A senior Palestinian official on Wednesday blamed US President Donald Trump’s break with decades of support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as irresponsible, adding that it does not advance peace. In a statement to AFP, Palestinian Liberation Organisation executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi said, “This does not make sense. This is not a responsible policy and it does not serve the cause of peace. They cannot just say that without an alternative,” she said.
Only on Tuesday, a senior White House official said the United States would no longer seek to dictate the terms of any eventual peace settlement by insisting on a Palestinian state alongside Israel, but would support whatever the two sides agree to together. The comments came on the eve of White House talks between Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“A two-state solution that doesn’t bring peace is not a goal that anybody wants to achieve,” the official said on condition of anonymity. “Peace is the goal, whether that comes in the form of a two-state solution if that’s what the parties want, or something else if that’s what the parties want.” For the better part of half a century, successive US
governments — both Republican and Democrat — have backed a two-state solution.
Trump has yet to speak directly to the Palestinian leadership since taking office last month. Meanwhile, Trump is prepared to host Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu likely for discussions that could pave the way for a future roadmap for Middle East policy. The US’ position for decades has been an idea of creating a Palestine living peacefully alongside Israel, though the last negotiations broke down in 2014. However, in a potential shift, a senior White House official had said on Tuesday that peace did not necessarily have to entail Palestinian statehood, and Trump would not try to “dictate” a solution.
(With inputs from Reuters)