Thursday, December 17, 2009

Olmert, last year, offered a state without Jerusalem

Haaretz  Today published the “map for a permanent solution with the Palestinians” that was proposed by the former Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, to the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas in September last year. The “peace plan”, Olmert presented does not include any withdrawal from Jerusalem, annexes all settlements surrounding Jerusalem, and also annexes all settlement blocs to Israel, writes Saed Bannoura of  IMEMC. The plan was never made public.
Olmert offered areas in the Negev desert and some areas near the Gaza Strip, in addition to a passage between Gaza and the West Bank. According to the plan, Israel annexes 6.3 %  of West Bank areas and evacuates isolated settlements located deep in the West Bank.
It keeps the settlement blocs of Maaleh Adumim, Ghush Tzion, Ariel, and all settlements located around the Old city of Jerusalem, and considers East Jerusalem and its settlements as part of the state of Israel.
 Noteworthy is that the implementation of the Olmert plan would have required the evacuation of tens of thousands of settlers and the removal of hallmarks of the West Bank settlement enterprise such as Ofra, Beit El, Elon Moreh and Kiryat Arba, as well as the Jewish community in Hebron itself. 
 The former Prime Minister offered  the Palestinians 5.8% of  Israel’s lands in return,  mainly desert areas, in addition to offering a ‘safe passage’ between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.  He offered transferring 327 kilometers of “Israel’s land’ to the Palestinian Authority; the areas are in the Beit She'an Valley near Kibbutz Tirat Tzvi; the” Judean Hills” near Nataf and Mevo Betar; and in the area of Lachish and of the Yatir Forest.
For the map belonging to the plan, click here.
As for the refugees issue, the plan rejects the internationally guaranteed Right of Return, and only offers allowing a limited number of refugees into the Palestinian territories, and not to their cities and towns wiped out in 1948 by the creation of the state of Israel. Haaretz said that Olmert and the former United States administration, under George Bush, reached an understanding for the development of the Negev and the Galilee in order to house the settlers who would be evacuated from some West Bank settlements. Some of the settlers would be moved to West bank settlement blocs.

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