Borders / Past Proposals

Throughout final status negotiations, the sides presented various proposals outlining borders between Israel and a new Palestinian state. Following are three proposals that reflect the approaches of the relevant leaders.

The Palestinian offer, made by President Mahmoud Abbas in the 2008-2009 Annapolis Process, would have allowed Israel to annex 1.6 percent of Palestinian territory and 59 percent of Israelis in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, as part of a land swap arrangement.

During the Annapolis Process in 2008, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert presented a map of permanent Israeli-Palestinian borders. Olmert proposed to annex 6 percent of Palestinian territory, which would bring 83 percent of the 630,000 (in today’s numbers) Israelis in the West Bank and East Jerusalem into Israel’s new borders. Olmert did not offer equal (1:1) swaps — though by offering 5.8 percent in return he did come closer than any other Israeli leader before him.

During the 2013-2014 final status negotiations, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described a map, albeit in vague terms, of permanent Israeli-Palestinian borders.

 

Translated into an actual map, it depicts border modifications that include Israeli annexation of 953 sq km (15.4 percent) from the West Bank, without referring to Palestinian annexation of lands from

Israel proper.

Gaps Between Past Proposals

Examining past borders proposals, the gaps are clear.

 

In the 2008-2009 negotiations between Palestinian President Abbas and former Israeli Prime Minister Olmert, the bulk of the disagreements focused on the Ariel bloc in the north, and the Jerusalem envelope in the center. The gaps are even greater when considering Netanyahu’s approach. 

 

Ariel is important to Israel because of its sizable population (19,000). However, Israeli annexation of Ariel would violate Palestinian requirements — Ariel is not adjacent to the 1967 lines, and its annexation would impede Palestinian contiguity.

 

Ariel illustrates the challenge involved in reconciling Israeli demographic concerns and Palestinian demands for a viable and contiguous state.

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