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Proposals for a Palestinian state

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Part of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict
and Arab–Israeli conflict series
Peace Process
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a The Golan Heights are not part of the Israeli-Palestinian process.

Proposals for a Palestinian state refer to the proposed establishment of an independent state for the Palestinian people in the Palestinian territories that have been occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War of 1967 and before by Egypt (Gaza) and by Jordan (West Bank) since 1949. The proposals include the Gaza Strip, which is currently controlled by the Hamas faction of the Palestinian National Authority, the West Bank, which is administered by the Fatah faction of the Palestinian National Authority, and East Jerusalem which is under Israeli administration.[1]

The proclaimed State of Palestine is currently recognized by about 100 countries.[2][3] The Israeli military commander exercises usufructuary rights in accordance with international law, but he is not the legal sovereign of the occupied territory.[4] The permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people over the natural resources of the Palestinian territories has been recognized by 139 countries. Under agreements reached with Israel, the Palestinian Authority exercises de jure control over many natural resources, while interim cooperation arrangements are in place for others.[5]

Historical background

At the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire following World War I, the victorious European states divided many of its component regions into newly-created states under League of Nations mandates according to deals that had been struck with other interested parties.[6] In the Middle East, Syria (including the Ottoman autonomous Christian Lebanon and the surrounding areas that became the Republic of Lebanon) came under French control, while Mesopotamia, and Palestine (including what became Transjordan) were allotted to the British.

Most of these states achieved independence during the following three decades without great difficulty, though in some regimes, the colonial legacy continued through the granting of exclusive rights to market/manufacture oil and maintain troops to defend it. However, the case of Palestine remained problematic.

Following the war, two new movements based on European nationalism arose: Arab nationalism, which hinges on the cultural commonalities of all Arab peoples, and Pan-Arabism, which calls for the creation of a united state for all Arabs.

Historical proposals and events

(see also Palestinian nationalism). (Key terms, events, and proposals are bolded)

The Mandate Period

The future of Palestine ((pronounced PAL-es-tine)) was contentious from the beginning of the Palestine Mandate since the British declared support for a "Jewish national home in Palestine" even though most of the population were Arabs. It was also, according to one common view, the subject of British promises to the Arabs (creation of a large Pan-Arab state; promised to the Sharif of Mecca in exchange for Arab help fighting the Ottoman Empire) during World War I. Therefore, it is not surprising that many different proposals have been made and continue to be made, including an Arab state, with or without a significant Jewish population, a Jewish state, with or without a significant Arab population, a single bi-national state, with or without some degree of cantonization, two states, one bi-national and one Arab, with or without some form of federation, and two states, one Jewish and one Arab, with or without some form of federation.

At the same times, many Arab leaders believed that Palestine should join a larger Arab state covering the imprecise region of the Levant. These hopes were expressed in the Faisal-Weizmann Agreement, which was signed by soon-to-be Iraqi ruler Faisal I and the Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann, which called for a Jewish homeland in Palestine amidst a larger Arab state. Despite this, the promise of a Pan-Arab state including Palestine were dashed as Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan declared independence from their European rulers, while Palestine festered in the developing Arab-Jewish conflict.

In light of these developments, Palestinian Arabs began calling for both their own state in the British Mandate of Palestine and an end to the British support of the Jewish homeland's creation and to Jewish immigration. The movement gained steam through the 1920s and 1930s as Jewish immigration picked up. Under pressure from the arising nationalist movement, the British enforced the White Papers, a series of laws greatly restricting Jewish immigration and the sale of lands to Jews. The laws, passed in 1922, 1930, and 1939, varied in severity, but all attempted to find a balance between British sympathies with the Jews and the Arabs.

