The Problem


Due to the natural growth of Palestinian villages, 11,000 structures that are home to 200,000 Palestinians are considered illegal and currently under demolition orders.

The Solution


Transferring 4% of Area C to Area B would legalize the homes of 200,000 Palestinians and not require the evacuation one settler.

Background


The 1995 Oslo II Agreement’s division of the West Bank into Areas A, B, and C, created 169 Palestinian enclaves cumulatively constituting Area A and Area B. Commuting between them often requires crossing Area C, which is under exclusive Israeli control.

Over the past 20 years, natural growth of Palestinian villages in Area B exhausted all available space and expanded into their surroundings, all classified as Area C. Unable to obtain building permits from the Israeli authorities, approximately 11,000 structures are considered illegal and currently under demolition orders.

Key Recommendations


A rough calculation of the cumulative territory occupied by these 11,000 structures approximates 4% of the West Bank. Recategorizing these segments of Area C as Area B - and transferring housing and zoning authority over them to the PA - requires no Israeli legislation. It will in no way negatively impact Israel's security, as Israel retains overall security control over Area B. For the Palestinians it will:

ENABLE NATURAL GROWTH

Apply to Palestinians the concept of natural growth that has long justified the expansion of Israeli settlements.


LEGALIZE THE HOMES OF 200,000 PALESTINIANS

Annul demolition orders for 11,000 Palestinian housing structures.


CLARIFY ISRAELI POLICY

Signal that Israeli control over Area C should not be considered permanent.


RESTORE HOPE

Strengthen the Palestinian economy and improve the atmosphere in Israeli-Palestinian relations.

Case Study: Dier Ballut


The village of Dier Ballut (bright green area), which consitutes an island of Area B surrounded by Area C, provides an example of how the 4% plan could be implemented.


  • Dier Ballut’s natural growth expansion has had no
    alternative but to slide into surrounding Area C (gray area).

  • The village’s total territory (all of it Area B) is 40 sq. mi.

  • The total population is 4,200.

  • The total number of houses are 800.

  • There are 120 buildings without permits that are
    subject to demolition orders (gray area).

  • The village’s total territory (all of it Area B) is 40 sq. mi.

  • Expanding the village by the suggested buffer of
    1,640 ft requires expanding Area B by a total of 1 sq.
    mi. of Area C.

  • The entire expansion involves only privately owned land.


Implementation of 4% C to B Plan


Three criteria should be met in delineating the segments of territory in Area C to be recognized as Area B:

DISTANCE FROM AREA B

Subject to the two other criteria, all houses located within 1,640 feet of the outer boundary of Area B should be included.


DISTANCE FROM ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS

For security reasons, the extended Area B should not reach any closer than 1,640 feet from the nearest Israeli settlement.


DISTANCE FROM SECURITY BARRIER

For security reasons, the extended Area B should not reach any closer than 1,640 feet from the security barrier.