Israel and the Palestinians: Prospects for a Two-State Solution [December 10, 2008] [open pdf - 499KB]
"One year after the formal renewal of direct talks at the November 2007 Annapolis Conference, Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) have been unable to come to terms on a final-status peace agreement, despite possible signs of progress. Differences between the two sides continue over core issues such as borders, security, settlements, the status of Jerusalem, refugees, and water rights, despite their mutual acceptance of the concept of a negotiated 'two-state solution' that would establish a Palestinian state alongside Israel in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pursuant to the principle of 'land for peace.' Previously when talks have faltered, the parties eventually returned to the negotiating table. Yet, there are a growing number of key actors and observers expressing doubts that the very concept of a negotiated two-state solution can survive a process in which talks are put on hold and resumed an indefinite number of times without finality. Some observers dismiss these doubts as mere tactics meant to prod either or both parties to action. Prospects for a two-state solution appear more tenuous given uncertainties that a consensus supporting the peace process will hold in the face of upcoming leadership transitions in the United States and Israel and conflicting claims to Palestinian leadership."
CRS Report for Congress, R40092
U.S. Dept. of State, Foreign Press Centers: http://www.fpc.state.gov/