On May 3, President Donald Trump hosted a joint press conference with Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas.
As reported by CNN, in regard to a peace-treaty between Palestine and Israel, Trump vowed to “get this done,” and the Palestinian president seemed to agree. He said:
“I believe that we are capable under your leadership and under your courageous stewardship and your wisdom as well as your great negotiating ability … Now, Mr. President, with you we have hope.”
On Tuesday, during a meeting with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Abbas claimed he is ready to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
According to Business Insider, he shared what he told Trump:
“We told him that we were ready to collaborate with him and meet the Israeli prime minister under his auspices to build peace. We told him again of our commitment to a peace based on justice, with international resolutions and the two-state solution as references.”
While Trump’s presidency will certainly be immortalized in history if he’s able to broker a deal between the Palestinians and Israelis, it’s unclear whether he’ll be able to pull this one off.
According to Newsweek, the Palestinians want an independent state with the borders that were formed before the Six Day War in 1967.
During the Six Day War, Israel seized Gaza, the West Bank, the Golan Heights, and the Sinai.
Israel offered to return these territories in exchange for Arab recognition of Israel’s right to exist, as reported by History.com. However, Arab leaders at the time decided there would be no negotiations and no recognition of Israel.
While Gaza is currently being controlled by the terrorist group Hamas, the pre-war borders also include East Jerusalem, which could pose a serious threat to a peace treaty.
East Jerusalem is the home of the Western Wall. It’s considered one of the holiest places in the Jewish faith. Jews from all over the world come specifically to Israel to place their hand on the wall and pray.
Jerusalem is not only important to Israel but is also important to Palestine. According to Newsweek, the Palestinians claim it as their capitol, as well.
Water may also prove to be a problem if a two-state solution moves forward. The main source of water in the region is the Jordan River, which runs north to south along the eastern border of Israel and Jordan.
A two-state solution would require the land to be divided North and South or East and West. An East/West divide wouldn’t work because whoever is in the West has no access to water.
A North/South solution also poses its own set of problems. Borders could leave someone with no water or, if conflict arises, whoever has access to the northern part of the river could possibly cut off southern access.
During his campaign, Trump unequivocally backed Netanyahu and Israel. However, now that both parties seem to be coming to the table, he may be softening his stance.
According to CNN, during a press conference with the Israeli prime minister, he said he is looking at both a two-state and one-state solution. He said, “If Israel and the Palestinians are happy, I’m happy with the one they like the best.”
The Israeli president has yet to respond to Abbas’s comment on meeting to pursue peace.