Direct talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders are set to commence in Washington next month after almost two years. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to sit down and finalize an outline for the stalled peace negotiations.
The conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians has deep roots in 1948, when the winners of World War II agreed to a Jewish homeland in the region of Palestine, made up of what is now Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and part of Jordan. Since then, Israel has had an ongoing and violent conflict with the Palestinian people and neighboring Arab countries which has resulted in a refugee crisis that has lasted over 60 years.
The U.S. currently supports a "two-state solution," in which both a Palestinian and Israeli state could coexist side-by-side, but there are big barriers to such a plan-- one of the biggest being who would control the holy city of Jerusalem.
"I ask the parties to persevere, to keep moving forward, even through difficult times, and to continue working to achieve a just and lasting peace in the region," said Secretary of State Clinton.
Jordan's King Abdullah and Eygpt's President Hosni Mubarak will also attend the Middle East peace negotiations slated for September 2.
"I have invited Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Abbas to meet and to relaunch direct negotiations to resolve all final-status issues, which we believe can be completed within one year." -Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
"We believe it's the recognition by the parties themselves, that the best outcome is an agreement which results in two states living side by side in peace and security." -George Mitchell, Special U.S. Envoy for United States.
1. Where is the Middle East?
2. Where is Israel?
3. What do you know about the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians?
1. Why do you think this problem is so hard to solve?
2. When two nations have a disagreement, what options are available to solve it?
3. Have you or someone you know used mediation or negotiation to solve a problem? Did it work? Do you think it's a good way to solve disagreements?
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Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks: What Will Help, Hinder?:
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