Land Swap in South, Population Swap in North: Israel and Palestine According to Trump

The Trump plan will swap land in the Negev for areas in the West Bank and build 12 bridges and tunnels to connect enclaves ■ digitized version of map shows how annexing certain parts of West Bank carves up Palestinian territory

הגר שיזף
Hagar Shezaf
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הגר שיזף
Hagar Shezaf

U.S. President Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century" includes maps that illustrate the two-state framework proposed by the American administration. According to Trump, the map – whose precise borders will be determined by a committee established specifically for that purpose – will double the size of territory Palestinians currently control and “No Palestinians or Israelis will be uprooted from their homes."

The Palestinian state will be established on the majority of the West Bank, while Israeli sovereignty will be applied on all the settlements in the West Bank. Israel will annex the Jordan Valley as well as other areas contiguous to the settlements, which will make up 30 percent of the West Bank. Another 15 settlements will remain as Israeli enclaves inside the territory of the Palestinian state.

The settlements that will become enclaves are: Hermesh, Mevo Dotan, Elon Moreh, Itamar, Berakha, Yitzhar, Ateret, Ma’aleh Amos, Karmei Zur, Telem, Adorah, Negohot, Metzad (Asfar), Beit Haggai and Otniel. Roads will connect the settlements that remain as enclaves of Israeli territory and Israeli law will apply to these settlements as well – including planning and construction laws.

The details accompanying the map show that 97 percent of Jewish settlers will live in territorial contiguity with Israel, while the same percentage of Palestinians in the West Bank will live in areas with Palestinian territorial contiguity.

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Jerusalem will not be divided and will be the capital of Israel. The capital of the Palestinian state will be in East Jerusalem, in neighborhoods on the West Bank side of the separation barrier. These neighborhoods will include Kufr Aqab, East Shoafat and Abu Dis – where the American Embassy to the Palestinian state will be built.

The plan also mentions the possibility that the “Triangle” Arab communities will become part of the new Palestinian state, with the agreement of all parties involved – but this possibility was not included in the map. The Triangle communities consist of Kufr Qara, Arara, Baka al-Garbiyeh, Umm al-Fahm, Kalansua, Taybeh, Kafr Qasem, Tira, Kafr Bara and Jaljulya.

As part of the land swaps, parts of the Halutzah dunes area in the western Negev will become part of the Palestinian state. According to the maps, a residential and agricultural area will be built in the southern half of the Halutzah area, while the northern part – closer to the Gaza Strip – will be a high-tech and manufacturing industrial zone.

The Palestinian state will have no territorial contiguity, and the parts of the West Bank will be connected via 12 tunnels or bridges. Two will connect the West Bank to the border with Jordan, because the West Bank will no longer be connected directly to the Allenby and Adam bridge border crossings once the Jordan Valley is annexed to Israel. The Adam crossing is not in operation today. The West Bank and Gaza Strip will be connected by a tunnel.

Palestinians living in enclaves inside Israeli territory in the West Bank will remain Palestinian citizens. These enclaves will be connected to the territory of the Palestinian state via roads, and Palestinian law will be in force in these enclaves – including planning and building laws. Israel will be responsible for security in these enclaves and the roads leading to them.

Dr. Shaul Arieli, an Israeli colonel in reserve service and an expert on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has digitized the map that was issued by the Trump administration on Tuesday and superimposed it on a geographic information system map of Israel. The resulting map clearly shows how parts of the West Bank that would be annexed by Israel under the Trump proposal would carve up and divide the territory.

For example, in the southern West Bank there’s a long Israeli corridor from the Negev to Kiryat Arba. Another Israeli “finger” reaches from northern Jerusalem and creates a corridor in the direction of Beit El and Ofra. “According to the map, there are Palestinian villages that will be annexed to Israel,” Arieli explains. “For example, villages found to the west of Beit Arieh, like Rantis and Budrus.”

According to the text of the plan, Palestinian communities that will be in Israeli territory will be Palestinian enclaves whose residents will be Palestinian citizens and roads will connect them to the rest of the West Bank. Practically speaking, it isn’t clear how this will be implemented and there is no graphic reference to this on Trump's map. Moreover, Qalqilyah, a city of around 50,000 people, is left as an enclave between two blue areas marked as Israeli territory.

Arieli’s map also shows two places where parts of the West Bank are totally disconnected. One is a split created by Route 1 that passes Ma’eleh Adumim in the direction of Jericho, and the other is by the corridor that runs to Ariel, Ma’aleh Levona and Shilo and onward to the Jordan Valley. The transfer of Wadi Ara to the Palestinian state appears on the map, but the map doesn’t include all the communities listed in the document.

The Halutza sands area in the northwestern Negev is seen as being transferred to the Palestinians, with a narrow Israeli corridor dividing the area in two. On the map created by Arieli one can also see a narrow strip of Gaza being annexed to Israel. But these could be discrepancies since neither of these items are mentioned in the text.

It also seems as if the Palestinian state will annex part of a firing zone south of the West Bank. “The most important thing that the map shows us is the ratio,” he says. “We’re getting 30 percent of the West Bank and giving up [the equivalent of] 14 percent [from] some Israeli desert areas where almost nobody lives.”

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