The Obama Administration is set to unveil its much-anticipated plan for establishing a sustainable peace between Israelis and Palestinians at a pivotal point in the conflict. Among the key points expected to dominate the negotiations are the issues of settlements, the barrier wall, Jerusalem, house demolitions and confiscation of land, Palestinian refugees, access to water and borders.
Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has already stated that Jerusalem will never be divided. He also favors annexing huge settlement blocs, making them permanently part of Israel. Meanwhile, Palestinians continue to be evicted from their homes in East Jerusalem where Jewish settlers move in and claim the residence as their own.
Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority, has stated that his negotiating team will not engage in peace negotiations until the Israeli government halts the expansion of settlements. Abbas has also reiterated his desire for East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future Palestinian state.
“The current administration is heading in the right direction, and dialogue between the two sides is very important,” said Robert Solorzano, a UVU student dedicated to peace and justice studies. “Both sides must be willing to make concessions if a sustainable peace is to be achieved.”
As the Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues to get an increasing amount of attention from the international community, it becomes critical that the ensuing negotiations are accompanied with leaders who are willing to make meaningful concessions so a sustainable peace and reconciliation can be realized.