An unidentified White House official on Wednesday said the two-state solution is no longer intrinsic to its policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Reuters reported, indicating a change in Washington’s decades-old stance promoting the plan. The statement precedes a meeting between United States President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later in the day. Earlier in the day, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres had said “everything must be done’ to safeguard the two-state solution, AFP reported.
The Palestinian administration cautioned the Trump-led government against abandoning the two-state solution, Reuters reported. Speaking to reporters about the conflict before the meeting, the Washington official said Trump would not try to “dictate an agreement”, which may be in the “form of a two–state solution or something else”.
“The two-state solution is not something we just came up with. It is an international consensus and decision after decades of Israel’s rejection of the one-state democratic formula,” Husam Zomlot, strategic affairs adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told Reuters.
While Netanyahu has committed to the two-state solution, members of his government are of the opinion that regional instability is not conducive to the creation of a Palestinian state.
On February 10, Guterres had said there was “no plan B” but for the two-state solution for the bilateral conflict. “It is absolutely essential to avoid unilateral actions that undermine the possibility of that two-state solution,” Guterres said.
At the core of the dispute is Palestinians’ opposition to Israeli settlement in the West Bank and East Jerusalem region, which it claims are for a future state. Israel, on the other hand, has accused Palestine of perpetrating violence on its territory. Israel said Palestine’s denial of its existence as a Jewish state was a major obstacle in their negotiations.