Peace in the Middle East pros and cons
26 November 2008 Israel announced that the peace treaty would be concluded soon.
15 June 2009 The Israeli Prime Minister announced that Israel would be ready to admit the independent Palestinian state, which has seem to be a major step forward - and which is considered to be otherwise a major basic condition of the peace in the Middle East (among Arabs and Israelis) in international politics. True, Israel would require very strict conditions in return for this, which are regarded rather excessive by the Palestinians.
22 September 2009 A Middle East summit was held in New York by Israeli-Palestinian participation. The two sides have not reached an agreement on the fact that the existing Jewish settlements in the territories occupied by Israel would be removed and the construction of new ones would be frozen, thus impeding the formation of the territorially unified Independent Palestinian State (IPS) in connection with which the Palestinian leader, M. Abbas called on the UN to exercise pressure on Israel.
25-26 October 2009 Since the end of September, several confrontations took place between Jews and Palestinians in East Jerusalem at Temple Square (also Mosque Square: the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock are currently located here), which has been kept under Israeli control since the war of 1967. The Islamic religious authority says that the Israelis plan to occupy the mosques in Jerusalem, to carry out excavations into the Mount under the mosques and to build an own church of theirs. The area is under Israeli jurisdiction, but the Islamic religious authority does not allow Jews and Christians to pray there. Free access to Temple Square is required by a group of rabbis. They requested the assistance of the government to allow Jews to enter the Temple Mount, it is becoming even more urgent, because the Temple Mount is regarded as the Jews’ most sacred place. Temple Square is also of great importance, because the Western Wall (also Wailing Wall) is located beneath the square, which is a section of the reinforcement of the Temple Mount and also the remnant of the former Temple destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. Before the construction of the Temple, four walls were built around a natural hill then the space was filled. So the Western Wall is the remnant of one of the supporting walls. After the 6-day war in 1967, the Israelis having control of the old town pulled down the Arab residential quarter found here and form the public square ahead of the Western Wall, which has been functioning as a huge open synagogue where constant prayers take place.
16-17 November 2009 Since no progress has been made in the Middle-East peace process, the Palestinians threaten to proclaim their state unilaterally. The Israeli-Palestinian negotiations started 18 years ago seem to come to a halt just as it was in many cases earlier. Therefore, the Palestinians plan to submit a document to the UN Security Council in which they will request the Council’s assistance, mediation to support the re-establishment of the Independent Palestinian State' boundaries in accordance with the situation valid up till June 1967, pointing Jerusalem as their capital. However, it is not the right time, as the Palestinians do not intend to urge this step; they try to gain the support of Russia, the EU and other countries, for it has the chance that the USA would veto it for the time being. Israel clearly regards it as a threat, which will dash every hope concerning the peace talks and in answer to the unilateral proclamation of the IPS, it can annex some settlements in the West Bank.
26 November 2009 The Israeli Prime Minister (B. Netanyahu) suggested that the extension of Jewish settlements in the West Bank should be frozen for 10 months, however, this has to be approved by the National Security Cabinet. The Palestinian Authority refused the proposal, because East-Jerusalem of Arab majority is not covered by it. The Palestinian PM claims that Israel provides just a partial solution and has the final agreement delayed.
7 December 2009 To the initiative of the Swedish Prime Minister (2009th July 1 to December 31 by Sweden a half years, the EU Presidency), the foreign ministers of the European Union met and discussed the possibility of the division of Jerusalem in Brussels naming East Jerusalem as a future Palestinian capital. It is still uncertain whether the other 26 EU member states will back it. Britain, Ireland, Belgium and Malta are expected to back the proposal, however, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Germany, the Czech Republic, Romania, Poland and Slovenia are against the wording of the draft submitted to the Council for Foreign Affairs. This is the first document that refers to "Palestine", an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable Palestine, which comprises the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. The Palestinian government would urge the adoption of the document by the EU and demand action from the UN Security Council. As well as the Council for Foreign Affairs initiates the re-opening of the Palestinian institutions in Jerusalem, in accordance with the Road Map. Israel criticizes the draft and describes it as a threat to the peace process. Israel claims that it can lead to the opposite outcome and hinder the efforts to resume negotiations; the EU can not dictate the peace process and it also states that this contradicts to the principles of the international community and the Quartet’s decision.
