The borders of the Palestinian ‘state’ come into focus

Israel/Palestine
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An article this week in The Jerusalem Post suggested that "when the construction freeze in Judea and Samaria ends on September 26", Israeli PM Netanyahu intends to build mainly in the so-called settlement blocs "Israel will likely keep under an agreement with the Palestinians".

Further down, the piece notes:

Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor, who is also in the septet [inner security cabinet], first came out in favor of resuming building only in the blocs in a June 15 speech in Efrat.

Sources close to Netanyahu said shortly afterward that he might make such a decision because it could satisfy both Likud and Labor. They noted that Netanyahu had made a point of planting trees on Tu Bishvat in three “consensus” areas: Ariel, Ma’aleh Adumim and Gush Etzion.

So, according to Netanyahu, the ‘consensus’ areas – in other words, illegal colonies that are assumed to remain under full Israeli control – include Ariel, Ma’aleh Adumim and Gush Etzion. The following map (from the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem) points out these three blocs, as well as Qiryat Arba in Hebron, and Modi’in Illit.

Some key settlement blocs
Some key settlement blocs

Defining what constitutes a ‘bloc’ is difficult, as there are differing interpretations. Here is another map from ARIJ, highlighting a greater number of blocs.

14 settlement blocs
14 settlement blocs

We already know that Netanyahu intends to keep the Jordan Valley in Israeli hands. Along with the ‘consensus’ colonies, the borders of the Palestinian enclaves continue to get clearer.

About Ben White

Ben White is author of 'Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner's Guide' and 'Palestinians in Israel: Segregation, discrimination and democracy'. Follow him on twitter at @benabyad and on his website www.benwhite.org.uk.

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