Israel-Palestinian peace: One-state, two-state solutions explained
President Trump said Wednesday during a joint news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he "can live with" a two-state or one-state solution for Mideast peace. "I'm happy with the one they like the best," Trump said.
The comments depart from long-standing U.S. policy that has backed a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians.
So, what are the two-state and one-state solutions for ending the Israel-Palestinian conflict that has persisted since the founding of the Israeli state in 1948?
The two-state solution calls for the creation of an independent Palestinian state existing peacefully alongside Israel. That goal has been embraced by past Democratic and Republican administrations and the United Nations.
Supporters say the two-state solution would end hostility between Israel and Palestinians as well as Arab neighbors, and produce stability in the chaos-prone Middle East.
Getting there, however, has proven exceedingly difficult because of what appear to be several intractable disputes. Foremost is Israel's demand that the Palestinians and other Arab neighbors recognize the Jewish state's right to exist and end terror attacks.
In addition, the two sides are far apart on the borders of a new Palestinian state: Both claim Jerusalem as their capital, and Israel has expanded settlements on land that the Palestinians also say is theirs.
Another contentious dispute involves the "right of return" claimed by millions of Palestinians — or their descendants — who were evicted from their land when the Jewish state was created. The Palestinians say it is a basic right to reclaim their property, while Israel says the issue should be decided by political negotiations.
© Richard Gray/Empics Entertainment A general view of Gaza. From a series of photos commissioned by British NGO, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP).
The one-state solution has gained support of late amid the failure of progress toward creation of an independent Palestinian nation.
This approach calls for Israel to annex the West Bank, which it captured from Jordan in their 1967 war, and grant some form of citizenship to Palestinians. The idea has appeal to small factions of both Israelis and Palestinians frustrated by the current standoff and perpetual hostility.
Among the many problems are the likely disapproval of that approach by most of the world community, and whether Palestinians would be afforded full citizen rights and eventually outnumber Jewish Israelis or be consigned to second-class status as occurred in South Africa during Apartheid.