Express & Star

Netanyahu rejects ‘international dictates’ on resolution with Palestinians

President Joe Biden again cautioned Israel against a military operation in Rafah without a plan to protect civilians.

Israel Palestinians

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the country will not accept “international dictates” regarding a resolution of the conflict with the Palestinians.

Writing early on Friday on X, formerly known as Twitter, Mr Netanyahu said such a resolution can only be the result of negotiations.

He said Israel opposes a unilateral recognition of statehood, claiming it would amount to a “huge reward” for the militant group Hamas following its deadly October 7 attack on Israel.

He wrote that “Israel rejects outright international dictates regarding a permanent settlement with the Palestinians.”

Israel Palestinians Truce Talks
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (AP)

On Thursday, US President Joe Biden again cautioned Mr Netanyahu against moving forward with a military operation in Rafah without a “credible and executable plan” to protect civilians.

Mr Netanyahu leads a right-wing coalition that is fiercely opposed to a Palestinian state arising alongside Israel.

During his years as prime minister, there were no significant high-level negotiations with the Palestinians. He has boasted that he has been instrumental over the years in preventing Palestinian statehood.

The two-state solution has broad international support, but international diplomatic efforts were long dormant, with successive US presidents reluctant to spend political capital on a seemingly intractable conflict.

Western diplomats have renewed a push for Palestinian statehood as part of a post-war scenario.

Israel Palestinians
An Israeli soldier moves on the top of a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border (Leo Correa/AP)

An Israeli kibbutz says one of its residents who was kidnapped by Hamas has been pronounced dead.

Yair Yaakov, 59, was captured from his home in Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7.

His partner, Meirav Tal, and two of his children, Yagil and Or, were also taken captive but released during a brief ceasefire in November.

The kibbutz said on Thursday that Mr Yaakov had been killed on October 7 and his body was being held in Gaza.

“He was energetic, loved life, and often enjoyed music with a cold beer. He was a loving father to his children,” the kibbutz said.

It did not say how it had determined the death, but families are typically notified of intelligence assessments by the Israeli military.

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