A three-state-solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict may be edging out the two-state solution promoted in the road map peace plan, which the U.S. and Israel say is no longer viable, according to U.S. and Egyptian officials.
Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations wrote in a Washington Post article Monday that the conflict would be resolved through a solution that excludes a Palestinian state.
The so-called three-state-solution proposes transferring control of Gaza to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan while Israel maintains control over Ramallah and Nablus. The plan proposed by the U.S. is backed by Israel as an alternative to the road maps' two-state solution.
"Without a larger Egyptian role, Gaza will not, and perhaps cannot, achieve the minimal stability necessary for economic development," the conservative wrote in the Washington Post as the Israeli military tightened its deadly grip on the territory.
"The logic to this position [of the two-state solution] is long past its expiration date. Instead, we should look to a "three-state" approach, where Gaza is returned to Egyptian control and the West Bank in some configuration reverts to Jordanian sovereignty," Bolton wrote in the article.
Egyptian analysts saw it coming
Israeli's undeterred assault on the Gaza Strip is part of the Jewish state's strategic plan to prevent the emergence of a sovereign Palestinian state by forcing Egypt to assume control of the embattled Hamas-run enclave, according to Beshir Abdel Latif, senior editor of Democratiya magazine and political analyst at the Ahram Center in Egypt.
"The creation of a symbolic "Palestinian state" that does not surpass a few villages or towns and has no real sovereignty over its land, air or resources is the façade Israel wants to create," he told AlArabiya.net on Tuesday.
Abdel Latif went on to say that the alternative three-state-solution ensures the continuous geographic disunity of Palestinian lands.
"Israel wants to wash its hands of the Palestinian problem it created by tossing Gaza and exporting its problems to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan," he said.
Israel wants to wash its hands of the Palestinian problem it created by tossing Gaza and exporting its problems to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan.
Beshir Abdel Latif, political analyst
Such a plan is not new, however, according to one Egyptian diplomat, who said such a plan has been in place for decades.
"Making Egypt, and particularly the Sinai Peninsula, the alternate home to Gazans is an alternative Israel has been suggesting in recent diplomatic talks," Dr. Abdulaah Mishaal told AlArabiya.net.
"The alternative enables Israel to shrug off its responsibility of the impoverished enclave,” which Isaac Rabin famously wished the sea would swallow up, he said.
A so-called Palestinian state would then consist of Ramallah, Nablus and other small towns which have no real sovereignty but are effectively controlled by Israel would make up the so called Palestinian state
As if to back up Egypt's fears, Bolton wrote that the three-state-solution is the only recourse if peace in the region is the goal.
"Having the two Arab states re-extend their prior political authority is an authentic way to extend the zone of peace and, more important, build on governments that are providing peace and stability in their own countries," he wrote.
Egypt's official response
In a national address, Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak, blamed by many for failing to completely open the Rafah border crossing into Gaza, indicated that Egypt's decision to keep the border closed is a strategic move to fend off Israel's attempt to toss Gaza to Egypt.
"Egypt will not fall into this Israeli trap. Egypt rejects this plan," Mubarak said at the start of the Jewish state's 10-day-old offensive on the Mediterranean coastal strip of 1.5 million Palestinians.
Egypt will not fall into this Israeli trap. Egypt rejects this plan.
Hosni Mubarak, Egyptian President