28 December 2009 700 new homes will be built for Jewish settlers by the Israeli government in the West Bank territory of East Jerusalem. On US request, Israel plans to freeze the expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank for 10 months, but this - under previous commitment – does not mean expansions in Jerusalem. Jerusalem is regarded as the indivisible capital of Israel by the Jews forever. East Jerusalem, however, is also claimed by the Arabs, it is expected to be the capital of the future independent Palestine. The issue of Jewish settlements has the peace talks delayed.
28 February 2010 Again, a confrontation took place on the Temple Mount at Temple Square. Palestinians were afraid of the intrusion of Jewish extremists, of which in all probability the antecedent was the event had happened a week before when Israel had taken two holy places (the Tombs of the Patriarchs in Hebron and that of Rachel in Bethlehem) in the West Bank into the list of their national heritage places. Since 1 March, Israel has raised the number of its policemen serving in East Jerusalem and has increased the measures of public security on the Temple Mount, around Temple Square. Otherwise, the initiation of Israel in the West Bank beyond the clashes in Hebron last week also triggered an international protest.
9 March 2010 Israel announced its intention to build 16000 new homes for Jewish settlers in the disputed East Jerusalem (in quarter of Ramat Shlomo) for which the Quartet coordinating in the peace process in the Middle East condemned Israel.
16 March 2010 Recent clashes have been taken place in East Jerusalem. Palestinians protest against the newly-built homes that are considered by Israel to be a part of a process begun earlier and it does not distinctly mean the establishment of new settlements but the expansion of existing ones. It makes a harmful effect on the previously friendly US-Israeli relationship, since the United States is against it, though, while Israel voiced regret at the timing, it is not willing to cancel the plan. Hamas is supposed to urge Palestinians to mount anti-Israeli protests, because the 4-year renovation of the so called Hurva synagogue for the 3rd time in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem's walled Old City is regarded as a provocation; the Al-Aqsa mosque can be found only a few hundred meters from there and is seen in danger because of this, which is denied by Israel. The Hurvah synagogue is being dedicated on the day of Rosh Chodesh, on 1st Nissan which is also the day when the construction of the holy tabernacle was completed (Exodus 40:2). There will be regular prayer service in the synagogue which will also serve as a touristic attraction. The Palestinians have also expressed that Israel’s settlement expansion plans can hinder the progress of the peace talks under such conditions they would not be willing to take part in direct negotiations. In the Palestinian regions (West Bank, East-Jerusalem) more than 500 000 Jewish people live in nearly 100 settlements. According to the international law these could not have been built, however, Israel has been arguing it for more than 40 years.
19 March 2010 The Middle East coordinator called on Israel to halt settlement-expansion efforts at a meeting in Moscow, which Israel refused.
Despite previous claims, Israel is and will be regarded as the ally of the United States, (the people of the two countries are connected by a special relationship), and though the Americans say the expansion plan in East Jerusalem does not promote the peace process, call for Israeli reply concerning the issue of the expansion.
20 March 2010 The UN Secretary-General, who traveled to the area argued that Israel cannot distinct the East Jerusalem and the West Bank settlement-expansions (4 months earlier Israel agreed to suspend settlement-expansion in the West Bank for 10 months – the same action is expected from the Jewish state in East Jerusalem, furthermore settlements erected since March 2001 should be demolished claims the Secretary).
22 March 2010 The EU foreign ministers condemned Israel for the settlement-expansion in East Jerusalem. Yet, the negotiations are scheduled to reach their goals and yield a result within 2 years.
