Secretary of State Antony Blinken congratulated Israel’s Eli Cohen on his appointment as Secretary of State and reminded the newest candidate in the Netanyahu administration of the US position when it comes to a two-state solution with its Palestinian neighbors.
In a phone call Monday, the couple discussed US-Israel relations, mutual interests and regional security. However, according to an ad, Blinken also emphasized “the continued US commitment to a two-state solution and rejection of policies that threaten its viability.”
The minister’s comments come just days after Benjamin Netanyahu was sworn in as Israeli prime minister for a sixth time, marking a dramatic return to power.
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Netanyahu was deposed in June 2021 and is still on trial on corruption charges.
However, the popular right-wing figurehead – who secured another term and one of the most far-right cabinets Israel has ever seen – is expected to push for settlement progress in the Palestinian West Bank, Reuters reported.
Netanyahu allied his party with the Religious Zionism and Jewish Power parties, which opposed Palestinian statehood.
Religious Zionism party leader Bezalel Smotrich was also appointed finance minister on Sunday, vowing that “Israel will be an island of stability and responsibility,” Reuters reported.
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Israeli Police Minister-designate Itamar Ben-Gvir also drew attention when he was reportedly convicted in 2007 of inciting violence against Arabs and supporting a militant Jewish group.
The newest police minister made headlines during his campaign when he said: “Every cop should know that if a terrorist comes to hurt you, their blood is forfeit,” Reuters explained.
Netanyahu vowed to prioritize countering Iranian aggression and bringing peace to the region after his election; However, some fears he raised for his far-right cabinet could lead to further violations of the limits established under a 1967 UN resolution.
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President Biden also congratulated Netanyahu and his administration on taking the high office, but maintained his desire for a two-state solution when it comes to Israeli-Palestinian relations.
“The United States will continue to support the two-state solution and will oppose policies that threaten its viability or are contrary to our common interests and values,” he said.