LONDON — David Cameron branded comments by Israel’s ambassador to the U.K. ruling out a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “disappointing.”
Speaking at a parliamentary committee hearing on Thursday afternoon, the British foreign secretary — a former prime minister brought back into government last month — downplayed Tzipi Hotovely’s interview and insisted a separate Palestinian state was “still possible.”
Hotovely told broadcaster Sky News that there was “absolutely no” prospect of Israel’s government agreeing to a two-state solution — which would involve the recognition of a Palestinian state.
In a wide-ranging hearing with lawmakers in the U.K. House of Lords, Cameron was asked whether he believed Hotovely was speaking “on instruction” from her government.
“I don’t know, is the answer. I read the transcript and it is disappointing,” he said.
Cameron added: “I don’t think we should put much weight on one interview. We have to get on and think about how to help make this happen.”
The foreign secretary said “true security and stability” for Israel “requires there to be a state for Palestine as well.”
But he conceded that “getting to the two-state solution” had been made “in many ways more difficult by what happened on October 7,” when Hamas launched deadly attacks on Israeli civilians.
“Obviously ordinary Israelis think: ‘how can we ever have a two-state solution if part of the state or the state is run by these people?” Cameron said of Hamas.
Asked how there there could be peace without a Palestinian state, Hotovely had told Sky News: “Israel knows today, and the world should know now that the Palestinians never wanted to have a state next to Israel. They want to have a state from the river to the sea. They are saying it loud and clear.”
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday said of Hotovely’s comments: “We don’t agree with that. Our long-standing position remains that the two-state solution is the right outcome here.”