Finally, the 1936-1939 Arab revolt in Palestine led the British to create the Peel Commission, which produced the first concrete suggestion for a Palestinian state. The Commission's report published in 1937 called for a small Jewish state in the Galilee and maritime strip, a British enclave stretching from Jerusalem to Yafo and an Arab state covering the rest.[7] The plan also called for a large population transfer. Jewish leaders accepted the plan, while Arab leaders rejected it and the two subsequent proposals offered by the Peel Commission.

Proposals for Arab or Jewish states in the early mandate period

  • The 1937 Peel Commission proposal. A British Royal Commission led by Lord Peel examined the Palestine question beginning late in 1936. Its report, published in July 1937, recommended the creation of a small Jewish state in a region less than 1/5 of the total area of Palestine. The remainder was to be joined to Transjordan except for some parts, including Jerusalem, that would remain under British control. The Arab population in the Jewish areas was to be removed, by force if necessary, and vice versa, although this would mean the movement of far more Arabs than Jews. The Zionist leaders accepted the proposal, while the Arab leadership rejected the proposal outright. Two more partition plans were also considered: Plan B (map) and Plan C (map). It all came to nothing, as the British government had shelved the proposal altogether by the middle of 1938. In February 1939, the St. James Conference convened in London, but the Arab delegation refused to formally meet with its Jewish counterpart or to recognize them. The Conference ended on March 17, 1939 without making any progress. On May 17, 1939, the British government issued the White Paper of 1939, in which the idea of partitioning the Mandate was abandoned in favor of Jews and Arabs sharing one government and put strict quotas on further Jewish immigration. Due to impending World War II and the opposition from all sides, the plan was dropped.

World War II (1939–1945) gave a boost to the Jewish nationalism, as the Holocaust reaffirmed their call for a Jewish homeland. At the same time, many Arab leaders had even supported Nazi Germany, a fact which could not play well with the British. As a result, Britain pooled its energy into winning over Arab opinions by abandoning the Balfour Declaration and the terms of the League of Nations mandate which had been entrusted to it in order to create a "Jewish National Home". Britain did this by issuing the 1939 white paper which officially allowed a further 75,000 Jews to move over five years (10,000 a year plus an additional 25,000) which was to be followed by Arab majority independence. The British would later claim that that quota had already been fulfilled by those who had entered without its approval.

1947 UN Partition Plan

UN Partition Plan For Palestine 1947

Map of the UN Partition plan

In 1947, the United Nations created the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) to find an immediate solution to the Palestine question, which the British had handed over to the UN. As recommended by UNSCOP, the UN General Assembly approved what is known as the Partition Plan in Resolution 181 on November 29, 1947. The plan determined a specific date for the end of the British Mandate, May 15, 1948. More importantly, the proposal called for the creation of two states, while Jerusalem and Bethlehem would be placed under United Nations control.

Jewish leaders of the Jewish agency accepted parts of the plan, while Arab leaders refused it.[8][9][10] Large-scale fighting soon broke out between the Jews and the Arabs. King Abdullah I of Jordan met with a delegation headed by Golda Meir to negotiate terms for accepting the partition plan, but rejected its proposal that Jordan remain neutral. Indeed, the king knew that the nascent Palestinian state would soon be absorbed by its Arab neighbors, and therefore had a vested interest in being party to the imminent war.[11] As the Mandate was set to end, the State of Israel declared its independence on May 14, 1948. Almost immediately, Transjordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and the Arab Liberation Army declared war against Israel (see 1948 Arab-Israeli War, known to Israelis as the War of Independence and to Palestinians as the Nakba - the disaster). Over the course of the war, scores of Arab settlements in the new state, mostly small villages, were depopulated due to a variety of often-disputed reasons, including expulsion by Jewish or Israeli troops, fear from attack, or encouragement by the British or Arab officials to leave until the situation had died down (see Palestinian exodus).