30 June 2010 The Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs (A. Lieberman) does not see any chance of the Independent Palestinian State by 2012 due to difficulties in peace talks by U.S. mediation and the division of the Palestinians. The Quartet had called on both sides this March to revive talks on the issues of security, borders, as well as the status of Jerusalem, and to reach a peace deal by 2012. The Palestinians want to build the institutions of the IPS by mid-2011. The question of a West Bank territory known as Area C is also of a great importance which makes up some 60% of the occupied West Bank and is under Israeli control for the time being.
7-8 July 2010 The Israeli Prime Minister (B. Netanyahu) met the US president and they agreed that no longer an indirect but a direct dialogue between the Israelis and Palestinians must begin as soon as possible. Israel seems to be more willing to negotiate, which according to US position should start even before the deadline of the settlement expansion moratorium in the West Bank. The 10-month period regarding the Jewish settlements expansion in the West Bank will expire in September. Since the war in Gaza (end of 2008) there has not been direct negotiation between the two parties. The period of the last 2 years has been the longest break since the beginning of Israeli-Palestinian peace process in the early 1990's. And though the meeting of the Palestinian Prime Minister and the Israeli Defense Minister, which took place in recently, has been the first high-level contacts since months, Palestinian officials fear that Israel is only maneuvering to gain time. The USA will do everything for the resumption of direct negotiation anyway.
17 July 2010 In return for direct negotiation Israel must accept that the borders of the future Palestine should be controlled by soldiers of a third country and in exchange for the West Bank settlements fair land-swap must also be agreed. Israel fears that the Palestinians can get armed, if they monitor their own boundary, yet the Palestinians would give their consent that NATO control the borders of the Independent Palestinian State, which as well as would ensure the area to be demilitarized and be defended in case of future Israeli threat of invasion.
2 September 2010 After nearly two years the direct Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations has started again in Washington, which is expected to reach result within one year concerning a lasting and comprehensive peace and which would also create the opportunity of the establishment of an independent Palestinian state next to the Jewish state. It is also important to guarantee Israel's security. The Prime Minister of Israel and the Palestinian President are scheduled to meet and negotiate on a fortnight basis. The nations of the negotiators do not represent a single voice as for the peace agreement. On the Israeli side the Prime Minister (B Netanyahu) and the Defense Minister (E. Barak) made different statement. In Barak’s views Israel is ready to give over some parts of Jerusalem (the Old City and the Western Wall area would be administered by a specific authority) to the Palestinians and apart from the larger settlements the isolated West Bank settlements should be moved to Israel. (There are some speculation which say that there could be a ”safe passage” between the Gaza Strip, which has been administered by the Palestinians since 2005, and the West Bank by working out certain land swaps in case the fate of the West Bank territory itself is resolved.) However, Netanyahu made it clear that Jerusalem should remain the indivisible capital of Israel forever. The political division of the Palestinians stems from the fact that Hamas governing the Gaza Strip strongly opposes the peace with Israel (it has committed new terror attacks in recent days so as to protest against the peace negotiations), while the current leadership of Fatah in the West Bank (led by M. Abbas) will negotiate with Israel. Netanyahu said that the basic criterion of the negotiations that the Palestinians recognize the Jewish nature of Israel.
