It is not an easy undertaking but, today, the European Union, the United States and the Arab world assure, the two-state solution is “the only possible one” to bring peace and security to the Palestinian territories, Israel itself. and the entire Middle East.
The foreign ministers of the Twenty-Seven conspired this Monday with their counterparts from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan during a meeting held in Brussels to defend the creation of a Palestinian state as the “only possible way” to overcome the historic Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to put pressure to the Government of Israel to accept the formula, included for the first time in the Oslo Peace Accords 30 years ago and endorsed at the time by some politicians of the Jewish state, although its current prime minister, Benyamin Netanyahu, considers it “a defeat.” ” unaffordable.
“More death, more destruction and more pain to the Palestinians will not help defeat Hamas or its ideology. Nor will it bring more security to Israel, on the contrary, that is why we must redouble our efforts to move from this deadly confrontation to a solution” which, if Israel does not accept, must be “imposed” by the international community, defended the High Political Representative. EU Foreign Minister, Josep Borrell, giving an account of the meeting, to which the head of Israeli diplomacy, Israel Katz, was also invited separately.
Katz attended the Brussels meeting warning that he only wanted to talk about the “urgency” for the release of the hostages in the hands of Hamas and restoring security in his country, but he surprised the ministers with two video presentations of two projects: the construction of an artificial island off the coast of Gaza where a port and desalination plants can be installed, an idea he launched in 2017 when he was Minister of Transport, and the construction of a rail connection with India. “Very interesting,” Borrell ironically said, but “they had little to nothing to do” with the discussions. “The minister could have made better use of his time worrying about the situation in his country.”
Borrell: “More death and destruction will not help defeat Hamas or its ideology, nor will it bring security to Israel”
The EU is committed to calling a peace conference “as soon as possible” in which to outline a peace plan with concrete measures to make it a reality, as stated in a 12-point document sent by Borrell to the Twenty-Seven. This initiative coincides with the efforts of the United States special envoy for the region, Brett McGurk, with Egypt and Qatar to discuss a proposal that, according to The Wall Street Journal, also rests on the two-state solution, also the basis of another initiative. apart from the Arab countries that would include as an incentive the normalization of relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel. “All initiatives are welcome but we should try to put order in order to reach something concrete and operational with sufficiently large support,” said Borrell.
The EU countries maintain different positions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and not all of them demand a ceasefire, as Spain, Belgium and Ireland requested again this Monday, but one of the points of agreement in the common position is the defense of the solution. of the two states, which is also supported by the United Nations. This Monday it was made clear that they do not accept Netanyahu’s refusal to even contemplate it as an answer.
“All those who say they do not even want to hear about that solution have not proposed any alternative,” replied German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, in statements to the press. Although it is “complex,” there is no room for “hiding our heads in the sand,” because that is the “only possible solution,” she added. For the new French Foreign Minister, Stéphane Séjourné, Netanyahu’s latest statements on the subject are “worrying” and show his isolation. “The vast majority of the world wants peace and wants a two-state solution,” stressed the Irishman, Micheál Martin.
“Spain is totally in favor of us taking one more step and not just talking about the two-state solution” or saying that it is favorable but rather “materializing it,” defended the Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares. The solution must put Gaza and the West Bank “under a single authority,” “with territorial continuity, connected by a corridor and access to the sea” and with Jerusalem as the capital, shared with Israel, he explained. The idea of calling the parties to a peace conference, Albares recalled, is based on the proposal launched by Spain in October and endorsed by the European Council. Belgium, which holds the rotating presidency of the EU Council, has offered to host the meeting, but Spain’s priority, the minister insisted, is not “where” it is held but “making it a reality.” Albares wanted to be discreet about the formulas that the EU uses to “implement” the solution, but he suggested that a plan could emerge from that meeting for European countries to recognize Palestinian sovereignty in a coordinated manner.
The Israeli minister surprises the EU with his proposal to build an artificial island off Gaza
The Twenty-Seven also met with their Palestinian counterpart, Sayid Al-Maliki, who before the meeting called on Europe to “demonstrate leadership and courage.” “I hope they call for a ceasefire, condemn Netanyahu’s statements rejecting the two-state solution, and consider sanctions against him and others who are destroying the opportunities for that solution and for peace in the Middle East,” Al-Declared. Maliki, who warned that Gaza’s health system has “collapsed” and there is no way to treat thousands of wounded Palestinians, who cannot leave the strip for treatment.
“We must impose peace. “I think everyone knows that the only way is a comprehensive peace based on the two-state solution,” defended the Jordanian Foreign Minister, Ayman Safadi, using the same verb, “impose,” that the EU to promote a solution to the conflict. Some European countries, such as Latvia this Monday, are beginning to talk about applying “economic pressure” on Israel to accept the solution. “There are formulas,” Borrell admitted, but “we are not there yet.”
The UN solution in 1947
The partition of Palestine. In 1947 the UN General Assembly recommended a Partition Plan that proposed the creation of two states, one Jewish and the other Palestinian, and an area under international control with Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Arab nations oppose it.
Resolution 242. After the Six-Day War, in 1967, the Security Council, unanimously, demanded that Israel withdraw from the “occupied territories” and respect the territorial integrity of the countries in the area. In 1970, the PLO accepted the two-state solution.
Oslo Accords. In 1993, Isaac Rabin and Yasir Arafat agreed to negotiate an end to the conflict on the basis of a two-state solution. Disagreements, among others, over Jerusalem and refugees and internal opposition on both sides derailed the process.
Acceptance of Hamas. In 2017, Hamas reviews its founding principles and demands the establishment of a Palestinian State under the 1967 borders, although it continues without recognizing Israel or abandoning the armed struggle.