Israeli Minister Threatens: ‘Discuss a Palestinian State and We’re Out of Coalition'

Published August 23rd, 2021 - 08:05 GMT
Israeli Interior Minister and Yamina leader Ayelet Shaked
Ayelet Shaked is the Israeli Interior Minister and a leading figure of right-wing Yamina political party. (THOMAS COEX/AFP)

Only two months after Israel's new long-awaited government was formed, the Israeli Minister of Interior Ayelet Shaked has threatened to quit the coalition, jeopardizing its success.

Representing her right-wing political party, Yamina, Ayelet Shaked has expressed the party's unwillingness to be part of the current coalition in case an Israeli government is open to Palestinian statehood. Shaked's statements came in response to remarks made earlier by the Foreign Minister, Yair Lapid, in which he did not oppose "discussing a future Palestinian state."

Last week, alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who is expected to lead the Israeli government in two years, told Channel 11 that "a two-state resolution could be advanced when the government rotates in two years' time," admitting that the current Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett is strongly against this conversation.

Following Lapid's remarks, Yamina's leader told a local radio channel that her political party "will not be part of a government that advances Palestinian statehood."

Despite multiple Palestinian-Israeli agreements recognizing the right of Palestinians to an independent state within the borders of 1967, including the 1993 Oslo Accords and the 2003 Road Map to Peace, both promoted by the US, consecutive Israeli governments since 2009 have been rejecting the notion of a Palestinian state, which has resulted in a complete pause of peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians ever since.

For more than a decade now, Israel has been expanding its settlement activities within the occupied West Bank, which has urged numerous international parties to warn of the possible unviability of the two-state solution moving forward. 

Expectations of increased US pressure of Israel to explore the potential of a Palestinian state have been on the rise since the Joe Biden administration announced its commitment to a two-state solution between Palestinians and Israelis; an option that was dismissed by the former Trump administration between 2017-2021. Consequently, political commentators are linking the current debate between Lapid and Shaked to the approaching first-ever meeting between Naftali Bennet and Joe Biden later this week.

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