THE United Nations and the Arab League restated their commitment to a Palestinian state yesterday after US President Donald Trump suggested a one-state solution to the Israeli-Arab conflict.
After a meeting in Cairo, UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres and his Arab League counterpart Ahmed Aboul-Gheit said they had agreed that the two-state solution was “the only way to achieve a comprehensive and just settlement to the Palestinian cause.”
That potentially put them at odds with Mr Trump, who reneged on the US’s long-standing support for a Palestinian state at a White House press conference with visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday.
Confirming a stance trailed by an anonymous White House source on Tuesday, Mr Trump said he was ready to consider “alternatives” to a two-state solution.
“I’m looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like,” he told reporters. “I can live with either one.”
Mr Netanyahu was less enthusiastic, saying cryptically that he did not want to deal with “labels.”
The Israeli leader insisted that, for peace to be sustainable, two “prerequisites” must be met: “Recognition of the Jewish state and Israel’s security needs west of the Jordan river [in the occupied Palestinian territories].”
Mr Trump also told Mr Netanyahu to “hold off” on new settlement building in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Senior PLO figures had earlier reacted to the signalled policy change on Wednesday, saying a one-state solution would have to grant democratic and other civil rights to six million Palestinians or be an apartheid state.
Mr Netanyahu’s Likud party-led government opposes both an independent Palestine and the prospect of admitting the six million Palestinians under its rule — and the same number abroad — as citizens of the “Jewish state.”
According to a poll released yesterday, the number of Israelis and Palestinians who support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state has dropped in recent months.
It found 55 per cent of Israelis and 44 per cent of Palestinians support a two-state arrangement — down from 59 per cent and 51 per cent last June.
But just 24 per cent of Israelis and one-third of Palestinians prefer a single binational state, the poll found.
We need your support to keep running. If you like what you read please donate by clicking here