GIGA Focus International Edition English

Quo Vadis Palestine?

GIGA Focus | International Edition English | Number 07 |

Having received fairly little attention during the height of the Arab Spring, the Palestinian issue has once again become a focal point of Middle Eastern politics due to recent events in Palestine – namely, the failure of another round of US-promoted bilateral negotiations in May 2014, the Gaza War in summer 2014, several terrorist attacks, and Palestine’s membership in the International Criminal Court, which commenced on 1 April 2015.

Current events related to the Palestinian issue appear to be contradictory and have left observers rather puzzled about what the future holds for Palestine. This issue of the GIGA Focus outlines and critically discusses three possible scenarios: a two-state settlement, a one-state solution, and prolonged occupation.

  • A two-state solution, which is based on the dominant paradigm that the Israeli–Palestinian conflict will be "solved" sooner or later, could result either from a (bilateral) negotiation process – as favoured by the leading Western powers – or from a successful unilateral state-building process in Palestine.

  • A one-state solution (which is also a solution-based scenario) covering the territory of what is today Israel plus the occupied Palestinian territories (East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip) could take two forms: a binational democratic state of Israel/Palestine or a Jewish Israeli state.

  • An alternative to these two solution-oriented scenarios is that, for the time being, occupation remains the form of government in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. This is based on the idea that, some adaptations to changing environments notwithstanding, occupation has proven to be robust since it was introduced following the June War of 1967.

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Suggested Citation Style

Beck, Martin (2015), Quo Vadis Palestine?, GIGA Focus International Edition English, 07, September, urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-446751


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The GIGA Focus is an Open Access publication and can be read on the Internet and downloaded free of charge at According to the conditions of the Creative-Commons license Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 this publication may be freely duplicated, circulated and made accessible to the public. The particular conditions include the correct indication of the initial publication as GIGA Focus and no changes in or abbreviation of texts.

The German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA) – Leibniz-Institut für Globale und Regionale Studien in Hamburg publishes the Focus series on Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and global issues. The GIGA Focus is edited and published by the GIGA. The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the institute. Authors alone are responsible for the content of their articles. GIGA and the authors cannot be held liable for any errors and omissions, or for any consequences arising from the use of the information provided.

General Editor GIGA Focus Series: Prof. Dr. Sabine Kurtenbach

Prof. Dr. Martin Beck holds a chair of Contemporary Middle East Studies at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU), and is an associate of the GIGA Institute for Middle East Studies. His research covers international politics and political economy, in particular regional relations in the Middle East, the Arab—Israeli conflict, regional oil politics, and comparative analysis of rentier states.

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The Political System of Israel – Not a Democracy?

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From Abundance to Scarcity: Oil Revenues of the Arab Gulf States Under Pressure

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The Comeback of the EU as a "Civilian Power" through the Arab Spring?

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Zur Lage der Christen im arabischen Nahen Osten

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