Israel and the Palestinians negotiated in Egypt than in Jerusalem in mid-September. In Egypt, under a general agreement within one-year the sides would make decisions on the following issues: the question of the boundaries of the future Palestinian state, Israel's security, the fate of the Palestinian refugees, the status of Jerusalem, the Israeli settlement policy. In Jerusalem the two sides negotiated on land swaps as well. These days it has raised as possibility that after the expiry of the 10-month settlement moratorium in the West Bank (26 Sept) Israel should extend the moratorium for three months and in this 12-week period should the parties agree on the boundaries of the Palestinian state to be formed. The Palestinian negotiator would welcome the one or two-month extension of the moratorium, however, he expressed that he would split the peace talks otherwise, since the moratorium would jeopardize the territorial integrity of the future Palestinian state. Israel was called for to extend the moratorium by the U.S. government, the UN Secretary-General, the Quartet as well as the Arab League. The Palestinians claim the expansion of the Jewish settlements makes the purpose manifested of the peace negotiations impossible: the establishment of the independent Palestinian state in the West Bank, in Gaza and in East Jerusalem. The Arab League fears that the Israelis cause changes to happen in the demographic composition of the population in the occupied territories. The Israeli prime minister is under huge pressure. The majority of the current right-wing coalition government in Israel (many Likud members and the Israeli nationalist party) oppose to accept the extension of the construction moratorium. If this occurs however, it can drag the government coalition into crisis, or even lead to rupture. Some 54% of the Israeli respondents oppose the extension of the settlement-expansion moratorium in the West Bank and only 39% were in favour of their freeze.
It is also raised as possibility that from the Israeli side the freeze would not be complete, the fresh construction would be of limited extent only. From the Palestinian side, Abbas rejected any partial solution at first, then he confirmed that the Fatah Central Committee and the PLO Executive Committee will also meet to oversee the possibilities of continuing the dialogue in the wake of the Israeli government's final decision.
In early October, the Palestinians have indicated that they would accept the two-month construction moratorium in the occupied territories to be able to carry on the direct peace negotiations. This period would be used to draw the boundaries of the future Palestinian state and Israel under reasonable political and security guarantees and would be extended for another two months if they could not come to terms. The Arab League allows the U.S. another month to rescue the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks that have come to a halt.
In mid-October, the Israeli prime minister offered the Palestinians that his government is ready to ban the construction of the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem once again, if the Palestinians are willing to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Abbas hinted in September that the PLO had recognized the state of Israel in 1988 already, however, the expectation to the effect that Israel is the national state of the Jewish people is rejected by the Palestinians. The Israeli government approved the citizenship law amendment, under which the immigrants settling in the country and being granted citizenship should swear allegiance to comply with the laws of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. The government also supports the bill, under which a referendum would be held before agreeing to give up the Golan Heights or East Jerusalem. This would be the prerequisite of the peace treaty (to be concluded) with Syria and the Palestinians, but for this reason the peace talks can be even longer.
The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and the UN Secretary General’s Personal Representative to the PLO and the Palestinian Authority, R. Serry says that all participants of the international community agree that the Palestinians are prepared to establish the independent Palestinian State. The UN Security Council has to take the decision whether to support the unilateral declaration of the IPS originally scheduled to be in August 2011 in case the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations fail. The Palestinians hope to be able to celebrate the foundation of their own state together with the 66th anniversary of the UN next year. Meanwhile, Israel warns the Palestinians not to turn to international bodies saying that only direct negotiations can be fruitful. For the time being, both parties seek the alternatives of a solution.
Israel approved the construction of 1,300 apartments in two quarters (East Jerusalem) that had been occupied in the war of 1967.
The Palestinian leader called for convening a special meeting of the Security Council.
The U.S.A. worked out a 5-point stimulus proposal package in order to improve the Israeli-Palestinian relations, in which a 90-day moratorium on West Bank settlement expansion is required, while guaranteeing that it will oppose any resolution against Israel in the international organizations which wants to impose a political settlement on Israel in this respect. After the Israeli Prime Minister had asked to put down all of this in writing (under such circumstances is he willing to put it before the 15 member Security Cabinet to vote only), the Israeli parliament approved a bill that would hinder any attempts of the government to make territorial concessions. If the Knesset does not obtain two-thirds in decision making on any approval of the territorial concessions given to the Palestinians in East Jerusalem or the Syrians in the Golan Heights, a referendum must be held.
