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‘US announces restoration of relations with Palestine’

  • Category
    India & world
  • Published
    2nd Feb, 2021

U.S. President’s administration announced it was restoring relations with the Palestinians and renewing aid to Palestinian refugees.

Context

U.S. President’s administration announced it was restoring relations with the Palestinians and renewing aid to Palestinian refugees.

About

  • What is ‘in’ the plan?
  • The Biden administration will support a two-state solution, which it sees as "the best way to ensure Israel stays a democratic and Jewish state."
  • The new administration will base its policies on consultations with both sides.
  • Due to the large gaps between the Israeli and Palestinian leaders, the administration believes that its goal should be to preserve the possibility of a two-state solution in the future while focusing on improving the situation on the ground, mainly in Gaza.
  • The United States would encourage Israel and the Palestinians to avoid unilateral steps that will make a two-state solution harder to reach — like:
  • Annexation
  • settlement building
  • the demolition of Palestinian homes by Israe
  • the payments to terrorists from the Palestinians
  • Biden administration would oppose one-sided or biased resolutions that single out Israel in international forums.

Background

  • Israelis and Palestinians have clashed over claims to the Holy Land for decades, a conflict that has long been one of the world’s most intractable.
  • Israel forcefully captured East Jerusalem and the West Bank in the 1967 war. The international community considers both areas to be occupied territory, and the Palestinians seek them as parts of a future independent state. 
  • Although the United States is a strong supporter of Israel, it has traditionally tried to advance a diplomatic solution that would reconcile the competing claims of the two parties.
  • The latest move is a reversal of the Trump administration’s cut-off and a key element of its new support for a two-state solution to the decades-old conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.
  • President Donald Trump’s administration provided unprecedented support to Israel, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capitalmoving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv, slashing financial assistance for the Palestinians and reversing course on the illegitimacy of Israeli settlements on land claimed by the Palestinians.
  • The peace plan unveiled by Trump a year ago envisions a disjointed Palestinian state that turns over key parts of the West Bank to Israel, siding with Israel on contentious issuessuch as borders and the status of Jerusalem and Jewish settlements.
  • It was vehemently rejected by the Palestinians.

Why this development matters?

  • The Trump administration dramatically changed U.S. policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  • President Biden's policies, laid out for the first time today, will shift the U.S. back to the more traditional positions held by previous Democratic and Republican administrations.

What are U.S. interests in the dispute?

  • The Middle East has long been of central importance to the United States as successive administrations pursued a broad set of interrelated goalsincluding:
    • securing vital energy resources
    • staving off Soviet and Iranian influence
    • ensuring the survival and security of Israel and Arab allies
    • countering terrorism
    • promoting democracy
    • reducing refugee flows
  • Correspondingly, the United States has sought to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which has been a major driver of regional dynamics, with an eye toward obtaining these strategic objectives while balancing its support for Israel and pushing for broader regional stability.
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