• D.C.
  • BXL
  • Lagos
  • Dubai
  • Beijing
  • SG
rotating globe
  • D.C.
  • BXL
  • Lagos
Semafor Logo
  • Dubai
  • Beijing
  • SG


Updated Nov 29, 2023, 8:17am EST
Middle East
icon

Semafor Signals

Calls grow for a two-state solution amid pause in Israel-Hamas war

Palestinians walk among the rubble, as they inspect houses destroyed in Israeli strikes during the conflict, amid the temporary truce between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, at Khan Younis refugee camp, in the southern Gaza Strip, November 29, 2023. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
PostEmailWhatsapp
Title icon

The News

International pressure on Israel to stop its assault on Gaza is mounting, as many world leaders call for a revival of the two-state solution.

The two-state solution envisions an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip alongside Israel.

AD
icon

SIGNALS

Semafor Signals: Global insights on today's biggest stories.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told Politico that the time for embracing a two-state solution was “now or never.” Earlier this week, the EU and Arab states agreed at a meeting that a two-state solution was the way out of the conflict, and EU Foreign Affairs and Security Policy head Josep Borrell said he believed that the Palestinian Authority (PA) should be placed in charge of the Gaza Strip. “If neither Hamas nor Israel governs Gaza, and neither should, the power vacuum will quickly be filled by uncontrolled forces that could turn Gaza into a failed territory and set off another cycle of violence and terrorism,” Borell argued.

China has also voiced its backing for the creation of a Palestinian state. Last week, Chinese leader Xi Jinping told a BRICS summit that “China supports the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people and the establishment of an independent state,” adding that peace could only be achieved through a two-state solution. China is increasingly trying to position itself as a peace-broker in the region: The country’s foreign minister today leads a U.N. Security Council meeting on the Israel-Hamas war, and earlier this year Beijing said it was ready to mediate Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. But it’s unclear how much it could accomplish given its poor relations with Israel.

A two-state solution is the only way to guarantee lasting peace in the region, Ghassan Salamé, a professor emeritus of international relations at Paris’s Science-Po, argued in the Financial Times. A ceasefire may briefly look like peace, he noted, but the conditions which lead to conflict will remain. “To think that stability is possible while denying the Palestinians basic political rights is a chimera,” Salamé wrote. There are serious obstacles to creating a Palestinian state, but “what is the alternative, given the status quo ante is clearly untenable, save for a renewed cycle of violence and a greater risk of a regional war?”

Semafor Logo
AD