What is the two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians?

At the White House on Sept. 13, 1993, Shimon Peres, Israel's foreign minister, signs the Oslo accords for Palestinian autonomy in the occupied territories. Behind him, from left, are Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, President Bill Clinton and Palestine Liberation Organization head Yasser Arafat. (J. David Ake/AFP/Getty Images)
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As Israel presses its bombardment and ground invasion of Gaza in the aftermath of the Oct. 7 Hamas attack, some global leaders are returning to a stalled diplomatic effort from decades ago to possibly shape postwar policies: the two-state solution.

The goal of a recognized Palestinian state alongside Israel was noted by President Biden while speaking at the White House on Oct. 25. “When this crisis is over, there has to be a vision of what comes next,” he said. “And in our view, it has to be a two-state solution.”

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak discussed the “long-term goal of a two-state solution” on a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week. The European Council in October reaffirmed its commitment to a “lasting and sustainable peace based on the two-state solution.” Pope Francis, in an interview with Italian media, called for “that wise solution, two states.”

Despite the public endorsements, some scholars say the two-state solution is an increasingly unlikely prospect.

Why are Israel and Hamas at war? A basic explainer.