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Israel Working to Stop US From Publicly Endorsing Two-State Solution


JERUSALEM, Israel - Israel is trying to stop American lawmakers from passing a resolution endorsing the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Axios reported Wednesday that Sen. Lindsey Graham and Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen drafted the resolution ahead of the Trump administration's release of its highly-anticipated peace plan. 

"Both Senators Van Hollen and Graham are long-time supporters of a two-state solution and are working on the best way to advance that commitment in Congress," Van Hollen spokesperson Bridgett Frey told Axios.

Sen. Graham is a close ally to Trump and Israeli leaders believe the resolution could win a substantial majority in Congress.

Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer and other embassy officials are urging Graham and Van Hollen to remove "two-state solution" from the text of the resolution.

Israeli diplomats told Graham and Van Hollen that they do not oppose calls for direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians, but they do not want the resolution to touch on the end goal or parameters of those negotiations, Axios reports.

The Trump administration will unveil the first part of its peace plan in Bahrain on June 25 and 26.

US leaders have revealed few details about the proposal but said it emphasizes the economic prosperity of the Palestinian people through investments and business ventures.

"When we looked at the Palestinians, we said well what are the opportunities that they can have," President Donald Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner said last month. "What's been holding them back economically?"

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US wants to see the Palestinians and the broader Middle East prosper, but not at the expense of Israel's security.

Pompeo also questioned the viability of the two-state solution during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee in April.

"I would argue that millions of man-hours have been spent to try and build out a two-state solution. It hasn't worked to date," he said. "Ultimately the individuals in the region will sort this out. We want good things for the Palestinians."

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