JERUSALEM — President Biden called on Thursday for a “lasting negotiated peace between the State of Israel and the Palestinian people” and reiterated his calls for a two-state solution to the conflict.
Israel “must remain an independent, democratic Jewish state,” Mr. Biden said at a news conference in Jerusalem after meeting with the country’s prime minister, Yair Lapid, during a four-day visit to the Middle East. “The best way to achieve that remains a two-state solution.”
Before the president’s arrival on Wednesday, the Israeli government had made several small gestures to the Palestinians, including granting some new work permits for Gazans. But while Mr. Biden will visit President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority in Bethlehem on Friday, restoring communications that were cut off during the Trump presidency, there are few expectations that the visit will bring progress in resolving the dispute.
For years, Palestinians have questioned Washington’s ability to neutrally mediate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, citing strong American support for Israel at the United Nations and the size of U.S. financial and military support to Israel, which has cumulatively received more American aid than any other country since World War II.
Palestinians have been also disappointed by Mr. Biden’s failure to reverse several measures taken by the Trump administration that Palestinians felt were harmful to their hopes of independence.