US House passes resolution supporting two-state Mideast solution
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Washington - The US House of Representatives passed a
resolution supporting the two-state solution to the conflict between
the Israelis and the Palestinians.
The non-binding resolution is a rebuke to the administration of
President Donald Trump, which moved the US embassy from Tel Aviv to
Jerusalem and announced it does not see Israeli settlements on the
occupied West Bank as inconsistent with international law.
Both moves were in opposition to decades of established US policy and
were accompanied by drastic cuts worth some 200 million dollars in US
humanitarian assistance for Palestinians.
"Any US proposal to achieve a just, stable, and lasting solution
should expressly endorse a two-state solution and discourage steps
that would put a peaceful resolution further out of reach," said the
The motion passed 226 to 188, with Democrats largely in favour, while
Republicans were generally opposed.
The text explicitly reiterated US support for Israel's security. Alan
Lowenthal, the Democratic lawmaker who introduced the bill, also said
the US should not turn its back on the Palestinians.
Rashida Tlaib, the only member of Congress of Palestinian descent,
addressed lawmakers from the floor wearing a traditional
black-and-white scarf, and voted against the motion, saying the
two-state solution was no longer "realistic."
The official position of the Palestinian Authority is supportive of a
two-state solution, even as it has broken off high level interactions
with the US, accusing the Trump administration of being biased in
favour of Israel.
President Donald Trump vowed to introduce a plan that would bring
peace to the region, and instructed his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to
take the lead.
While a vague economic plan was announced, no political segment was
forthcoming and analysts have been highly sceptical it had any chance
of success. Meanwhile, Israel has held two elections this year and
may be set for a third, freezing any diplomacy.
There is concern the unwavering pro-Israel stance of the Trump
administration could empower an Israeli government to annex territory
on the West Bank.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last month denied that the recent
changes in policy were designed to electorally help Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a Trump ally.