The peace deal between Israel and Palestine will be achieved only if the 1967 borders are taken into consideration, says a report published by Rice University's James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy in February 2010.
The reports were confirmed when President Obama gave his Middle East peace-deal speech. “A lasting peace will involve two states for two peoples: Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people and the state of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people.”
The reports support President Obama's approach to end the Arab-Israeli conflict and to achieve peace between Israel and Palestine.
Obama in his speech on Thursday has reaffirmed his commitment which calls for Israel and Palestine to establish secure and recognized borders based on the 1967 borders.
The Baker Institute special report, Getting to the territorial endgame of an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement, supports the President’s approach that, “moving forward now on the basis of territory and security provides a foundation to resolve those two issues in a way that is just and fair, and this also respects the rights and aspirations of Israelis and Palestinians.
The reports include two teams which were convened by the Baker Institute to provide narratives and to submitted different maps containing territorial scenarios for the West Bank.
Even though the two teams did not reach a consensus, they narrowed their differences in some key areas and established some common criteria and guidelines for assessing the territorial issues.
Eleven specific settlements in the West Bank were discussed, deliberated, and major obstacles to an agreement were acknowledged and identified. Although, Jerusalem, was not directly addressed in the report, since both Israel and Palestine have been negotiating the city in depth, and want Jerusalem to be the capital city.
The reports include comments from Edward Djerejian, who is a former U.S. ambassador to Syria and Israel, as well as former assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs.
No agreement will please every constituency on either side, he said But this report can provide the respective governments with a heads-up on significant problems and contentious issues that they most likely will encounter in actual negotiations, and, at the same time, provide insights into where differences could be narrowed and agreements reached.
The report finds that a U.S. proposal on the territorial component of peace based on the line of June 4, 1967, with agreed-upon swaps and modifications could be introduced at the right time.
This would depend on the political circumstances, and serve as a guideline to enable gradual progress. There are also concrete recommendations to U.S. negotiators on the territorial component of an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement.
Obama said. Two wrenching and emotional issues remain: the future of Jerusalem and the fate of Palestinian refugees. Recognizing that negotiations need to begin with the issues of territory and security does not mean that it will be easy to come back to the table.
The peace talks have been negotiation between Israeli-Palestinian for the last 18 years, where Palestine had walked away from the peace talks last September.
The findings of this report provides policymakers in Washington, Jerusalem and Ramallah with the results of an approach which highlights the differences and areas of possible agreement between the Israeli and Palestinian positions on the key territorial issues.