US President Joe Biden has expressed his disapproval of some members of the Israeli far-right cabinet, who he said deny the rights of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. He also reaffirmed his support for a two-state solution to end the conflict.
In a pre-recorded interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, which aired on Sunday, Biden said that Israel’s security depends on creating a viable Palestinian state alongside it.
He blamed both sides for the recent escalation of violence in the West Bank, where Israeli occupation forces killed at least 12 people in a massive military operation in Jenin last week. He said that the Palestinian Authority has lost its credibility and allowed extremism to flourish.
He avoided answering whether he would invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House, amid strained relations between the two allies. He said that he is in regular contact with the Israelis to urge them to moderate their actions and reduce tensions.
Biden’s comments are a rare show of cautious American criticism of the Israeli occupation, which has become more frequent as the Biden administration deals with the Israeli hardline government under Netanyahu.
The EU and the UN have condemned the Israeli operation in Jenin, which involved drone strikes, armored bulldozers and Apache helicopters. They said that the level of force used by the Israeli occupation could amount to a war crime.