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Palestinian statehood bid adds urgency for Israeli-Palestinian peace

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"Mahmoud Abbas is going to come back to his people and say, you’re going to have to make some painful sacrifices. But you're going to get something in return – you're going to get a Palestinian state," he said, speaking at a Monitor breakfast in Washington. "The Palestinian people are going to look at him and say, 'Well, wait a minute, we already have a Palestinian state. Why are you making all these painful sacrifices?' "

US supports freedom in Tunisia, Libya, Syria – why not in the West Bank?

While Mr. Oren and other Israeli officials insist on direct negotiations as the only path to peace, Palestinian leaders are exasperated with nearly two decades of talks that have yet to deliver the independence they have long sought.

From the beginning of the Oslo peace process in 1993, the number of Israeli settlers in the West Bank, which Palestinians see as jeopardizing their aspirations for a state on the same land, has nearly tripled to more than 300,000. The Jewish presence in East Jerusalem has also expanded in smaller but strategic ways; in recent weeks, Israel has advanced plans for two new neighborhoods that critics say would compromise the contiguity of Palestinian areas.

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