After the peace process had come to an impasse and the U.S. efforts concerning the West Bank settlement expansion moratorium had failed, the Palestinian leadership has raised the possibility to dissolve the Palestinian Authority, shifting the responsibility of the population and the administration in the West Bank on Israel, but then enhanced its efforts to get their independent state recognized internationally: Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador have already passed, and Uruguay is willing to do so. Following France, Spain, Portugal and Norway, Great Britain would also endow the Palestinian diplomats with a status similar to the ones of the independent states and there are some speculations that both Great Britain and the United States can recognize the unilateral proclamation of the IPS soon. These one-sided efforts which ignore peace talks are strongly opposed by Israel.
Israel is ready to pursue continuous negotiation with the Palestinians with, until the peace treaty has been concluded. The stalled direct negotiations would start out, however, both sides insist its former idea: Israel should stop the construction in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 and the Palestinians should recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Israel refuses to stop the construction, but - including the borders - is willing to discuss all key issues with its partner. The United States revive its Middle East coordination activity.
The Palestinian Authority announced that it will request the UN to recognize the Palestinian state in September, and is currently lobbying for votes among the Member States. This is part of the Palestinian so-called plan B for the case if they were not be able to come to terms with Israel on the peace through negotiation. In December, five South American countries already recognized the independent state of Palestine and now Chile has also done this. Although it may occur that the recognition of the Palestinian statehood will receive majority in the UN General Assembly, it will likely fail in the Security Council making legally binding decisions owing to US veto.
1,400 new settlement housing construction is scheduled in East Jerusalem, in Gilo (southeastern part of the mostly Arab-populated quarter occupied in the war of 1967) where more than 200 thousand Israeli live in about a dozen residential area.
In the 15-member body of the UN Security Council, representatives of 14 member states supported the draft resolution condemning the Israeli settlement policy, but the U.S. vetoed it.
Establishment of a Palestinian state within temporary borders will be proposed to the Palestinians by the Israeli Defense Minister, who first gave details about the new Israeli plan, which the peace process in Jerusalem, hoping to deadlock. Following the establishment of the temporary state could the conclusion of the peace agreement on the establishment of the permanent Palestinian state take place, and in the meantime, the parties would settle the key issues of the conflict (Jerusalem; problem of the Palestinian refugees). The main elements of the initiative will be presented to the U.S. Congress on 22 May.
The leaders of the two Palestinian organization, Fatah (West Bank) and Hamas (in Gaza) concluded an agreement in Cairo on the establishing a national transitional government. The government will be composed of independent persons, and organize the Palestinian presidential and parliamentary elections within a year. Israel opposes a Palestinian government, of which the member is also the Islamist Hamas regarded as a terrorist organization which does not recognize Israel.
According to the United States the status quo is unsustainable, peace treaty allows for no delay of decades; the Israeli-Palestinian peace may be established by negotiation, by drawing the 1967 borders and mutually accepted land swaps. Israel claims that the '67-year state of Israel makes the country indefensible. The United States is committed to Israel's security, and considers the agreement between the two Palestinian organizations to hinder the peace process.
23 September 2011 The leader of the Palestinian Authority submitted an appeal to the UN Security Council: Palestine should be taken as a full Member of the world organization.
Nine member countries of the 15-member Security Council are expected to vote for the request of the membership, however the U.S. indicated that as a permanent member it would not support the initiative. (The SC's five permanent members – the USA, Great Britain, France, Russia and China – must share the same view to decide.) A French proposal raised the possibility of an interim solution to shift the current observer status of the Palestinians (the Palestinian Liberation Organization represents the Palestinian people in this form now) to the so-called "non-member observer state" status.
