Israel seeks bipartisan US support against establishment of a Palestinian state

By Thomson Reuters May 19, 2024 | 12:30 PM

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel called for bipartisan support on Sunday from the United States against the establishment of a Palestinian state, which it said would be a reward for Hamas and its backer Iran.

European Union members including Ireland, Spain, Slovenia and Malta have said they could recognise a Palestinian state this month, seeing a two-state solution as essential for lasting peace.

Israel’s foreign minister, Israel Katz, who met top House Republican Elise Stefanik earlier, said if a Palestinian state was established, Iran would use it as a base to “work towards the destruction of Israel”.

He told Stefanik the U.S. must lead a resolution at the International Energy Agency’s council next month to promote further sanctions against Iran to stop it obtaining nuclear weapons and supporting groups like Hamas.

Iran denies seeking nuclear weapons.

Stefanik has played a key role in trying to stem the protests that have broken out across U.S. college campuses against Israel’s war in Gaza and in support of Palestinians’ right to self-determination.

The Gaza war broke out after Hamas launched a cross border assault on Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people and taking 253 hostage, according to Israeli tallies.

Since then, at least 35,386 Palestinians have been killed, according to Gaza’s health ministry.

(Reporting by Maytaal Angel; editing by Giles Elgood)