Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuMarc Israel Sellem/POOL

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented on Thursday night on reports that the Biden administration and several Arab countries are advancing a plan to establish a Palestinian state.

"At the Cabinet meeting, I clarified my position regarding the recent talk of imposing a Palestinian state on Israel," Netanyahu said.

"My position is summed up in the following two sentences: 1. Israel rejects outright international dictates regarding a permanent settlement with the Palestinians. Such a settlement will only be achieved through direct negotiations between the parties, without preconditions," he added.

“2. Israel will continue to oppose the unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state. Such recognition following the October 7 massacre would give a huge unprecedented reward to terrorism and prevent any future peace settlement," said the Prime Minister.

Netanyahu’s comments follow a report in The Washington Post which said that the Biden administration, together with several Arab countries, is quickly advancing a plan for a timetable to create a Palestinian state the day after the war in Gaza ends.

According to the plan, which the Post called a "comprehensive plan for long-term peace between Israel and Palestinians," the timeline for the establishment of "Palestine" could be announced within the next several weeks.

The plan is being advanced quickly due to the proposed temporary cessation of fire suggested in the prisoner swap deals placed on the negotiations table.

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said in response to the report that "we will not agree in any way to this plan, which in essence says that the Palestinians deserve a reward for the terrible massacre they did to us: A Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. The message is that it pays very well to massacre the citizens of Israel. A Palestinian state is an existential threat to the State of Israel, as was proven on October 7. Kfar Saba will not be Kfar Aza."

"Today, at the meeting of the Political-Security Cabinet, I will demand a clear and unequivocal decision stating that Israel opposes the establishment of a Palestinian state and the imposition of sanctions on over half a million residents of Judea and Samaria. I expect clear support from Prime Minister Netanyahu, Benny Gantz, Gadi Eisenkot and all the ministers," he added.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir said that "the intention of the US, together with other Arab countries, to establish a terrorist state alongside the State of Israel is hallucinatory and part of the wrong concept that there is a partner for peace on the other side. After October 7, it is clearer than ever that they must not be given a state. As long as we are in the government, a Palestinian state will not be established."

Netanyahu’s clarification followed his conversation on Thursday evening with US President Joe Biden, their second one this week.

The Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement that the conversation lasted about 40 minutes.

The conversation dealt with the negotiations towards a hostage release deal, the continuation of the fighting in Gaza and a possible Israeli operation in Rafah, and the US demand that humanitarian aid be allowed to enter the Gaza Strip.