29th Arab League Summit: New solutions for Israeli-Palestinian conflict?



Kings, leaders and heads of Arab countries will arrive at the eastern port city of Dhahran in Saudi Arabia on Sunday to attend the 29th Arab League Summit, which was planned for late March but delayed to April 15.

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict will top the agenda during the Arab League Summit due to the current situation in the Gaza Strip. One Palestinian was killed and 233 were wounded by live Israeli fire as more than 10,000 protested along the Israel-Gaza border on Friday, burning tires and Israeli flags, the Gaza Health Ministry said.

Here are some basic facts about the up-coming 29th Arab League Summit and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

There are pervasively two broad ways the Israeli-Palestinian conflict might end.


Two-state solution, the mainstream solution

Origin: United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 (December 11, 1948).

Goal: To create an independent Israel and Palestine, cause Israelis want a Jewish state, and Palestinians want a Palestinian one.

Obstacles: Israel has no intention of evacuating settlements in the occupied West Bank. Israeli settlements are built on land the Palestinians see as part of their future state. Some of Netanyahu's governments advocate annexing most of the West Bank, which would make an independent Palestinian state impossible. Conflicts and disputes around the Gaza Strip, Jerusalem issues recently, Security Council Resolution 2334 and the game of international powers also worsen the solution.


Former Israeli diplomat Nadav Tamir:

"There is a majority in Israel for a two-state solution, Israel and Palestine could one day be friendly as separate nations, much as the relationship between France and Germany evolved from that of enemies in World War II to allies today.”

Ronald S. Lauder, the president of the World Jewish Congress:

“Israel will face a stark choice to either grant Palestinians full rights and cease being a Jewish state or rescind their rights and cease being a democracy. The only way to avoid either choice is with a two-state solution.”

US President Donald Trump:

“I’m looking at two-state and at one-state and I like the one that both parties like.”

Palestinian ambassador to the US Husam Zomlot:

“We believe that the best way forward is the two-state solution on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem being the capital of Palestine, and the two-state solution is not a compromise. The two-state solution is a Palestinian concession.”

One-state solution

Goal: Merge Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip into one big country.

Create a single democratic country, which is favored by leftists and Palestinians. Arab Muslims would outnumber Jews, thus ending Israel as a Jewish state.

Involve Israel annexing the West Bank and either forcing out Palestinians or denying them the right to vote, which is favored by rightists and Israelis.

Possibility: As the Israeli-Palestinian peace process continues to stalemate, voices calling for an inclusive single state in Israel/Palestine as an alternative to the two-state solution have grown louder.


Saeb Erekat, the main Palestinian negotiator:

“It was time to struggle for one state with equal rights for everyone living in historic Palestine, from the river to the sea.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:

“I don’t want a one-state solution, but I want to make sure that what we have next to us is something that will not threaten our lives. It really makes a difference what the other state is. Is it Costa Rica or is it Democratic People's Republic of Korea? Is it another mini-Iran or is it Luxembourg?”

According to the data of annual temperature check on the two nations’ attitudes toward peace released by Israeli and Palestinian pollsters in August, 2017, 52.5 percent of the Palestinians preferred a two-state solution and 11.6 percent of Israeli Jews and 16.7 percent of Israeli Arabs supported one-state.

The survey was conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research and the Tel Aviv University Center for Peace Research with funding from the European Union.

In an interview with Al-Ahram daily newspaper, the Arab League secretary-general and former Egyptian foreign minister Aboul-Gheit said: "I am optimistic the Riyadh summit will create a new momentum similar to the momentum we have seen towards the Palestinian issue, which was reflected in active Arab moves to support the Palestinian people vis-a-vis the pressures they have been facing from the recent stances of the American administration and the continued intransigence of the Israeli side.”

Aboul-Gheit added that the Arab states will seek to prevent Israel from gaining a rotating seat on the UN Security Council during the summit.