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Jordan Valley essential for a viable Palestinian state

US Secretary of State John Kerry should work to ensure that full sovereignty of the Jordan Valley is given to the Palestinians to ensure a future state is economically viable.
An Palestinian activist sits inside a structure in an old village known as Ein Hajla, in the Jordan Valley near the West Bank city of Jericho January 31, 2014. Some 100 Palestinian and foreign activists took part in a campaign to try to resettle the village and to protest Israel's occupation of the West Bank including the Jordan Valley. The graffiti on the wall reads "There is something worth living on this land for" (L) and "Ein Hajla village" (R). REUTERS/Ammar Awad (WEST BANK - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNRES
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Over the past 20 years, US and international peace efforts have not yielded tangible outcomes in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As some observers put it, the peace process has only produced a “process without peace.” Yet, international intervention has caused new terms to be added to the discourse, such as the creation of a “viable Palestinian state.” Of course, the parties could spend years determining what really constitutes “viability.”

No matter how confusing the terminology of the conflict, one thing that should never confuse anyone is the centrality of the Jordan Valley to the envisioned Palestinian state. Full control of the Jordan Valley is essential not only to the survival of a Palestinian state but also to relieving the United States and other donor countries from financially supporting the “viable state” forever. The Jordan Valley, in simple words, is the mechanism that would ensure the economic independence of the future viable Palestinian state.

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