Failure to secure a lasting solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is causing poverty to deepen, and allowing violence and despair to persist. Poverty in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) has increased more than threefold since the Oslo peace process began in 1993, while violence on both sides has escalated. Combined with the regional and global implications of this conflict, there is an urgent need to address the situation as a whole - and without delay - if further human misery is to be avoided, and before the rapidly changing facts on the ground preclude any lasting solution.
The international Quartet comprising the United Nations, European Union, USA and Russia, has repeatedly voiced its commitment to a viable Palestinian state but has yet to define what this means. Meanwhile, Israel is imposing de facto changes that erode the very foundations of a viable Palestinian state.
Christian Aid believes the way forward requires a long-term, just and peaceful solution that brings an end to occupation and guarantees viability for both Palestinians and Israelis. This requires a radical shift from the current political stalemate to a position where Palestinians, Israelis and the international community create the political will to take the bold steps necessary to implement such a viable solution.
Christian Aid has consulted with its Palestinian and Israeli partners, as well as other experts from the region and from Europe and the US, to consider what viability means for Palestinians and Israelis. In this document we explore the elements of and process towards a viable solution and bring it to the political debate. We demonstrate how viability is the defining characteristic of a lasting solution to the conflict, and provide a checklist against which any solution can be analysed to answer the question: is it viable?