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Israel's PM rejects US calls for two-state solution

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu.   -  
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday that Israel opposed any scenario which includes the establishment of a Palestinian state.

During a press conference, Netanyahu said he had told key ally, the United States, that Israel would reject a revival of the two-state solution, even once the conflict comes to an end.

"In any future arrangement - settlement or no settlement - Israel needs security control over all territory west of the Jordan," the Israeli leader said. "This is a necessary condition and it collides with the idea of sovereignty. [...] I tell this truth to our American friends and I also stopped the attempt to impose a reality on us that would harm Israel's security."

The White House quickly reacted, with National Security spokesman John Kirby saying, "We obviously see it differently."

In Tel Aviv, Israelis gathered to mark the first birthday of the youngest hostage Kfir Bibas, still thought to be held in Gaza along with his brother and parents.

The Bibas family's situation remains unclear, after Hamas said previously that they had been killed without providing evidence.

One of Israel's stated key goals is to recover all remaining hostages held in Gaza, with Netanyahu vowing to continue with the offensive in Gaza "until complete victory".

Meanwhile, a delivery of medication for hostages has been reported to have entered Gaza, as part of a deal brokered by Qatar and France, in exchange for medical and humanitarian aid for Palestinians. 

The aid delivery is the first agreed to by Israel and Hamas, and the first sign of progress since the end of a short-lived truce on December 1.

Aid workers, however, have said that delivering aid remains extremely difficult, made harder by a prolonged communications blackout.

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