that exacerbate tensions and make it more difficult to preserve the viability of a two-state solution.”
“We will continue to uphold our strong commitment to Israel and its security, including by opposing actions that seek to target Israel unfairly,” Price added.