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Israel-Hamas war must end with vision for a ‘two-state solution’

U.S. President Joe Biden addresses a joint press conference with Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, U.S., Oct. 25, 2023.

Sarah Silbiger | Reuters

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden Wednesday stressed the United States believes the conflict between Israel and Hamas must end with a vision of a “two-state solution.”

“There’s no going back to the status quo as it stood on Oct. 6, that means Hamas can no longer terrorize Israel and use Palestinians as human shields” Biden said. “It also means, when this crisis is over there has to be a vision of what comes next, and, in our view, it has to be a two-state solution.”

Achieving this, Biden said, means “a concentrated effort for all the parties — Israelis, Palestinians, regional partners, global leaders — to put us on a path toward peace.”

Biden spoke in the White House Rose Garden, standing beside Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese at a press conference after their bilateral meeting Wednesday afternoon, and ahead of a state dinner.

The president implored Israel to abide by the rules of war, and to “do everything in its power” to protect civilians from harm.

Hamas, Biden said, does not represent the vast majority of the Palestinian people. The militant group is using Palestinian civilians as “human shields,” he added.

“This also puts an added burden on Israel while they go after Hamas, but that does not lessen the need to operate and align with the laws of war,” Biden said.

Biden also stressed the need for Israel to become more integrated with the Middle East once the conflict is settled. He said there is “a real hope in the region for a better future” among Middle Eastern leaders.

Biden said he believes the attack by Hamas earlier this month was partly in response to U.S.-backed efforts to normalize relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

“I’m convinced one of the reasons for Hamas attacked when they did — I have no proof of this, this is what my instincts tell me — is because of the progress we were making towards regional integration for Israel and regional integration overall,” Biden said. “We can’t leave that work behind.”

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