Three state solution

Three state solution

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The three-state solution, also called the Egyptian-Jordanian solution, and the Jordan-Egypt option, is an approach to peace in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict
Israeli–Palestinian conflict
The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The conflict is wide-ranging, and the term is also used in reference to the earlier phases of the same conflict, between Jewish and Zionist yishuv and the Arab population living in Palestine under Ottoman or...

 by giving control of the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 to Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 and control of the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

 to Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

.

History


The three-state solution essentially replicates the situation that existed between the 1949 Armistice Agreements
1949 Armistice Agreements
The 1949 Armistice Agreements are a set of agreements signed during 1949 between Israel and neighboring Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria. The agreements ended the official hostilities of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and established armistice lines between Israeli forces and the forces in...

 and the 1967 Six-Day War. Beginning in 1949, Egypt occupied the Gaza Strip
Occupation of the Gaza Strip by Egypt
The administration of the Gaza Strip by Egypt occurred between 1948 and October 1956, and again from March 1957 to June 1967. Egypt did not annex the Gaza Strip but left it under Egyptian military rule as a temporary arrangement pending the resolution of the Palestine Question.-Background:After...

, Jordan occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem
Rule of the West Bank and East Jerusalem by Jordan
The West Bank and East Jerusalem were occupied by Jordan for a period of nearly two decades starting from the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. In 1950, the British extended formal recognition to the union between the Hashemite Kingdom and of that part of Palestine under Jordanian occupation and control -...

, and no Palestinian Arab state existed. In 1950, Jordan officially annexed the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 and granted the Arab residents Jordanian citizenship.

Feasibility


While the two-state solution
Two-state solution
The two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the consensus solution that is currently under discussion by the key parties to the conflict, most recently at the Annapolis Conference in November 2007...

 is still the prevailing option, the three-state solution is being raised with increasing frequency as the viability of the two-state solution has been repeatedly called into question. The New York Times reported in January 2009 that Egypt and Jordan are increasingly concerned about the possibility of having to retake responsibility for Gaza and the West Bank. Former Palestinian official Ghaith Omari warned that political collapse in the territories could force direct Egyptian and Jordanian intervention in the area.

In a September 2008 publication of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Washington Institute for Near East Policy
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy is a think tank based in Washington, D.C. focused on United States foreign policy in the Middle East. It was established by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in 1985...

, Giora Eiland
Giora Eiland
Giora Eiland is Major General Israel Defense Forces. Eiland is former Israel's National Security Advisor. He is a senior research associate at the Institute for National Security Studies and holds an M.B.A. and B.A...

 wrote:

This proposal suggests that rather than establishing another Arab state, the parties could return control over most of the West Bank to Jordan. Until recently, such an idea was rejected completely by everyone, especially the Jordanians themselves. Today, however, more and more Jordanians, Palestinians, and Israelis have come to believe that this is the right solution. The main reason for this change of heart is the rise of Hamas. Israel can curb the group’s ascendancy, but only as long as Israel occupies the West Bank. If a Palestinian state is established there, many fear that it would be taken over by Hamas. Such a scenario could have far-reaching consequences for Jordan. To be sure, the notion of pursuing alternative solutions is not yet politically correct, and therefore no official Jordanian or Palestinian support could be given to such efforts at the moment. Nevertheless, tacit support for this idea has been expressed in private talks.


Proposals that the Palestinians be given Jordanian citizenship are strongly opposed by the Jordanian government.

In 2010, during the parliamentary election
Jordanian parliamentary election, 2010
A Chamber of Deputies election was held in Jordan following the dissolution of the current parliament by King Abdullah II on 9 November 2010. The election had not been due until November 2011.-Background:...

, Jordanian politicians expressed fears that if the 2010 Israeli-Palestinian direct talks broke down and the Palestinian Authority collapsed, Jordan would be forced to re-absorb the West Bank and grant citizenship to its residents. Concern was also expressed that Israel may prefer this solution over the traditional two-state solution. Jordan, which already has Palestinian majority, would be further cemented as a de facto Palestinian state. However, some Jordanian officials have supported Jordanian control over the West Bank. In May 2010, the President of the Jordanian Senate Taher al-Masri
Taher al-Masri
Taher Nashat al-Masri is a Jordanian of Palestinian origin who served as Prime Minister of Jordan from 19 June 1991 to 21 November 1991. He opposed the invasion of Iraq but reportedly wants the Americans to stay in Iraq and keep it "out of the hands of the fundamentalists".He served on the Council...

 made reference in a speech to "the two united banks [of the Jordan River], with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan emerging on both banks of the holy river."

Proponents


The three-state solution is advocated by an editorial in the New York Sun
New York Sun
The New York Sun was a weekday daily newspaper published in New York City from 2002 to 2008. When it debuted on April 16, 2002, adopting the name, motto, and masthead of an otherwise unrelated earlier New York paper, The Sun , it became the first general-interest broadsheet newspaper to be started...

 and Ian Bremner
Ian Bremner
Ian Bremner is a former Australian rules footballer who played with Hawthorn in the VFL.A half back flanker, Bremner started his career at Collingwood in 1966 but after playing just one game in the season he crossed to Hawthorn...

, both of whom believe that neither the two-state solution
Two-state solution
The two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the consensus solution that is currently under discussion by the key parties to the conflict, most recently at the Annapolis Conference in November 2007...

 nor the one-state solution is viable.

Former American Ambassador to the United Nations John R. Bolton
John R. Bolton
John Robert Bolton is an American lawyer and diplomat who has served in several Republican presidential administrations. He served as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations from August 2005 until December 2006 on a recess appointment...

 has suggested a “'three-state' approach, where Gaza is returned to Egyptian control and the West Bank in some configuration reverts to Jordanian sovereignty.”

Daniel Pipes
Daniel Pipes
Daniel Pipes is an American historian, writer, and political commentator. He is the founder and director of the Middle East Forum and its Campus Watch project, and editor of its Middle East Quarterly journal...

 describes the “Jordan-Egypt option” as “a uniquely sober way” to bring peace.

Israeli MK Aryeh Eldad has proposed that Palestinian Arabs be given Jordanian citizenship.

Alternative use of the phrase


The phrase three-state solution is also used not as a peace proposal, but as a description of the status quo that has existed since Hamas took control of Gaza
Fatah-Hamas conflict
The Fatah–Hamas conflict , also referred to as the Palestinian Civil War , and the Conflict of Brothers , i.e...

 away from the Palestinian Authority in 2007, effectively leaving three states, the Palestinian Authority-controlled West Bank, Israel, and Hamas-controlled Gaza in the territory west of the Jordan. Others, including Kaveh L Afrasiabi
Kaveh L Afrasiabi
Dr Kaveh L. Afrasiabi is a political scientist and author of Iranian origin who has lived for many years in the United States.-Teaching:Afrasiabi has taught political science at Tehran University, Boston University, and Bentley College...

, argue that the Hamas coup rendered the Two-state solution impossible, and advocate the regularization of the status quo into three permanent sovereign states.