Israeli election may have dimmed hopes for 2-state solution

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JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s election this month may have dimmed hopes for a two-state solution with the Palestinians as a way of resolving one of the Middle East’s most intransigent conflicts.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who coasted to another victory in the vote, has ruled out Palestinian statehood and for the first time, made a campaign pledge to begin annexing Jewish settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Such a step could extinguish any hopes of establishing a viable Palestinian state, particularly if the U.S. supports it.

The prime minister’s expected coalition partners, a collection of religious and nationalist parties, also reject Palestinian independence.

The Israel Democracy Institute, which conducts monthly surveys of public opinion, says support for the two-state solution among Jewish Israelis has fallen to 47% since Netanyahu took office.

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