On the heels of the submission of the request, the Quartet (UN, U.S., EU, Russia) indicated that the time of the final peace agreement had come and urged the two sides to return to the negotiating table within a month, as well as to put forward their position concerning the borders and the security till the end of this year and to conclude the final peace agreement till December 2012. The Quartet made detailed and distinct proposals for the expansion of the peace negotiations without preconditions, which would be accepted by Israel but the Palestinians reject it as they consider the freeze of the Israeli settlement construction and the 1967 boundaries as the prerequisites of the negotiations. However, Israel claims that they are basis for negotiation, not prerequisites and underlined repeatedly that the independent Palestinian state can be admitted as a demilitarized state only (in behalf of the security of Israel) and expects the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
1 October 2011 The Security Council Committee of Experts met to discuss Palestine's UN membership application. The Membership Committee will prepare a report in two weeks time whether the Palestinian request for the full UN membership complies with the Charter of the world organization.
From the 15 SC members Russia, China, India, South Africa, Brazil and Lebanon support the Palestinian request. Great Britain, France, Germany, Nigeria, Gabon, Bosnia and Portugal's position is not known yet and Colombia will abstain from voting. In case the nine supporter votes do not gather, the U.S. will not raise veto, abstention will be sufficient. If the Security Council accepts the request, it would be in front of the UN General Assembly where a 2/3 majority would be required to recognize Palestine as a full member (state).
11 November 2011 The UN SC Membership Committee was unable to reach agreement on the issue of the Palestinians’ full UN membership. The Committee claims that the Palestinians do not have the minimum support that the Council shall approve the Palestinian request for a full status.
26 January 2012 The three-month period assigned by the Quartet for the resumption of the agreements between Israel and the Palestinians and the issue of the borders and the security ended with no results. According to earlier plans, the Palestinians can start attack from several sides.
1. They try to force a decision from the UN Security Council that condemns the settlement-expansions and introduces international sanctions on Israel.
2. They will appeal to the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Israel on the war crimes of the 2008-2009's offensive in Gaza.
3. They will urge compliance with the Geneva Convention (IV), which prohibits the establishment of new settlements in the occupied territories.
4. They may apply to the UN General Assembly or the Human Rights Council to require an international fact-finding committee investigating the settlers’ issue.
5. A struggle for the full membership in the UN can start again.
6. Mass demonstrations can begin against Israel in the West Bank.
30 January 2012 The UN Security Council declared Israel's right to new, defensible boundaries
30 November 2012 The UN General Assembly upgraded the former observer status of the Palestinians to the so-called "non-member observer state" level. (The representation is provided by the Palestinian Authority in this form.)
22 April 2013 A new schedule has been developed on behalf of the peace process. The negotiations would continue in late May.
1 May 2013 The Arab League amended its 2002 peace initiative: accepts the principle of the land swap between Israel and the Palestinians. It would be a smaller land swap, in which Israel could keep its most populated settlements.
14 August 2013 The Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations resumed after 3 years.
The Palestinian Authority called for the accession of the Palestinian Autonomous Territories to 15 UN organizations as a full member. Membership is valid in 13 treaties concerned from May.
The 124-member central council of the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) began negotiations on the future of the Middle East Peace Process.
Fatah and Hamas after seven year hostility, as a sign of the end of the Palestinian division agreed to form a Palestinian interim coalition government of professionals until the end of the year in charge of the leadership of the Palestinian territories as well as to hold general elections (parliamentary and presidential elections) at the end of the year. Fatah governing the West Bank and the Hamas-dominated Gaza Strip signed a treaty to terminate the political division of the two areas in Cairo in 2011, but the principles were not carried out thereafter.
The 9-month period scheduled to the peace talks in August 2013 expired.
The Palestinian coalition cabinet takes the oath.
M. Abbas promises that the new Government will adopt the principles of the Quartet, that is to say acknowledges the existence of Israel, rejects violence and accepts agreements signed with Israel. Hamas does not commit itself to accept these conditions.
The Israeli Prime Minister denounced the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks due to the agreement on the Palestinian coalition government, because he is not willing to cooperate with a Palestinian leadership that includes the representatives of Hamas: he regards Hamas as a terrorist organization.
Israel and the Palestinians did not sign the treaty on the extension of the 9-month period peace talks.
