The Problem


Areas A & B consist of 169 islands surrounded by Area C that risk the security of Israelis and make Palestinian contiguity impossible.

The Solution


Transfer 10% of Area C to Area B and turn 169 disconnected Palestinian islands to 43.

Background


The signing of the Oslo II Accord in 1995 led to the establishment of Areas A, B, and C in the West Bank, leading to 169 Palestinian enclaves (Area A and Area B). The arrangement does not provide for either Israeli or Palestinian contiguity – and has led to consequences for the Israeli and Palestinian residents.

Commuting between Area A and Area B often requires crossing Area C, which is under exclusive Israeli control. The inability of Palestinians to travel fluidly throughout Arab West Bank cities and villages has dramatically weakened its state-building, including a hindered Palestinian police force.

Key Recommendations


This proposal aims to cut the number of Area B islands from over 169 to 43. Doing so would enhance Palestinian territorial contiguity in the West Bank and advance key security objectives:

  • Improve the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) capacity to provide basic law and order.

  • Boost the capacity and effectiveness of the PA security agencies and their ability to maintain a high level of coordination with their Israeli counterparts.

  • Reduce friction between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank.

  • Strengthen the Palestinian economy.

  • Establish conditions for a two-state reality that would ensure a secure, Jewish, and democratic Israel.

The measures outlined in this initiative are limited and meant to be applied on an interim basis. As such, they require no settlement evacuation or negotiated amendments to existing agreements. Rather than introduce more chaos into a potentially explosive environment, they will create a calmer atmosphere by changing dynamics on the ground.

Expanding Area B


Promoting security-driven gradualism and Palestinian rule of law.

BENEFITIAL TO ISRAELI SECURITY

Creating greater Palestinian territorial contiguity is directly beneficial to Israel's security, as it will reduce friction between Israeli settlements and Palestinian towns while improving daily security for Israelis traveling on West Bank roads. This proposal is designed to reduce unnecessary confrontation between the two communities and create conditions for two states.


NO SETTLEMENTS REMOVED


As is presented in Map 1, 239 square miles of territory constituting some 10.5% of the West Bank can be redesignated as Area B from Area C with no adverse security consequences and without removing any settlements.



REQUIRES NO LEGISLATION


The redesignation from C to B requires no legislation and can be done via an Israeli cabinet decision. Alternatively, it can be accomplished by transferring to the PA some of the authorities over those specific segments of Area C – especially zoning and planning – that are presently under the authority of the IDF regional commander.


Transferring 10% of Area C to B Would:


Turn 170 disconnected islands to 43

Transfer 10% of Area C to Area B and turn 170 disconnected islands to 43, improving contiguity thus improving the daily lives of Palestinians without compromising Israeli security.


PRESERVE A TWO-STATE REALITY WITHOUT REMOVING A SINGLE SETTLER

Transferring the 10% does not require Israel to evacuate one settler or remove one soldier, therefore there is no security whatsoever.