Israel and the Palestinians: Prospects for a Two-State Solution
DIANE Publishing, 2010 - 22 pages
Following leadership changes in the United States and Israel in early 2009 and the Israel-Hamas Gaza conflict in December 2008-January 2009, the inclusive final-status peace negotiations that took place between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) during the final year of the Bush Administration have not resumed. Nevertheless, President Barack Obama showed his commitment to a negotiated "two-state solution" just days after his January 2009 inauguration by appointing former Senator George Mitchell as his Special Envoy for Middle East Peace. In September 2009, Obama convened a trilateral meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in New York and addressed the annual opening session of the United Nations General Assembly. He indicated that final-status negotiations should not be delayed further, despite the lack of resolution on preliminary issues such as the possible freeze of Israeli settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem or the possible gradual normalization of ties between Israel and certain Arab states. It has now been 16 years since Israel and the PLO agreed to the 1993 Oslo Accord. Yet, differences between the sides over core issues, such as borders, security, settlements, the status of Jerusalem, refugees, and water rights, have not been overcome, despite the third-party involvement of various international actors -- the United States, in particular.
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