The Old City of Jerusalem
The Old City of Jerusalem. Photo by Michal Fattal
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Separating Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem as part of a two-state solution could offer the best way to reduce violence in the disputed city, according to a computer simulation developed in Switzerland and Israel.

Social scientists mapped population groups in Jerusalem and analyzed their relationships in order to develop a computer model, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich said Thursday.

The model was then used to simulate several political options to see how they would lower the risk of violence in the city.

Voluntary relocations to separate Israelis and Palestinians as part of establishing two states would have the most positive effect, according to the study recently published online by the American Journal of Political Science.

"Although people don't want violence, they have not been able to get it under control," said ETH sociologist Dirk Helbing told dpa.

Israel considers Jerusalem its united and eternal capital. Palestinians say they want east Jerusalem as the capital of a future state.