Meanwhile, Abdullah of Transjordan sent the Arab Legion into the West Bank with no intention of withdrawing it following the war. Egypt, for its part, took over the Gaza Strip, the last remnant of the Palestinian state. The territory which Israel did not annex, Palestine's allies had taken in its place.[12] As the Palestinian writer Hisham Sharabi would observe, Palestine had "disappeared from the map,"[13] 26 years after appearing as an officially defined, bordered territory.

  • The All-Palestine Government. In September 1948, partly as an Arab League move to limit the influence of Jordan over the Palestinian issue, a Palestinian government was declared in Gaza. The former mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, was appointed as president. On October 1, the All-Palestine government declared an independent Palestinian state in all of Palestine region with Jerusalem as its capital. This government was recognised by Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen, but not by Jordan or any non-Arab country. However, it was little more than a facade under Egyptian control and had negligible influence or funding. Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip or Egypt were issued with All-Palestine passports until 1959, when Gamal Abdul Nasser, president of Egypt, annulled the All-Palestine government by decree.


The birth of Israel led to a major displacement of the Arab population, who left their homes for a number of reasons. These generlly consist of wanting to leave the war zone encompassing most of the land or were moved form their homes by Israeli forces for varying reasons some tactical and some political. Many wealthy merchants and leading urban notables from Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Jerusalem fled to Lebanon, Egypt, and Jordan, while the middle class tended to move to all-Arab towns such as Nābulus and Nazareth. The majority of lower class workers ended up in refugee camps. More than 400 Arab villages disappeared due to population shifts, and Arab life in the coastal cities virtually disintegrated. The center of Palestinian life shifted to the Arab towns of the hilly eastern portion of the region—which was immediately west of the Jordan River and came to be called the West Bank.[14]

Nearly 1,400,000 Arabs lived in Palestine (there were also 700,0000 Jews) when the war broke out. Estimates of the number of Arabs displaced from their original homes, villages, and neighborhoods during the period from December 1947 to January 1949 range from about 520,000 to about 1,000,000; there is general consensus, however, that the actual number was more than 600,000 and likely exceeded 700,000. Some 276,000 moved to the West Bank; by 1949 more than half the prewar Arab population of Palestine lived in the West Bank (from 400,000 in 1947 to more than 700,000). Between 160,000 and 190,000 fled to the Gaza Strip. More than one-fifth of Palestinian Arabs left Palestine altogether. About 100,000 of these went to Lebanon, 100,000 to Jordan, between 75,000 and 90,000 to Syria, 7,000 to 10,000 to Egypt, and 4,000 to Iraq.[14]

Under Arab rule

At war's end in 1949, Jordan had control of the West Bank of the Jordan River, including East Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Egypt took control of the narrow Gaza Strip, while Israel controlled the rest of the British Mandate.

King Abdullah I of Jordan decided to grant citizenship to the Palestinian refugees and residents living in the West Bank against the wishes of many Palestinian leaders who still hoped to establish a Palestinian state. Under Abdullah's leadership, Palestinian hopes of independence were dealt a severe blow. In March he issued a royal decree forbidding the use of the term "Palestine" in any legal documents, and pursued other measures designed to make the fact that there would not be an independent Palestine clear and certain.[15]

In Gaza, a government calling itself the All-Palestine Government formed, even before the war's end in September 1948. The government, under the leadership of the Mufti of Jerusalem Mohammad Amin al-Husayni, declared the independence of the Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. The All-Palestine Government would go on to be recognized by Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen, while Jordan and the other Arab states refused to recognize it.

In practice, the All-Palestine government was only a publicity stunt, as it was given no real authority by the Egyptian government. In 1959, Egypt's new leader Gamal Abdul Nasser ordered the dismantling of the All-Palestine Government, yet notably refused to grant Palestinians in Gaza Egyptian citizenship.

The Six-Day War

In June 1967, Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan, the Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, and the area known as the Golan Heights from Syria during the Six-Day War. Israel, which was ordered to withdraw from some of the conquered territories and negotiate final borders by United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, annexed East Jerusalem and extended its laws over the Golan Heights.

