More than two years after U.S. President Donald Trump first proposed a plan to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, it lies stalled half in and half out of the starting blocks.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday announced that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his main domestic rival, Benny Gantz, had been invited to Washington next week to discuss “the prospect of peace”.
There was no mention of the Palestinians, who swiftly warned against any American move violating international law.
Little has so far been revealed about the plan which will have to address issues that have defied decades of efforts by previous peacemakers.
These issues include:
-The status of Jerusalem – which includes sites sacred to Judaism, Islam and Christianity
-Establishing mutually agreed borders.
-Finding security arrangements to satisfy Israel’s fears of attacks by Palestinians and hostile neighbors.
-The Palestinian demand for statehood, and an end to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory.
-Finding a solution to the plight of millions of Palestinian refugees.
-Arrangements to share scarce natural resources, such as water.
-Palestinian demands that Israel remove its settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. More than 400,000 Israelis now live among roughly 3 million Palestinians in the West Bank, with another 200,000 settlers in east Jerusalem.