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Biden says Palestinians need 'political horizon' towards peace

This handout picture provided by the Palestinian Authority's press office (PPO) shows (L to R) US President Joe Biden and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas delivering their statements to the media at the Muqataa Presidential Compound in the city of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank on July 15, 2022. (Photo: AFP)
Palestinians require a political path towards peace with Israel, even if a two-state solution to the conflict appears far off, US President Joe Biden said Friday as he met Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas.اضافة اعلان

Biden, making his visit to the Palestinian territories as president, also reaffirmed a "full" US effort towards accountability over the killing of Palestinian-American Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh.

Biden who has repeatedly emphasised his support for Palestinian statehood since landing in the region on Wednesday, acknowledged "the goal of the two states seems so far away", with the peace process moribund since 2014.

"There must be a political horizon that the Palestinian people can actually see or at least feel. We cannot allow the hopelessness to steal away the future," Biden said during his visit to Bethlehem in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Abbas articulated long-standing Palestinian frustrations over Israel's five-decade occupation.

The veteran leader said Palestinians "look forward" to US efforts to "stop settlements and settler violence" and an end to the "expulsion of Palestinians from their land".

"The key to peace begins with recognising the state of Palestine," Abbas said.

On Abu Akleh, a veteran reporter revered among Palestinians, Biden described her death an "enormous loss to the essential work of sharing with the world the story of the Palestinian people."

She was killed while covering an Israeli army raid in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin in May.

The United Nations has concluded she was killed by Israeli fire, something Washington said was likely while noting the US found no evidence to suggest Israeli forces intended to kill an unarmed journalist.

"I hope that her legacy will inspire more young people to carry out her work on reporting the truth and telling stories that are too often overlook. The United States will continue to insist on a full and transparent accounting of her death," Biden said.

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