Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has again flipped his stance on Palestinian statehood. Netanyahu, who was elected this week to a fourth term, denied ever opposing a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict Thursday, just days after saying he would never endorse such a policy if reelected.
“I don’t want a one-state solution. I want a sustainable, peaceful two-state solution,” he said in an interview Thursday with MSNBC, according to Reuters. “I haven’t changed my policy.”
Netanyahu, leader of the right-wing Likud party, said his previous statements referred to the Palestinians changing conditions by agreeing to form a unity government with Hamas, which is deemed a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States and most Western countries. Netanyahu said he would back a demilitarized Palestinian state under a plan that would guarantee Israel’s security, according to CNN. "I'm talking about what is achievable and what is not achievable," Netanyahu told MSNBC.
The Israeli prime minister had initially announced his support for a Palestinian state in 2009, following the November 2008 election of Barack Obama to the U.S. presidency. Earlier this year, the Palestinians joined the International Criminal Court to pursue war crimes charges against Israel. The night before Israel’s polls opened, Netanyahu reversed his statements, the New York Times reported.