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Study: Two-state solution to Israeli-Palestinian conflict strained

As Kerry heads to the Middle East for renewed peace talks, a European study finds prospects for peace are low

Ahead of Secretary of State John Kerry’s latest round of peace negotiations with Israelis and Palestinians on Friday, a European think tank marshaled evidence suggesting that the realization of a two-state solution – the default negotiating position of the United States and the international community since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993 – has become increasingly unlikely.

The findings, based off a Two State Stress Test (TSST) conducted by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), were published on Wednesday. The goal was to test whether dynamics surrounding seven key indicators — including such thorny issues as Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees — were “straining or sustaining a possible two-state outcome.”

“The stress test is predicated on the idea that, without judging it – without saying it’s good or bad – there is an international consensus around the broad set of parameters of two states,” explained Daniel Levy, director of the Middle East and North Africa Program at ECFR and a former Israeli peace negotiator, who oversaw the project.

Despite the current U.S. diplomatic push, researchers found that existing obstacles, absent of any significant changes, make a final agreement unlikely — an assessment shared by many Israelis and Palestinians.

by Tom Kutsch

Source: AlJazeera

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