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MID: One state is the way forward to peace in Mideast: Kadhafi

23 Jan 2009 12:30 AM

NEW YORK, Jan 22 AFP - A combined one-state solution is the best way forward for Israel and the Palestinians to finally put an end to "perpetual war," Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has written in The New York Times.

"The history of Israel/Palestine is not remarkable by regional standards -- a country inhabited by different peoples, with rule passing among many tribes, nations and ethnic groups; a country that has withstood many wars and waves of peoples from all directions.

"This is why it gets so complicated when members of either party claims the right to assert that it is their land," Gaddafi wrote.

After the surge in deadly violence in Gaza, Gaddafi argued that "everywhere one looks, among the speeches and the desperate diplomacy, there is no real way forward.

"A just and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians is possible, but it lies in the history of the people of this conflicted land, and not in the tired rhetoric of partition and two-state solutions," he said.

The Libyan leader argued that a two-state solution inevitably would create an unworkable security threat to Israel, while partitioning the West Bank into Jewish and Arab areas, with buffer zones between them, also would not work.

"Buffer zones symbolise exclusion and breed tension. Israelis and Palestinians have also become increasingly intertwined, economically and politically," Gaddafi wrote, so "the compromise is one state for all, an 'Isratine' that would allow the people in each party to feel that they live in all of the disputed land and they are not deprived of any one part of it."

"Assimilation is already a fact of life in Israel," Gaddafi added, noting that "there are more than one million Muslim Arabs in Israel."

In the latest casualty toll, Gaza medics said the recent Israeli offensive had killed 1,330 people, at least half of them civilians including 437 children. Another 5,450 were wounded, including 1,890 children.