An underwhelming start to the “ultimate” Israeli-Palestinian deal

IT COULD HAVE been Davos, or any other conference on the annual circuit for the world’s wealthy. Jared Kushner, the son-in-law and adviser to America’s president, took the stage in Manama to offer his vision for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The combatants, he lectured, were “trapped in an inefficient framework of the past”.

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Palestine and the ICC: See you in court

THE “nuclear option” was how American and Palestinian officials described the application by Mahmoud Abbas, Palestine’s president, to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. His move follows a vote against a Palestinian attempt to have the UN Security Council set a deadline for Israel to end its occupation of territories it captured in 1967. It might open Israel—or Palestine—to charges of committing war crimes.

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An Arab-Israeli dilemma: Might they want to join Palestine?

HARISH might have been Israel’s first city purpose-built for both Arabs and Jews. On the hilltops dividing the Mediterranean coast from the West Bank, bulldozers have been clearing the way to accommodate 60,000 inhabitants.

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The Palestinians: Reconciliation at last?

FOR the Palestinian people craving an end to the bitter division between their two squabbling movements, the Islamists of Hamas in Gaza and the Fatah nationalists in the West Bank, few sights were more pleasing than the celebrations at the end of Israel’s eight-day offensive on Gaza last month.

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Israel, Palestine and Hebron: Not so easy

EVEN if an Israeli government were determined to remove Jewish settlements in the West Bank in order to make way for a Palestinian state, it would now be exceptionally hard to remove Jews living in the settlement of Kiryat Arba and in the nearby ancient city of Hebron, which has sites that are holy both to Jews and Muslims.For optimists who still think a two-state solution is feasible, with Israel and Palestine co-existing happily side by side, it is generally presumed that the old border that divided the two peoples before the war of 1967 can be adjusted so that most of the Jewish settlers now in the West Bank be included in a marginally reshaped Israel. About 200,000 of the 300,000 or so settlers now living on the West Bank (excluding East Jerusalem, where another 200,000 Jews now reside in what was the mainly Arab-inhabited part of the city) would fall on the Israeli side of an adjusted border, with the Palestinians losing only 2-3% of their land and territorial swaps elsewhere making up the difference.As our special report this week on…

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