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Does Jordan hold key to Palestinian independence?

Palestinian researchers and activists are advancing the proposal of a Jordanian-Palestinian confederation, even though the Palestinian leadership fears that such a structure could harm future Palestinian sovereignty.

Given the total political stalemate regarding a two-state solution, some in the Palestinian leadership have begun reflecting on “out of the box” ideas for policy initiatives leading to Palestinian independence. One such person is professor Sari Nusseibeh, former president of Al-Quds University in Abu Dis in the West Bank. According to a source working with Nusseibeh on the policy proposals, Nusseibeh today supports the establishment of a Jordanian-Palestinian confederation based on two independent states with strong institutional links between them. Nusseibeh supports this prospect mainly due to the current difficulty to reach a negotiated two-state solution. He relies on the credibility of Jordan’s security forces in relation to the threat of the Islamic State in the eyes of the Palestinians, Israel and the United States.

The Palestinian Authority and Jordan, it is proposed, would negotiate such an initiative, based on the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative. The negotiations would relate to the 1967 lines as the future confederation's western border and to East Jerusalem as one of the two capitals together with Amman. Such a Jordanian-Palestinian understanding would then be presented to the international community, possibly in the form of the Quartet — United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia — to help with negotiations with Israel and regional peace arrangements.

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