Towards Final Status
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Click Here to Read About Borders
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Resolving the issue of Settlements
1 - Settlements Under Oslo
2 - Background
3 - The Israeli Position
4 - The Palestinian Position
5 - During the Interim Period
6 - Proposals

6 - Proposals

There is great speculation as to what will be the future of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights. During the years prior to the signing of the Oslo Declaration of Principles (DOP), a number of different plans, including the previously mentioned Allon Plan, were drawn up by various Israelis in hopes of resolving the issue on the basis of territorial compromise. Two other well-known proposals are the Sharon Plan and the Double Column Plan:

Sharon Plan (1992): This plan, proposed by MK Ariel Sharon, would have Israel annex approximately 50 percent of the territories, while in the remaining areas (mostly Palestinian population centers) 11 "cantons" of Palestinian autonomy would be created -- seven in the West Bank and four in Gaza.

Double Column Plan (1991): This plan, developed by architect Avraham Wachman, is a modification of the Allon Plan. According to Wachman, Israel would annex the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea area, while the Jordan River would remain Israel's security border to the east. Israel would also annex the Judean Desert and the eastern slopes of Samaria to create a western and an eastern column. In order for this plan to succeed, Israel would settle half a million Jews in the eastern column, while the rest of the territories would be handed over to the Palestinians. Wachman explained that Jews remaining in these areas would have the right to resident status in the Palestinian entity and also to Israeli citizenship, while Palestinians annexed into Israel would have the right to resident status in Israel and Palestinian citizenship.

Since the signing of the DOP, there have been a number of new proposals on settlements intended to serve as guidelines for Israeli negotiators at future final status discussions with the Palestinians.

The Moderate Territorial Compromise (1994): Under this plan proposed by Joseph Alpher, then director of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, Israel would annex 11 percent of the West Bank, but in so doing, would incorporate 70 percent of all the settlers. According to the plan, Israel would annex the parts of Western Samaria heavily populated with Israelis and, as a result, would move its border eastward, between five and eight kilometers. According to Alpher, "All remaining territory in the West Bank and Gaza Strip would be turned over to the Palestinian entity. Settlers wishing to remain would be subject to Palestinian authority."

Beilin-Eitan Agreement (1997): This comprehensive plan is intended to serve as a guide for Israeli negotiators in future talks with the Palestinians on key principles regarding West Bank territorial compromise.The agreement has nine different sections dealing with a wide array of issues. According to the plan the majority of settlers would live on their settlement under Israeli sovereignty, in order to preserve territorial continuity between the settlements and the State of Israel. The residents of the Israeli settlements, existing outside the area to be annexed by the State of Israel, would receive special, agreed-upon, status under which their Israeli citizenship and their ties with the State of Israel, as individuals and as a community, would be preserved. Thus their right of free and safe passage to the territories, under full Israeli sovereignty, would also be preserved.

Allon Plus Plan (1997): This plan has been called an enlarged version of the original 1967 Allon Plan. The new plan differs by creating blocks of territory, or "enclaves," in the West Bank, mainly concentrated around Palestinian population centers where there would be a restricted entity of Palestinian autonomy. These Palestinian enclaves would comprise approximately 40 percent of the West Bank.

The remaining areas, largely comprised of blocks of Israeli settlements built since 1967, would remain under Israeli control. This would also enlarge the pre-1967 corridor around Jerusalem, by retaining all of the city's satellite communities within Israeli sovereignty. In addition, Israel would retain the Jordan Valley, large blocks of settlements in the West Bank and Gaza, the network of essential Israeli-constructed bypass roads around Arab towns and all the regional water sources.

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