Jordan continued to have economic influence over the West Bank until the 1980s, when King Hussein unilaterally cut the link between his kingdom and its residents and the Palestinians of the West Bank. Israel unilaterally withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005.

The PLO and the State of Palestine

Before the Six-Day War, the movement for an independent Palestine received a boost in 1964 when the Palestine Liberation Organization was established. Its goal, as stated in the Palestinian National Covenant was to create a Palestinian state in the whole British Mandate, a statement which nullified Israel's right to exist.

The PLO would become the leading force in the Palestinian national movement politically, and its leader, Yassir Arafat, would become regarded as the leader of the Palestinian people.

In 1974, the PLO adopted the Ten Point Program, which notably called for the establishment of an Israeli-Palestinian democratic, bi national state (a one state solution). It also called for the establishment of Palestinian rule on "any part" of its liberated territory, as a step towards "completing the liberation of all Palestinian territory, and as a step along the road to comprehensive Arab unity." While this was not seen by Israel as a significant moderation of PLO policy, the phrasing was extremely controversial within the PLO itself, where it was widely regarded as a move towards a two-state solution. The adoption of the program, under pressure from Arafat's Fatah faction and some minor groups (eg. DFLP, al-Sa'iqa) led many hard-line groups to break away from the Arafat and the mainstream PLO members, forming the Rejectionist Front. To some extent, this split is still evident today.

  • Various declarations of Palestinian independence
  • During the 1978 Camp David negotiations between Israel and Egypt Anwar Sadat proposed the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. Israel refused.[16]

Declaration of the state in 1988

The declaration of a State of Palestine (Arabic: دولة فلسطين‎) took place in Algiers on November 15, 1988, by the Palestinian National Council, the legislative body of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).

Currently, the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), along with the United States, the European Union, and the Arab League, envision the establishment of a State of Palestine to include all or part of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem, living in peace with Israel under a democratically elected and transparent government. The PNA, however, does not claim sovereignty over any territory and therefore is not the government of the State of Palestine proclaimed in 1988.

Flag of Palestine

Palestinian flag

The 1988 declaration was approved at a meeting in Algiers, by a vote of 253-46, with 10 abstentions. The declaration invoked the Treaty of Lausanne (1923) and UN General Assembly Resolution 181 in support of its claim to a "State of Palestine on our Palestinian territory with its capital Jerusalem". The proclaimed state of Palestine was recognized immediately by the Arab League, and about half the world's governments recognize it today. It maintains embassies in many of these countries and special or general delegations in others. Palestine is also an Observer Member in the United Nations. (See State of Palestine#United Nations representation.)

The declaration is generally interpreted to be a major step on the path to Israel's recognition by the Palestinians. Just as in Israel's declaration of independence, it partly bases its claims on UN GA 181. By reference to "resolutions of Arab Summits" and "UN resolutions since 1947" (like SC 242) it implicitly and perhaps ambiguously restricted its immediate claims to the Palestinian territories and Jerusalem. It was accompanied by a political statement that explicitly mentioned SC 242 and other UN resolutions and called only for withdrawal from "Arab Jerusalem" and the other "Arab territories occupied."[17] Yasser Arafat's statements in Geneva a month later were accepted by the United States as sufficient to remove the ambiguities it saw in the declaration and to fulfill the longheld conditions for open dialogue with the United States.

Current proposals


International recognition of the State of Palestine

The current position of the Palestinian Authority is that all of the West Bank and Gaza Strip should form the basis of a future Palestinian state. For additional discussion, see Palestinian territories.

The main discussion during the last fifteen years has focused on turning most or the whole of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank into an independent Palestinian state. This was the basis for the Oslo accords[1] and it is favoured by the U.S. [2] The status of Israel within the 1949 Armistice lines has not been the subject of international negotiations. Some members of the PLO recognize Israel's right to exist within these boundaries; others hold that Israel must eventually be destroyed. Consequently, some Israelis hold that Palestinian statehood is impossible with the current PLO as a basis, and needs to be delayed.

