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Israel think tank proposes Palestinian ‘entity’ in 65% of West Bank

A view for a part of Israel's controversial separation barrier in the West Bank town of Abu Dis on June 4,2011 [Mahfouz Abu Turk/Apaimages]

A prominent Israeli think tank has proposed that the government should allow a Palestinian “entity” to exist in 65 per cent of the occupied West Bank, as part of a comprehensive plan to “separate” from the Palestinians and maintain Israel’s Jewish majority, reported the Times of Israel.

Presenting the plan at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) yesterday, main author Major General (res.) Amos Yadlin declared that “there’s a window of opportunity that never existed before” for Israel to take unilateral steps in its own interests, regarding the Palestinians.

According to the paper, the INSS plan ignores the occupied Gaza Strip entirely and does not even address the issue of occupied East Jerusalem.

4 maps showing the shrinking Palestinian territories from 1947 to the 21st Century
[Mondoweiss]

Israel, the plan states, “will work to complete” the Separation Wall in the West Bank, and “freeze construction in isolated settlements located deep inside Palestinian territory east of the [Wall]”.

The Israeli military “would retain unfettered access to Palestinian cities and towns in the West Bank”, and “Israel would also maintain a presence in the Jordan Valley”.

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Yadlin acknowledged that it would “by definition mean a less-than state” but said the alternative was simply “unacceptable” to Israel.

“As opposed to the disengagement [from the Gaza Strip in 2005],” the plan states, “security would remain in Israel’s hands, we would not leave the entire area, settlements would not be broken up and we would not retreat to the ‘Green Line’.”

“What we’re trying to explain to the Palestinians is that they listened too closely to [former US Secretary of State] John Kerry,” Yadlin said, “who told them that Israel would be lost if it didn’t reach an agreement, and so they raised their price to a point that even someone like me, who’s associated with the Zionist Union, is not prepared to accept.”

“For the nuclear Iranian threat, Israel has a strategy. But for the threat of a single state, Israel does not have a strategy,” Yadlin told the Times of Israel.

The study’s two main authors were Yadlin, who previously served as the head of Military Intelligence and was tapped to be the Zionist Camp’s defence minister in 2015 had the faction won the election; and Udi Dekel, a former brigadier general and chief negotiator in the 2007 Annapolis Conference peace talks under then-prime minister Ehud Olmert.

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