9 August 2014 Hamas claims for the linking of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Israel might ease the travel limit between the two areas, maintaining the necessary safety measures (Gaza conflict: summer 2014).
30 December 2014 The UN Security Council rejected the draft resolution on the establishment of a Palestinian state: Israel’s withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territories by the end of 2017, and East Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state were scheduled and laid in the draft.
Eight out of the 15 member-SC supported the draft, five states abstained. From the five permanent members China, Russia and France supported the draft, Great-Britain abstained and the United States voted against it. In order to accept a UN Security Council resolution, two conditions must be met: the five permanent members cannot vote against it - cannot veto it - and at least nine out of the 15 members have to the support it.
31 December 2014 The Palestinian Authority signed to join the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court.
France organized a preparatory conference with the participation of the UN, the EU, the USA and some Arab states to promote peace in the Middle East, since the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks had been suspended in Spring 2014 following an unsuccessful period of 9 months.
23 December 2016 The UN SC made a resolution (nr. 2334): Israel should stop to build settlements in the occupied territories (e.g. East-Jerusalem).
15 January 2017 The international community claimed in a symbolic international conference in Paris that it is committed to the two-state solution: Israel and an independent Palestinian state. More than 70 countries were represented except the parties concerned (the Israelis and the Palestinians). The participants ignore any unilateral step which would endanger the solution based on negotiation in the issue of the borders or the status of Jerusalem and expect the parties in the final act to express their committment to the two-state solution and not to make unilateral steps.
As a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian peace, the opportunity of a regional peace project emerged as a result of regional talks. According to US view, the access to the peace treaty seems to be realistic and the conclusion can come to an end soon. A new aspect of the two-state solution idea is also an issue: it is no longer a goal, but a means of achieving peace in the Middle East. In spring, the Palestinian party to US mediation was willing to resume diplomatic processes, but due to the summer riots on the Temple Mount, this failed.
6 December The USA recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and initiated its Embassy to be relocated to Jerusalem. The US Congress passed the bill in October 1995 to relocate the Embassy to Jerusalem, as well as openly recognized it as the capital of Israel. The bill has been called off so far some times, but this time it has been come into force.
Many countries claim that this US step violates international law, the UN Charter, and the resolutions of the UN SC. The internationally recognized legal status of Jerusalem can not be changed in this way.
13 December The Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) asks the international community to recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.
18 December The USA vetoed the Egyptian draft resolution in the UN SC, which would have annulled the unilateral decisions on the state of Jerusalem refusing any option of no legal consequence.
21 December The UN General Assembly of 193 member state held a special meeting: the representative of 128 states accepted the resolution in the UN General Assembly calling for the USA to withdraw its decision on the status of Jerusalem. The resolutions of the UN General Assembly are legally not binding, rather being of political importance.
26 December Some countries opposing the UN decision announced they are intent on relocating their Israeli Embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem.
2 January The Israeli parliament tied the division of Jerusalem to a two-thirds majority in a law, the move can hinder to give up any part of the city in a peace plan.
3 January Trump threatens the Palestinian Authority to withdraw financial support, refuse to make negotiations with Israel. According to the latest data, in 2016, the United States disbursed some $ 620 million aid to the Palestinians who refuse to allow.
22 January The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on the European Union and its Member States to recognize the Palestinian State as soon as possible, in his views there is no contradiction between the recognition of the statehood and the renewal of Palestinian-Israeli peace talks. The EU regards the Middle East peace process as well as settling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as key issues: the solution can be based on the two-state solution only, with the devided capital of Jerusalem.
25 January Only a peace agreement can be reached in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict including Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, claimed the Israeli Prime Minister, the Jewish state will preserve the status quo of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem no matter what agreement will be made. Israel urges, the Palestinians reject the US mediator role.
