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Why solving Israel-Palestine conflict is still key for regional stability

The West-pragmatic Arab coalition against the Islamic State must realize that a viable Israeli-Palestinian diplomatic peace process has to be part of any regional anti-terrorist strategy.

The prevailing outlook within the international community for many years has been that a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian issue is the key to stabilizing the Middle East. This policy concept has become another victim of Islamic State (IS) terror. The international community, including the United States and the European Union, view the military and political battle against IS as the focal point to reaching regional stability. They can now create an anti-fundamentalist coalition with pragmatic Sunni countries, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan, without the need to resolve the Palestinian statehood issue. The Palestinian leadership is very frustrated over this development and strongly disagrees with the perceived irrelevance of their cause to regional stability.

A senior Palestinian Authority official, who spoke to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, said that the Palestinians are in no way part of IS or al-Qaeda threats, and that not a single Palestinian has been detected in IS or al-Qaeda forces. “We, Fatah, represent Arab pragmatism, not fundamentalism. Reaching Palestinian statehood on the basis of 1967 lines, living in peace and security with Israel, being encouraged by the international community — all that would be a victory for Arab moderation. Avoiding the issue of the Palestinian cause because of the Islamic State, al-Qaeda or Hamas terror gives fundamentalism a victory,” he said. The source made a long case as to why the Arab masses empathize with their Palestinian brethren under occupation, which leads, in turn, to strong Arab anti-Western sentiments.

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