The specific points and impediments to the establishment of a Palestinian state are listed below. They are a part of a greater mindset difference. Israel declares that its security demands that a Palestinian entity would not have all attributes of a state, at least initially, so that in case things go wrong, Israel would not have to face a dangerous and nearby enemy. Israel may be therefore said to agree (as of now) not to a complete and independent Palestinian state, but rather to a self-administering entity, with partial but not full sovereignty over its borders and its citizens.

The central Palestinian position is that they have already compromised greatly by accepting a state covering only the areas of the West Bank and Gaza. These areas are significantly less territory than allocated to the Arab state in UN Resolution 181. They feel that it is unacceptable for an agreement to impose additional restrictions (such as level of militarization, see below) which, they declare, makes a viable state impossible. In particular, they are angered by significant increases in the population of Israeli settlements and communities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip during the interim period of the Oslo accords. Palestinians claim that they have already waited long enough, and that Israel's interests do not justify depriving their state of those rights that they consider important. The Palestinians have been unwilling to accept a territorially disjointed state. It is feared that it would face difficulties similar to Bantustans.

During the Annapolis conference, then Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, offered East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine and 99.3% of the West Bank, in which .7% of the land would constitute as a safe passage between the borders of Israel and Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas rejected the offer.[18]

Peace process

A peace process has been in progress in spite of all the differences and conflicts.

In the 1990s, outstanding steps were taken which formally began a process the goal of which was to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict through a two-state solution. Beginning with the Madrid Conference of 1991 and culminating in the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords between Palestinians and Israelis, the peace process has laid the framework for Palestinian autonomy in the West Bank and in Gaza. According to the Oslo Accords, signed by Yassir Arafat and then Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in Washington, Israel would pull out of the Gaza Strip and cities in the West Bank, leaving contested East Jerusalem in question.

Following the landmark accords, the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) was established to govern those areas from which Israel was to pull out. The PNA was granted limited autonomy over a non-contiguous area, though it does govern most Palestinian population centers.

The process stalled with the collapse of the Camp David 2000 Summit between Palestinians and Israel, after which the second Intifada broke out.

Israel ceased to act in cooperation with the PNA and later on would occupy some Palestinian cities anew. In the shadow of the rising death toll from the violence, the United States initiated the Road Map for Peace (published on June 24, 2002), which is intended to end the Intifada by disarming the Palestinian terror groups and creating an independent Palestinian state. The Road Map has stalled awaiting the implementation of the step required by the first phase of that plan. It remains stalled due to the civil war between Hamas and Fatah.

In 2005, Israel unilaterally withdrew from the Gaza Strip as part of the Disengagement Plan, which was seen as a move toward creating an independent Palestinian state.

Historical views

Palestinian view

The Palestinian People see the mass immigration - mainly from Europe, the United States of America, and Arabic countries - of modern-day Israelis to this region of the world, their acts of warfare, and the establishment of the state of Israel as an act of illegal occupation. This occupation has consequences for hundreds of thousands of Arab Palestinians living in refugee camps in several countries in the world, including destruction of villages perpetrated against those Palestinians that are still living in their land today, and the increase in Israeli settlements in the remaining Palestinian villages and lands.

Israeli views

The traditional Israeli view has been that there is no such thing as a separate Palestinian people, distinct from other Arabs, at least historically. The borders of historical Palestine and surrounding countries were arbitrarily determined and there are already several Arab nations. Therefore, it is unreasonable to demand that Israel should have any responsibility or part in establishing a nation for them. This is summarized by the famous statement of Israeli Prime Minister (1969-74) Golda Meir: "There was no such thing as Palestinians ... It was not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine considering itself as a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist."[19]

Arab views

Before the creation of Israel, Arab leaders supported the creation of a united Arab state encompassing all Arab peoples including Palestine, so that no independent Palestinian state would exist, but this became a minority view amongst Palestinians during the British Mandate, and after 1948 became rare. It is still an opinion expressed regularly in the Arab states outside Palestine (especially Syria due to its attachment to the Greater Syria Movement which was launched in 1944 to establish a "Syrian Arab" state that would include Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Palestine.) However, it is generally recognised that such a development has become implausible under current political realities and even those who might favor it in some circumstances support an independent Palestinian state as the most achievable option.

