One and One-Half State Solution

The UN Security Council has demanded an immediate ceasefire in Gaza during the remainder of Ramadan which ends on April 9. The UN resolution forbids Israel from invading Rafah to defeat the Hamas fighters hidden deeply inside and beneath their last stronghold. Israel would be wise to comply with the UN demand while retaining its troops in Gaza. During the ceasefire, Israel will not impede the delivery of humanitarian aid, provided that Israeli inspectors have removed material with military applications. In exchange for Israeli cooperation, Israel would expect UN support in intense negotiations for the release of all the hostages.

The UN resolution ensures the survival of an armed Hamas as the government of Gaza with its promise to repeat the Oct. 7 massacre at every opportunity. For this reason, Israel cannot presently accept a two-state solution with a Palestinian state containing both a demilitarized West Bank and a militarized Gaza. However, in place of such a two-state solution, why doesn’t Israel propose a one and one-half -state solution with the half of a Palestinian state consisting solely of a demilitarized West Bank governed by a reformed Palestine Authority? Gaza would remain a non-state, excluded until a diplomatically isolated Hamas is disarmed and expelled from Gaza.

About the Author
Ted Sheskin is a professor emeritus of industrial engineering at Cleveland State University, and the author of a textbook, Markov Chains and Decision Processes for Engineers and Managers. He has published peer-reviewed papers on engineering systems and mathematical algorithms. His letters to editors addressing politics, economic policy, and issues facing Israel and American Jews have appeared in the NY Times, Daily News, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Cleveland Jewish News, Jewish Week, the Forward, and Jewish Voice.
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