4 February Shortly after Abbas’s claim the peace talks must be continued, the PLO requires the Palestinian government to interrupt relations with Israel and suspends to recognise Israel as a state. In the 1993 Oslo agreements, the Palestinian Authority showed willingness to cooperate with Israel on security issues. The PLO signed a paper on economic relations with Israel in Paris in 1994. Non-recognition of Israel would be a drastic step, as it is the basis of Israel-Palestinian reconciliation efforts.
7 May On the anniversary of Israel's proclamation, on May 14, opened symbolically the US Embassy in Jerusalem. Resettling of the Embassy begins with the move of the US Ambassador and his/her Secretary to the building still functioning as a Jerusalem Consulate. It is scheduled to be fully completed in six years.
30 May Israel approved to construct nearly 2,000 settlement homes in the occupied West Bank. Israel's West Bank house constructions are one of the key issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, for the Palestinians want to establish their own state here, in East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. Most countries in the international community regard the construction of residential areas as illegal in the occupied territories by the Six-day War in 1967, however Israel claims that the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks interrupted since 2014 must to define the future of these territories.
21 March 2019
The United States recognizes Israel's authority over the Golan Heights. Israel seized the western part of the Golan Heights from Syria in 1967 and extended its legislation to it in 1981, thus annexing the area. This step is recognized by neither the international community, nor the Palestinians. The status of the Golan is one of the hot issues of the peace talks between Israel and its neighbours.
26 June 2019
The United States was a major supporter of the UN Organization for Palestine (UNRWA) but in August 2018 the USA stopped funding the organization. And in February 2019, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) ended its support for Palestinians.
The USA is proposing a package of programs to boost the local economy in Palestine and the surrounding Arab countries in case the Palestinians make peace with Israel.
All official contacts between the United States and the Palestinian Authority were broken following the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in 2017. As well as, the USA relocated its Israeli Embassy there.
6 August 2019
Israel approved the construction of 2304 new settlement homes in the West Bank. The Israeli government decided to allow 6,000 new homes to be built in the West Bank. 88 per cent of the 2304 new settlement homes is located in isolated and remote areas in the West Bank, which according to current settlement plans will have to be demolished or handed over to the Palestinians in case of a peace treaty. The construction of the second or third phase of 838 homes was approved and 1466 completely new plans were decided on. 3 illegal settlements were declared legal retrospectively and the decision was called off in a further case. In the last 10 years or so, more than 30 new settlements were established in the West Bank, mainly through retrospective legalization of settlements. The approval of the construction in the West Bank is to annexe some or all part of the West Bank. Currently, more than 400,000 Israelis live in the West Bank and 200,000 in East Jerusalem. The Palestinians consider both areas as part of their future state. The international community refuses Israel's settlement policy which hinders peace and the two-state solution.
10 September 2019
The possible annexation of the Jordan Valley and the Northern Dead Sea. The 2400 km2 Jordan Valley is located in the West Bank occupied by Israel in the Six-Day War in 1967 and is home to some 3 million Palestinians and more than 400,000 Jewish settlers.
The USA supports Israel's settlement policy: building Jewish settlements in the Palestinian West Bank. Legal experts say Israel is changing the composition of the occupied territories. The Palestinian National Authority opposes the possibility of the annexation of the West Bank by Israel in terms of internationally approved resolutions. The European Union does not recognize Jewish colonies as part of the State of Israel. The Pan-Arab League condemned the US government's announcement: Jewish colonies in the West Bank are no contrary to international law. More than 600,000 Jews live in more than 200 settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Palestinians see the two-state solution at risk because of the expansion of Jewish colonies. In 2016, the UN Security Council called on Israel to stop building settlements completely, calling the establishment of colonies an infringement of international law and a major obstacle to Middle East peace.
13 December 2019
The UN General Assembly extended the mandate of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine (UNRWA) for further three years. UNRWA provides educational, healthcare and housing support to Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
And what we awaits:
The outline of an ongoing US Middle East peace project to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, known as the "agreement of the century".