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December 08, 2009

More Detail on Olmert's Offer

First there was Mahmoud Abbas's acknowledgment that Ehud Olmert offered him a state (and more). Then came Olmert's more-detailed description of the offer. And still, as with Ehud Barak's earlier peace offer, Olmert's rebuffed attempt to make peace with the Palestinians is all-to-often ignored by those casting Israel as being responsible for the conflict because the Palestinians don't have a state.

Now, a Channel 2 (Israel) report cited in the Jerusalem Post purports to give the most detailed description yet of Olmert's offer, making it harder than ever to ignore the responsibility of Palestinian leaders for the continued statelessness of their people:

During Olmert's tenure, then-foreign minister Tzipi Livni offered to establish a Palestinian state on 92.7 percent of the territories conquered in the Six Day War. The map presented to Palestinian negotiators did not include the Jordan Valley as part of the State of Israel. The settlement of Ariel would remain part of Israel, but the stretch of land ensuring its contiguity with the rest of the country would be very narrow, Channel 10 reported.

In return for 7.3% that Israel would annex, it would offer the Palestinians 3% in land swaps.

According to a Channel 10 analyst, there were already decisions on what land would be swapped in return to retaining settlement blocs. Israel would cede 100 square kilometers near the Gaza Strip, 13 in the Tirat Zvi area, 10 near Nataf, half a square kilometer near Mevo Beitar, 7.4 near Lachish, 3.2 near Sumeria, 42 near Yatir and 151 in the Judean Desert.

The Palestinians, according to the report, have for the first time ever presented the Israeli team with their own maps. The Palestinians were willing forego only 1.9% of the Judea and Samaria territories, but they were willing to accept that Gush Etziyon, Modi'in and several other settlement remain in Israeli hands.

In Jerusalem, the Palestinians were willing to accept the neighborhoods of Ramot, Ramot Alon, Ramat Shlomo, Pisgat Ze'ev, Neve Ya'akov, Ma'alot Dafna, French Hill and Gilo, the southern neighborhood which has recently become a sticking point not with the Palestinians but with the United States after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced that Israel would build several hundred new housing units there.

However, according to the report, the Palestinians themselves have agreed to forego areas where they now demand Israel implement a complete halt to construction.

Olmert reportedly offered the PA an even more generous offer than Livni, offering that Israel annex only 6.5% and swap 5.8% of lands, so the Palestinian state would constitute 99.3$ of the 1967 territories.

He additionally offered that five Arab states would be involved in governing Jerusalem, which would be divided based on its demographics.

The Palestinians rejected the offer.

Posted by at December 8, 2009 04:51 PM


I believe the author of the Jerusalem Post article meant Modi'in Illit (Kiryat Sefer). The city of Modi'in is on the Israeli side of the Green Line.

Posted by: Morey Altman at December 13, 2009 12:22 PM

The history of unilateral and secret surrender of territories by elected Israeli politicians in defiance of promises made during the elections and in complete contempt of the Knesset, parliamentary committees and the political parties that put them into power is frightening.

However it didn't start with Olmert. Rabin and Peres at Oslo; Sharon over Gaza were as guilty. Sometimes when journalists ignore the democracy that is Israel I find it hard to disagree.

Posted by: David Guy at December 17, 2009 12:51 PM

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