Israel killed two-state solution and Palestinians must accept it, says Mohammed Dahlan

The idea 'is no longer feasible on the ground', says former leader of the Fatah Party in Gaza

Mohammed Dahlan during an interview. Photo: Sky News Arabia
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Palestinians must realise that the two-state solution “is no longer feasible on the ground” and is “basically dead”, according to Mohammed Dahlan, the former leader of the Fatah Party in Gaza.

“Israeli intransigence the measures taken by Israel over the past thirty years, especially with the expansion of settlements on the lands of the West Bank, as there are no longer contiguous lands on which a viable Palestinian state can be established,” Mr Dahlan, the exiled former leader of the Fatah Party in Gaza, told Sky News Arabia.

“The Israeli government has more or less killed the idea of a two-state solution. So we, the Palestinians, holding on to the idea of a two-state solution is like holding on to an illusion.”

Mr Dahlan said Israel is suffering from a threat from within its own government and that its current right-wing leadership is “declaring war” on the legal values on which the state was built on.

“The government is currently interfering in the affairs of the army, the judiciary and in all state institutions, which is what causes a continuing movement of rejection within Israeli society, which has become violently divided over these internal issues,” he said.

“But my responsibility towards the Palestinian people makes me demand that Palestinian officials stop pursuing the illusions of the two-state solution, after Israel has practically destroyed it.

“Therefore, we must not waste time and demand a one-state solution for two peoples with equal rights, and let Israel face its responsibilities as a government.”

Israeli police on Wednesday night fired stun grenades and water cannons at demonstrators who blocked a Tel Aviv motorway. Protesters scuffled with police near the Israeli leader’s home as weeks of anti-government protests turned violent for the first time.

In the late-night incident, dozens of police were called in to extract Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wife from a salon besieged by protesters.

Thousands across the country staged a “national disruption day”, the latest in a string of mass protests against Mr Netanyahu’s plan to overhaul Israel's judiciary and weaken the country's Supreme Court.

Mr Netanyahu and his coalition partners, a collection of ultra-Orthodox and hard-line nationalist parties, said plan is needed to rein in the powers of unelected judges.

Critics say Mr Netanyahu, who is standing trial on corruption charges, holds a personal grudge against the justice system and is pushing the country towards autocracy.

Mr Dahlan urged Palestine to unify the West Bank and Gaza under one Palestinian leadership and urgently hold presidential and parliamentary elections.

Mr Dahlan was once the Gaza security chief for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party.

“Without [elections] no development can take place in the political process,” he told Sky News Arabia.

Mr Dahlan said he does not intend to not run in any upcoming elections and does not aspire to any future political position.

Rival Palestinian factions signed an agreement in Algiers last October to try to resolve 15 years of discord by holding elections within a year.

The leaders of 14 factions, including the two main rivals, Fatah and Hamas, held two days of talks in the run-up to an Arab summit in Algiers, in November, following months of mediation by Algeria.

The deal is aimed at ending a rift between President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement and the Islamist group Hamas that has split Palestinian governance in the Gaza Strip from the West Bank and hindered Palestinian ambitions of statehood.

Updated: March 02, 2023, 9:01 AM