On the surface it does sure seem like it would be a good idea for Israel and Palestine to just become just become independent countries. And, in fact, that is what is known as the two-state solution. However, there are four main reasons standing in the way of solving this critical, decades-long problem: borders, Jerusalem, refugees and security. Where to draw the borders is an issue since the borders that existed before the Arab-Israeli war of 1967 have “changed” due to Israeli settlements that continue to grow along and within the West Bank.
In Jerusalem, it’s even more difficult to agree on where to draw the border as Jewish, Muslim and Christian holy sites all exist practically on top of one another. Almost five million Palestinians refugees want to return to their original homes and Israel believes these large numbers would end Israel’s Jewish majority and democracy. And for Palestinians, security means an end to Israeli occupation. For Israelis, security means removing Hamas and being able to keep an Israeli military presence in parts of the West Bank.