Syria joined Egypt in founding the United Arab Republic (UAR) in 1958 during a period of Pan-Arabism as the first step toward the recreation of Pan-Arab state. The UAR was to include, among others, Palestine. The UAR disintegrated into its constituent states in 1961.

Egypt held Gaza and Jordan annexed the West Bank between 1948 and 1967. During those years, Egyptian President Nasser created the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1964. In 1959 Fatah was formed in Kuwait City, Kuwait by a group of ex-pat Palestinian professionals, including Yasser Arafat working in the Gulf states, with similar aims.

Nowadays, most Arabs (Christians and Muslims), and some anti-zionists Jews [20], support Palestinians' rights to self-determination and support Palestinian refugees and their right to return to their homes and lands of origin in Palestine [21] (what it is now Israel and Palestinian territories) (see return of Palestinian refugees).

Obstacles to establishing a Palestinian state

Note that the materials in this section are mainly based on the Israeli ([3], [4]) and Palestinian ([5],[6]) positions during the ill-fated Camp David negotiations.

This mistrust is manifested through various issues including the Positions on the status of Jerusalem and the holy places, the return of Palestinian refugees and the issue of Israeli settlements.

Plans for a solution


The West Bank


The Gaza Strip

There are several plans for a possible Palestinian state. Each one has many variations. Some of the more prominent plans include:

  • Creation of a Palestinian state out of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, with its capital in East Jerusalem. This would make the 1949 Armistice lines, perhaps with minor changes, into permanent de jure borders. This long-extant idea forms the basis of a peace plan put forward by Saudi Arabia in March 2002, which was accepted by the Palestinian Authority and all other members of the Arab League. This plan promised in exchange for withdrawal complete recognition of and full diplomatic relations with Israel by the Arab world. Israel claims its security would be threatened by (essentially) complete withdrawal as it would return Israel to its pre-1967 10-mile strategic depth. Moreover some claim that the Palestinians had rejected very similar offers made during and after the Camp David 2000 Summit. The plan spoke only of a "just settlement of the refugee problem", but insistence on a Palestinian right of return to the pre-1967 territory of Israel could result in two Arab states, one of them (pre-1967 Israel) with a significant Jewish minority, and another (the West Bank and Gaza) without Jews.
  • Other, more limited, plans for a Palestinian state have also been put forward, putting parts of Gaza and the West Bank which have been settled by Israelis or are of particular strategic importance remaining in Israeli hands. Areas that are currently part of Israel could be allocated to the Palestinian state in compensation. The status of Jerusalem is particularly contentious.
  • A plan proposed by former Israeli tourism minister MK Binyamin Elon and popular with the Israeli right wing advocates the expansion of Israel up to the Jordan River and the "recognition and development of Jordan as the Palestinian State". The legitimacy for this plan leans on the fact that an overwhelming majority of Jordanian citizens are Palestinian, including King Abdullah's wife, Queen Rania, as well as the fact that the Kingdom of Jordan is composed of lands that until 1921 were part of the British Mandate of Palestine and thus was claimed by at least some Zionists (such as Ze'ev Jabotinsky and his Etzel) as part of the "Jewish national home" of the Balfour Declaration. Palestinian residents of Gaza and the West Bank would become citizens of Jordan and many would be settled in other countries. Elon claims this would be part of the population exchange initiated by the mass exodus [7] of Jews from Arab states to Israel in the 1950s. See Elon Peace Plan. A September 2004 poll conducted by the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies reported that 46% of Israelis support transferring the Arab population out of the territories and that 60% of respondents said that they were in favor of encouraging Israeli Arabs to leave the country. Initially, the plan caused significant outcry and had been almost universally condemned by other countries. However, On July 16, 2008, a bi-partisan panel of Israeli parliament members endorsed the initiative, including left-wing MK Dr. Yossi Beilin who called on the EU to absorb Palestinian refugees as part of a wider process of habilitating refugees.[22]
  • RAND has proposed a solution entitled The Arc in which the West Bank is joined with Gaza in an infrastructural arc. The development plan includes recommendations from low level civic planning to banking reform and currency reform.
  • Another plan which has gained some support is one where the Gaza Strip is given independence as a Palestinian enclave, with parts of the West Bank split between Israel and Jordan respectively. The Jerusalem problem may be addressed by administration by a third party such as the United Nations as put forward in their initial partition plan.

