The Quartet – America, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations – has effectively consigned any negotiated two-state solution to political oblivion with its latest Report.
Two statements in the Report stymie any resumption of negotiations – stalled since April 2014.
1. "The Quartet reiterates that unilateral actions by either party cannot prejudge the outcome of final status negotiations and will not be recognized by the international community."
Unilateral actions by the Palestinian Authority - disbanded in January 2013 - have already seen the international community:
(i) Admit "Palestine" as a member State of UNESCO on 29 October 2011 in contravention of UNESCO's own constitution
(ii) Accord "Palestine" non-member observer State status in the United Nations on 29 November 2012
Such acts of recognition by the international community – over Israel's strident objections – have hardened Palestinian demands and expectations that their goals can be achieved without negotiations requiring any concessions to Israel.
Reversing these decisions is a Quartet pipe dream.
2. "Gaza and the West Bank should be reunified under a single, legitimate and democratic Palestinian authority on the basis of the PLO platform and Quartet principles and the rule of law, including control over all armed personnel and weapons in accordance with existing agreements.
Reunification under the "PLO platform" sounds the death knell for the Quartet's mediating role and the two-state solution.
Hamas will certainly not become a willing player in its own extinction.
The Quartet obviously has not considered how such reunification could be achieved whilst Hamas's own Covenant declares:
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