Abu Dis, West Bank - AP Interview: Palestinian Doubts 2-State Solution
Abu Dis, West Bank - With gloom deepening over prospects for peace, a leading Palestinian is suggesting they might drop the “two-state solution” that has underpinned two decades of negotiations, aiming for Israel and a Palestinian state next to each other.
Instead, Palestinians might seek a multi-ethnic state covering all of historic Palestine — including today’s Israel, said former Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia in an interview at his office in this West Bank town.
Deriding what remains of the peace process as “no more than a waste of time,” Qureia condemned the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for settling the occupied West Bank with Jews and blocking Palestinian access to their hoped-for capital in Jerusalem.
“If this is the policy, I think it is a big lie to talk about the two-state solution,” said Qureia. “They are killing the opportunity of two-state solution. If it dies ... there are other choices.
“One state is one of the choices.”
Qureia is the highest ranking Palestinian to articulate a view that is increasingly heard behind closed Palestinian doors: despite the privations of the occupation, time is oddly on their side, and Israel is shooting itself in the foot with its settlements and stalling.
Netanyahu recently joined dovish Israelis who for years have advocated creating a Palestinian state precisely because the alternative of adding the occupied territories to Israel — effectively, the one-state solution — would flood the Jewish state with Arabs. Israel unilaterally withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005 largely due to similar concerns.
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