Several plans have been proposed for a Palestinian state to incorporate all of the former British mandate of Palestine (pre-1967 territory of Israel, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank). Some possible configurations include:

  • A secular Arab state (as described in the Palestinian National Covenant before the cancellation of the relevant clauses in 1998). Accordingly, only those "Jews who had normally resided in Palestine until the beginning of the Zionist invasion will be considered Palestinians", which excludes at least 90% of the Jewish population of Israel.
  • A strictly Islamic state (advocated by Hamas and the Islamic Movement). This arrangement would face objection from the Jewish population as well as secular Muslim and non-Muslim Palestinians.
  • A federation (likely consociational) of separate Jewish and Arab areas (some Israelis and Palestinians). It is not clear how this arrangement would distribute natural resources and maintain security.
  • A single, bi-national state (advocated by various Israeli and Palestinian groups). Palestinian and Israeli critics of this arrangement fear that the new state is likely to give the two sides an asymmetric status (though not necessarily an unequal one). Others say that such a state is likely to fail, as was seen in places where similar things were tried, like Yugoslavia and Lebanon. Strong nationalist sentiment among many Israelis and Palestinians would be an obstacle to this arrangement. After what he perceived as the failure of the Oslo Process and the two-state solution, Palestinian-American professor Edward Said became a vocal advocate of this plan.
  • A United Arab Kingdom plan which returns Palestine to nominal Jordanian control under the supervision of a Hashemite monarch. This idea was first proposed by the late King Hussein. In October 2007, King Abdullah stated that the Palestinian independence must be achieved before Jordan will entertain expanding its role in Palestine beyond religious sites. This plan is buttressed by a Jordanian infrastructure which is vastly superior to the 1948-1967 area with particular attention paid to tourism, healthcare, and education. A Palestinian state would rely heavily on tourism, which Jordan would assist with considerable experience and established departments.

Parties which recognize a Palestinian entity separate from Israel

Israel-Palestine Diplomacy

The map shows the status of the one-state solution for both Israel and Palestine.      Israel and Palestine      Recognition of a Jewish/Zionist-only state      Recognition of a Jewish/Zionist state, with a Muslim/Arab minority      Recognition of a dual/bi-national "Jewish and Arab" state      Recognition of a Muslim/Arab state, with a Jewish/Zionist minority      Recognition of a Muslim/Arab-only state      No recognition

