Palestinian Map of Dividing Jerusalem 'Out of Touch With Reality', Says Cartographer

Shaul Arieli, Yair Assaf-Shapira say leaked maps show Palestinians agreeing to divide Jerusalem based on the Clinton peace plan, the Geneva Initiative maps, with slight modifications.

Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson
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Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson

The Palestinians had agreed to divide Jerusalem based on the Clinton peace plan and the Geneva Initiative maps, with slight modifications, according to maps found among the documents leaked to Al Jazeera, cartographers said.

An Israeli flag is seen back-dropped by the Dome of the Rock Mosque in Jerusalem's Old CityCredit: AP

The maps the Palestinians brought to the negotiating table had a number of changes made in them in favor of their position, said cartographers Shaul Arieli of the Council for Peace and Security and Yair Assaf-Shapira of the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies.

While the Geneva Initiative map left the Har Homa neighborhood in Israeli territory, the Palestinian maps had the neighborhood on the Palestinian side. The areas adjacent to Jerusalem, like the Etzion settlement bloc, which are assumed to be annexed to Israel, are larger in the Geneva Initiative map than in the Palestinian ones.

The Palestinian maps show that for every West Bank territory annexed to Israel, land is given to the Palestinians in compensation. For example, in the south of Jerusalem, the Palestinians receive areas near Kibbutz Ramat Rahel and in the north, areas near the Ramot neighborhood.

The Geneva Initiative maps and those discussed in the 2000 negotiations compensated the Palestinians by giving them larger territories near Gaza and south of Mount Hebron.

"This map is reasonable as a stage in the negotiations," said Arieli, "but it is out of touch with reality. For example, giving the Palestinians land adjacent to Route 1, where the railway line to Jerusalem will pass, or cutting off the connection to Betar Ilit almost completely."

Sheikh Jarrah residents yesterday joined the attack on the Palestinian negotiators for "betraying" Jerusalem. Some of the leaked papers show that Israel would keep a part of the neighborhood.

These are probably not the Palestinian residential areas but the government offices, police headquarters and the road to Mount Scopus, which Israel wants to keep.

"I was shocked when I heard this," said Nasser Gawi, who since being evicted from his home by settlers has been spearheading the neighborhood's campaign against the Jewish settlement in it.

"Erekat must have become more Zionist than Zionist. He has no mandate to give up Sheikh Jarrah or an inch of Palestine."



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