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the Israeli–Palestinian conflict
The three-state solution, also called the Egyptian-Jordanian solution, and the Jordan-Egypt option, is an approach to peace in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict by giving control of the West Bank to Jordan and control of the Gaza Strip to Egypt.
The three-state solution essentially replicates the situation that existed between the 1949 Armistice Agreements and the 1967 Six-Day War. Beginning in 1949, Egypt occupied the Gaza Strip, Jordan occupied the West Bank, and no Palestinian Arab state existed. In 1950, Jordan officially annexed the West Bank and granted the Arab residents Jordanian citizenship.
While the two-state solution is still the prevailing option, the three-state solution is being raised with increasing frequency as the viability of the two-state solution has been repeatedly called into question. The New York Times reported in January 2009 that Egypt and Jordan are increasingly concerned about the possibility of having to retake responsibility for Gaza and the West Bank. Former Palestinian official Ghaith Omari warned that political collapse in the territories could force direct Egyptian and Jordanian intervention in the area.
This proposal suggests that rather than establishing another Arab state, the parties could return control over most of the West Bank to Jordan. Until recently, such an idea was rejected completely by everyone, especially the Jordanians themselves. Today, however, more and more Jordanians, Palestinians, and Israelis have come to believe that this is the right solution. The main reason for this change of heart is the rise of Hamas. Israel can curb the group’s ascendancy, but only as long as Israel occupies the West Bank. If a Palestinian state is established there, many fear that it would be taken over by Hamas. Such a scenario could have far-reaching consequences for Jordan. To be sure, the notion of pursuing alternative solutions is not yet politically correct, and therefore no official Jordanian or Palestinian support could be given to such efforts at the moment. Nevertheless, tacit support for this idea has been expressed in private talks.
Proposals that the Palestinians be given Jordanian citizenship are strongly opposed by the Jordanian government.
In 2010, during the parliamentary election, Jordanian politicians expressed fears that if the 2010 Israeli-Palestinian direct talks broke down and the Palestinian Authority collapsed, Jordan would be forced to re-absorb the West Bank and grant citizenship to its residents. Concern was also expressed that Israel may prefer this solution over the traditional two-state solution. Jordan, which already has Palestinian majority, would be further cemented as a de facto Palestinian state. However, some Jordanian officials have supported Jordanian control over the West Bank. In May 2010, the President of the Jordanian Senate Taher al-Masri made reference in a speech to "the two united banks [of the Jordan River], with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan emerging on both banks of the holy river."
Former American Ambassador to the United Nations John R. Bolton has suggested a “'three-state' approach, where Gaza is returned to Egyptian control and the West Bank in some configuration reverts to Jordanian sovereignty.”
Alternative use of the phrase
The phrase three-state solution is also used not as a peace proposal, but as a description of the status quo that has existed since Hamas took control of Gaza away from the Palestinian Authority in 2007, effectively leaving three states, the Palestinian Authority-controlled West Bank, Israel, and Hamas-controlled Gaza in the territory west of the Jordan river. Others, including Kaveh L Afrasiabi, argue that the Hamas coup rendered the two-state solution impossible, and advocate the regularization of the status quo into three permanent sovereign states.
- Karsh, Arafat's War, 43.
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- "Palestinian Crisis May Spread to Egypt, Jordan," National Public Radio, June 12, 2007
- http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/download.php?file=PolicyFocus88.pdf page xii
- May 26, 2009, Jerusalem Post, Jordan summons Israeli ambassador on bill, HERB KEINON 
- "Jordanian Pols Fear PA State - Defense/Middle East - News". Israel National News. 2010-11-08. Retrieved 2014-02-02.
- "Jordanian official speaks of 'State of two banks' - Israel News, Ynetnews". Ynetnews.com. 1995-06-20. Retrieved 2014-02-02.
- Three-State Solution, Editorial of The New York Sun | June 19, 2007 
- A difficult plan whose time has come, Ian Bremmer, June 15, 2007, International Herald Tribune, 
- “Let’s start by recognizing that trying to create a Palestinian Authority from the old PLO has failed and that any two-state solution based on the PA is stillborn.” Article by John R. Bolton, Washington Post, January 5, 2009
- Solving the “Palestinian Problem”, by Daniel Pipes, Jerusalem Post, January 7, 2009 
- A Three State Solution?, June 19, 2007, Michael Moran, Council on Foreign Relations 
- The three-state solution; Separating Gaza from the West Bank makes more historical sense than forming a unified Palestinian nation, By Jacob Savage, June 20, 2007 
- The death of the two-state solution, Kaveh L Afrasiabi, Asia Times, June 20, 2007 
- Karsh, Efraim. Arafat's War: The Man and His Battle for Israeli Conquest. New York: Grove Press, 2003.