Arabs pushing for roadmap leading to Palestinian state within three years

May 5, 2024 by Baruch Yedid - TPS
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Sixty foreign dignitaries from moderate Arab countries, convening at a conference in Saudi Arabia, jointly called upon the United States to chart a clear path towards the establishment of a Palestinian state within three years.

The flag of Saudi Arabia.                            Credit: Wikimedia Commons

This demand comes amidst growing frustrations over the protracted Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a desire for tangible progress toward a lasting solution.

The call for action was underscored by the absence of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who was scheduled to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in Riyadh on Friday. Sources close to the Palestinian leadership revealed that his refusal to engage with Blinken was in protest against the Biden administration’s veto of the Palestinian bid for full membership in the UN Security Council.

On April 19, the US vetoed a Security Resolution unilaterally recognizing Palestinian statehood. State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel said at the time that the Palestinians did not meet the criteria for statehood and that the Palestinian Authority needed to undergo significant reform. Israel and the US insist that Palestinian statehood must come from direct peace negotiations.

The proposed roadmap, endorsed by Arab foreign ministers and supported by European nations, outlines a phased approach towards Palestinian statehood. Central to this plan is the restoration of Palestinian Authority control in Gaza, followed by the expansion of Palestinian-administered territories and crucial reforms within Palestinian governance structures. These measures are seen as essential steps towards creating the necessary conditions for meaningful negotiations with Israel.

Key components of the Arab initiative include the cessation of Israeli military activities in Palestinian territories, the establishment of an airport under Palestinian control, and the transfer of control over border crossings to Palestinian security forces.

However, the Arab proposal faces significant resistance from Washington, which insists on the primacy of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Blinken also criticized the Arab road map’s absence of condemnation against Hamas.

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