Only Proper Disengagement is the Guarantee of Peace

Only Proper Disengagement is the Guarantee of Peace

In preparing for his trip to Washington to discuss the disengagement plan from the West Bank with the US administration, the Israeli PM Ariel Sharon has revealed his true intentions to dissociate himself from a peaceful solution with the Palestinians.


The disengagement plan devised by Sharon presumes a sustained Israeli rule over six Israeli settlement blocks in the West Bank.  These blocks, however are in addition to the Israeli settlements that fall west of the Israeli built (or still-to-be constructed) Segregation Wall along the northern, Western & southern boundaries of the occupied West Bank.   Sharon's plan will therefore bring 81% of the total population of Israeli settlers under Israeli jurisdiction.  


Sharon specifically identified the six settlements blocs he intends to keep under the Israeli control.  The settlements are:



Israeli Settlement Bloc


Date of Establishment










Giva't Zeev






Ma'ale Adumim






Gush Etzion






Qiryat Arba






Hebron ''Jewish Quarter''












As shown, the six Israeli settlements have a population of 108,050, which constitutes 46% of the total Israeli population residing in the West Bank (235,000) excluding 19 Israeli settlements located in East Jerusalem with a total population of 211,000 Israeli settlers, which Israel refuses to concede as occupied territories. Adding these six settlement blocs to the settlements already carved from the West Bank by the Segregation Wall will result in a total of 102 Israeli settlements with a population of 190,000 (or 81% of the total West Bank Israeli settler population) that will fall west of the Segregation Wall.  


Sharon's plan implies a willingness to relocate 19% of the settler's population in exchange for a written guarantee from the US administration that Israel will not be required to withdraw to the 1967 borders or demand the right of return to Palestinian refugees.  However, the essence of the Israeli (Sharon) plan would not make any withdrawal necessary.  


While the total area of the 102 Israeli settlements west of the Segregation Wall (between the Green Line and the Segregation Wall) is 99.5 Km2, this area represents only the currently built up area.   The present course of the Segregation Wall will detach approximately 1030 Km2 (17.6%) from the West Bank total area of 5,855 Km2.   


In the eastern portion of the West Bank, Sharon has repeatedly declared the need for a security belt along the Jordanian borders, similar to that encircling the Gaza strip. In a recent interview with Haaretz, Sharon has stated that a Segregation Wall may not be necessary but access points to the Jordan Valley will be blocked.  Furthermore, when asked if the Jordan Valley will remain under the Israeli control in a final status agreement, he confirmed his long-standing commitment to maintaining a security zone along the Jordanian borders.  Based on the current situation, the Israelis have segregated the eastern portion of the West Bank approximately 1610 Km2 (27.5%) of the West Bank total area.  See map below



As shown in Figure above, the combined area west of the Segregation Wall (between the Green Line and the Segregation Wall) and the area currently segregated on the eastern portion of the West Bank represents a total of 2640 Km2 (45.1%) of the West Bank total area.  In retaining 45.1% of the West Bank for 235,000 Israeli settlers (and security), Sharon's plan will isolate the Palestinian population of 2.2 million on the remaining 54.9% of the West Bank to raise future generations.    However, this remaining area will be discontinuous.  While this land area will be separated into at least five separate Palestinian cantons, it is certainly to be further divided by the Israeli controlled bypass roads and security areas that will penetrate the remaining land area reserved to Palestinians and thereby deny the Palestinians a viable State of their own. 


Sharon's disengagement plan is simply a 'Restructuring' and a change of tactic of the settlement program agenda. The US guarantees concerning the refugees and the 1967 borders will signify a major blowout to the 'Road Map' as it contradicts the essence of the US proposed 'Road Map' plan that calls for the establishment of a viable Palestinian State in the occupied West Bank. In fact, the current US administration or any other party has no right to grant any guarantees nor stipulates concessions over any of the conflicted parties particularly when any of the final status issues are in subject and regardless of the desired outcome. 


Prepared by:
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem



Categories: Reports