US solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict reportedly include UN administration of Jerusalem's holy sites and no right of return for Palestinian refugees.
The Middle East has been abuzz in anticipation of the peace plan US President Barack Obama is expected to unveil in Cairo next month. Some who can't wait to hear official details have extracted what they claim is a preview of it, reported today in Israeli newspapers and the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi.
The so-called "Obama Plan" outlined by these reports is not radically different from those proposed by other Middle East interlocutors. But it boldly tackles some of the thorniest issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that other plans, such as the 1993 Oslo Accords, never resolved.
The solutions, which include a Palestinian state adjacent to Israel, would require both Israelis and Palestinians to cross some of their self-declared red lines.
Palestinians would have to give up the demand for their refugees' "right of return" to areas that are now part of Israel proper, and would instead have to settle for compensation or the option of moving to the West Bank or Gaza Strip.
The capital of the Palestinian state would be in East Jerusalem, which is currently under Israeli control. Most controversially, the plan includes a proposal that the Old City – with sites holy to the three major monotheistic religions – would become an international zone under the flag of the United Nations. Such an arrangement was proposed in the 1947 UN partition plan but was never implemented.
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