'Two-state solution no longer possible after Hamas attack', Israel ambassador to the UK says

20 November 2023, 19:02 | Updated: 20 November 2023, 19:07

Israel's ambassador to the UK said a two-state solution was no longer possible
Israel's ambassador to the UK said a two-state solution was no longer possible. Picture: LBC/Getty

By Kit Heren

The Israeli ambassador to the UK has said that a two-state solution is no longer possible after the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Tsipi Hotovely said that an independent state of Palestine was politically impossible, in part because Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of the Palestinian Authority, was not too different from the Hamas leadership because of his refusal to condemn the October 7 massacres.

Some 1,200 people were killed in the Hamas attack, Israel's government has said. Around 13,000 have been killed in the Israeli response, according to Hamas.

Israel has invaded Gaza after the attack and encircled Gaza City. Its soldiers are currently in the al-Shifa hospital, where they say they have found a Hamas base. Patients have had to be evacuated from the hospital, including 31 premature babies.

But the country's leadership has said that they don't want to occupy Gaza permanently after the end of the war, and its troops are simply trying to root out Hamas, find the 240 hostages taken by the terrorists, and guarantee Israel's own security.

Asked by LBC's Andrew Marr about a two-state solution, Ms Hotovely said: "It's not possible because as we speak, the leader in the politic of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas refuses to condemn those horrific crimes that Hamas committed, so he doesn't even try to look like a different leader than the leaders that are in Gaza."

Read more: Israel 'finds Hamas base' under Gaza hospital and says hostages taken there on October 7, as 'release deal close'

Read more: Netanyahu admits Israel has 'not been successful' in reducing civilian casualties - blaming Hamas

Andrew Marr quizzes Israeli ambassador Tzipi Hotovely

Benjamin Netanyahu has said that Israel would have "overall security responsibility" in Gaza for an indefinite period after its war with Hamas.

And Palestine's ambassador to the UK Husam Zomlot has previously compared the IDF's current operations in Gaza constitute a replay of the 1948 'Nakba', when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were displaced from their homes in the newly-formed state of Israel.

But Ms Hotovely insisted that Israel does not want to occupy Gaza, pointing out that Israel ended its occupation of the strip 18 years ago.

"In 2005, we left Gaza, so we had no interest controlling the people of Gaza," she said. "But the problem that created the seventh of October was the fact that Israel had zero security control on all the ammunition [in Gaza]."

Palestinians injured in airstrikes arrive at Nasser Medical Hospital on November 20, 2023 in Khan Yunis, Gaza
Palestinians injured in airstrikes arrive at Nasser Medical Hospital on November 20, 2023 in Khan Yunis, Gaza. Picture: Getty

She added: "So the prime minister said that in order to demilitarise the Gaza Strip, Israel must have military abilities in the Gaza Strip, like we have in many other places in the region in order to protect our people.

"And I'm afraid no other country will volunteer to demilitarise the Gaza Strip".

Israel has posted footage online of what it says are Hamas tunnels underneath the al-Shifa hospital, which it claims lead to a terrorist command centre. Hamas and doctors at the hospital have denied that the base exists.

But the World Health Organisation and United Nations have condemned the army's operations in the hospital, and the impact they have had on patients.

Ms Hotovely said that Israel had done what it could to help patients. She said: "For three weeks, we called to evacuate Al Shifa Hospital. We worked with our allies in the international community to make sure those patients will have alternatives."

An aerial picture shows a damaged building in kibbutz Beeri near the border with Gaza
An aerial picture shows a damaged building in kibbutz Beeri near the border with Gaza. Picture: Getty

She added: "We even work with the British government to try to create some solutions... There's so many solutions, Israel offered to make sure people the patients will be safe.

"But in the end when you walk into the Shifa Hospital, and just this week, we expose those videos coming from the security videos, our car video cameras of this hospital, they used it as a place to put the hostages in. We saw the grenades, we saw the rockets.

"What type of hospital do you think is holding grenades?"

Ms Hotovely also claimed that Hamas had tried to block Israel from evacuating the premature babies.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

The IDF has said Hamas is preventing the release of 10-month old Kfir Bibas.

Fears for hostage baby Kfir Bibas after Hamas say he was killed in airstrike, as Israel investigate claims

Omid Scobie has said the names of those at the centre of the royal race row could come out

Omid Scobie threatens to name royals at centre of racism storm amid growing row over incendiary Endgame claims

Greggs is opening a 'fine-dining bistro'

Greggs to open 'fine-dining bistro', with menu taking old favourites to 'new culinary heights' in 'Paris-inspired space'

Sajid Javid said he quit because of Dominic Cummings' behaviour

Dominic Cummings was seeking to 'act as the Prime Minister in all but name', Covid inquiry hears

Ada Sagi was released by Hamas on Tuesday.

'It's such a huge relief': London man tells of 'joy' as mum is freed by Hamas

Javier Milei

Argentina’s president-elect announces choice for economy minister

More than 4,000 children were treated for head injuries sustained during sport over the last year.

Alarming rise in children's sports head injuries prompts calls for improved safety measures amid long-term effects warnings

Keir Starmer hit out at Rishi Sunak over cancelling the meeting with the Greek Prime Minister amid an Elgin Marbles row

Starmer slams Sunak for 'trying to humiliate' Greek PM over Elgin Marbles row as he accuses him of 'small politics'

Marcia Grant was killed on her own driveway

Boy aged 13 who ran over and killed woman with her own car receives two-year sentence

GoFundMe set up for 'heroic' crane driver.

'Buy Glen a drink': GoFundMe page set up to reward hero crane driver who rescued trapped colleague reaches £6,000

Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick (l) has said action needs to be taken as the shortage occupation list is being looked at

'Worker shortage list' including ballet dancers could be axed as ministers battle to reduce migration

Sean 'Diddy' Combs

Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs temporarily steps down as Revolt chairman amid allegations

Crash search at sea

US military Osprey aircraft with six onboard crashes off southern Japan

Carla Bellucci will charge family members £150 for Christmas dinner.

'Britain's most hated woman' to charge family members £150 for Christmas dinner as she should not be 'out of pocket'

Snow could hit London this weekend as first flurries land in Scotland and the north

Snow set to hit London as forecasters issue three day weather warnings for 795 miles of the UK

The four boys drowned in the crash in north Wales

Cause of death of four teenagers killed in Snowdonia camping trip car crash revealed at inquest