The possibility of a two state solution will become “increasingly remote,” if both Israel and Palestine continue on their current course according to a report released Friday by “Quartet” member nations focused on the peace process.
The report points specifically to the Israeli policy of settlement construction and expansion as “steadily eroding the viability” of the two-state solution, a policy long opposed by the Obama administration and many in the international community. There are currently 570,000 Israelis inhabiting areas known as “settlements” which designate land for exclusive Israeli use and deny Palestinian development.
The ceasing of settlement activity is one of several recommendations by the Quartet, which also calls upon the Palestinian authority to cease incitement of violence and strengthen their efforts to combat terrorism. The Quartet, which is comprised of the U.S., the United Nations, the European Union and Russia began working on the report in February with the hopes of resuming the peace process stalled since 2014.
There have been over 250 attacks and attempted attacks by Palestinians against Israelis since the latest wave of violence began in October 2015, the report found. As many as 140 Palestinians died while reportedly carrying out those attacks, at least 60 killed by Israeli Security forces. At least 30 Israelis were killed in “stabbings, shootings, vehicular attacks, and a bombing,” during that same time period. However, the frequency of attacks has decreased in 2016, according to the report, in part due to the efforts of the Palestinian Authority Security Forces, “who have successfully thwarted attacks, seized weapons, and arrested suspected extremists.”
But the violence still continues.
On Friday, a Palestinian man opened fire on a family driving in the West Bank killing an Israeli man and injuring his wife and two teenaged children. Earlier in the day, a Palestinian woman was reportedly killed after threatening an Israeli officer near Hebron.
One day before, a 13 year old Israeli American girl was stabbed to death by a Palestinian attacker while sleeping in her bed in a West Bank settlement. “This has to stop. We cannot have a peaceful two state reality on the ground when this kind of violence is going on,” a senior State Department Official said Friday following the attacks.