A Palestinian state is the key to peace in the Middle East

The Middle East is facing a critical moment, as the violence and instability that have plagued the region for decades show no signs of abating. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which is at the heart of the regional turmoil, has reached a deadlock, with no prospects for a political solution or a lasting ceasefire. The recent escalation of hostilities between Israel and Hamas, which resulted in hundreds of casualties and widespread destruction, has exposed the fragility and vulnerability of both sides, as well as the failure of the international community to prevent or resolve the crisis.

The current situation is unsustainable and dangerous, not only for the Israelis and Palestinians, but also for the entire region and the world. The status quo of occupation, oppression, resistance, and retaliation is eroding the hopes and aspirations of millions of people, especially the young generations, who deserve a better future. The continuation of the conflict is also fueling extremism, terrorism, and sectarianism, which threaten the stability and security of the Middle East and beyond.

A two-state solution is the only viable and just option

The only way to end the cycle of violence and achieve a lasting peace in the Middle East is to establish a Palestinian state, which would be the best guarantee of security for Israel. Such a solution is based on the principles of international law and legitimacy, as well as the aspirations of both peoples for self-determination and dignity. A two-state solution is also supported by the majority of the international community, including the United Nations, the Arab League, and the Middle East Quartet, which comprises the United States, Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations.

A two-state solution would entail the creation of an independent, sovereign, and viable Palestinian state, living side by side with Israel in peace and security, within the borders of 1967, with mutually agreed land swaps. It would also involve a fair and realistic resolution of the core issues of the conflict, such as Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, security, and water. A two-state solution would also require the recognition and respect of the rights and interests of both parties, as well as the involvement and support of the regional and international actors.

Other simple ideas to facilitate the peace process

While the ultimate goal of the peace process is to reach a comprehensive and final agreement on the two-state solution, there are other simple ideas that can facilitate the dialogue and cooperation between the parties, and create a conducive environment for negotiations. Some of these ideas are:

  • A mutual and unconditional cessation of hostilities and violence, and a respect for the existing agreements and understandings, such as the 2012 and 2014 ceasefires between Israel and Hamas, and the 1993 and 1995 Oslo Accords between Israel and the PLO.
  • A resumption of direct and meaningful talks between the Israeli and Palestinian leaders, with the mediation and facilitation of the Middle East Quartet and other relevant actors, such as Egypt, Jordan, and Turkey.
  • A halt of all unilateral actions that undermine the prospects for peace, such as the expansion of Israeli settlements, the demolition of Palestinian homes, the annexation of Palestinian lands, the blockade of Gaza, the incitement and provocation of violence, and the violation of the holy sites.
  • A promotion of confidence-building measures and people-to-people contacts, such as the exchange of prisoners, the facilitation of humanitarian aid, the removal of checkpoints and barriers, the enhancement of economic and social cooperation, and the support of civil society initiatives and dialogue.

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