See also


  1. Olmert: Israel must quit East Jerusalem and Golan
  2. Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU): 3.10 - How many countries recognize Palestine as a state?
  3. Palestinian National Authority Recognition of the State of Palestine after its proclamation by the PNC meeting in Algiers in November 1988
  4. see HCJ 7957/04 Mara’abe v. The Prime Minister of Israel
  5. The Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples - resolution 1514 (XV), 1960 outlawed colonialism, and provided that indigenous peoples have permanent sovereignty over the natural resources of their territory. The UN has reaffirmed the principle of the permanent sovereignty of peoples under foreign occupation over their natural resources, and the Permanent Sovereignty of the Palestinian People Over The Natural Resources Of The Occupied Palestinian territories. The vote in 2008 was 139 to 6. The representative of Israeli stated that under agreements reached between the two sides, the Palestinian Authority already exercises jurisdiction (i.e. de jure control) over many natural resources, while interim cooperation and arrangements are in place for others.
  6. Boundaries Delimitation: Palestine and Trans-Jordan, Yitzhak Gil-Har, Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. 36, No. 1 (Jan., 2000), pp. 68-81: "Palestine and Transjordan emerged as states; This was in consequence of British War commitments to its allies during the First World War.
  7. "Report of the Palestine Royal Commission, presented by the Secretary of State for the Colonies to the United Kingdom Parliament by Command of His Britannic Majesty (July 1937)"
  8. UN Doc October 17, 1947: Mr. Moshe Shertok as head of Political Department of the Jewish Agency statement to Ad Hoc committee on Palestine
  9. UN Doc October 2. Dr Able Hillel Silver, Chairman of the American Section of the Jewish Agency makes the case for a Jewish State to the Ad Hoc committee on Palestine. Jewish Agency announces acceptance of 10 of the eleven unanimous recommendations of the UN partition plan and rejection of the minority report. Of the Majority report (the Partition Plan areas) Dr Able Hillel Silver vacillates saying that he was prepared to “recommend to the Jewish people acceptance subject to further discussion of the constitutional and territorial provisions”.
  10. UN Doc In a key address before the Political Committee of the U.N. General Assembly on November 14, 1947, just five days before that body voted on the partition plan for Palestine, Heykal Pasha, an Egyptian delegate, made the following key statement in connection with that plan;
    The United Nations . . . should not lose sight of the fact that the proposed solution might endanger a million Jews living in the Moslem countries. Partition of Palestine might create in those countries an anti-Semitism even more difficult to root out than the anti-Semitism which the Allies were trying to eradicate in Germany. . . If the United Nations decides to partition Palestine, it might be responsible for the massacre of a large number of Jews. A million Jews live in peace in Egypt [and other Muslim countries] and enjoy all rights of citizenship. They have no desire to emigrate and go to Palestine. However, if a Jewish State were established, nobody could prevent disorders. Riots would break out in Palestine, would spread through all the Arab states and might lead to a war between two races. U.N. General Assembly, Second Session, Official Records, Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question, Summary Records of Meetings, Lake Success, N.Y., Sept. 25-Nov. 15, 1947, p. 185
  11. Mark Tessler, A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, 1994, ISBN 0253208734
  12. Meanwhile, Abdullah of ... in its place. Mark Tessler, A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, 1994, ISBN 0253208734
  13. Hisham Sharabi, Palestine and Israel, p. 194.
  14. 14.0 14.1
  15. Shaul Mishal, West Bank/East Bank: The Palestinians in Jordan, 1949-1967 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987) ISBN 0300021917
  16. Roger Friedland, Richard D. Hecht (1996). To Rule Jerusalem. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521440467.,M1. 
  17. Palestine National Council Al-Bab
  22. More Israeli Jews favor transfer of Palestinians, Israeli Arabs - poll finds Ha'aretz

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This page uses content from the English Wikisource. The original article was at Proposals for a Palestinian state. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with the Religion wiki, the text of Wikisource is available under the CC-BY-SA.

lt:Palestinos valstybė mk:Палестина (автономна територија) ja:パレスチナ自治政府 nds:Palästinensische sülvstregeerte Rebeden ru:Государство Палестина sk:Palestína (územie) fi:Palestiinalaishallinto wa:Palestene (contrêye) wuu:巴勒斯坦 yi:פאלעסטינע zh-yue:巴勒斯坦 zh:巴勒斯坦国

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