In an article in Tablet, then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu laid out the basic requirements Israel would insist upon in any negotiation with the Palestinians and the concessions he was prepared to make. He spoke of a Palestinian “entity” rather than a state, which he said he opposed. “I support the Palestinians’ ability to control their own destiny,” he wrote, “but not their ability to extinguish the Jewish future.”
Israel’s Security Requirements
- A land buffer that includes the Jordan Valley and the hills directly overlooking it and that would extend southward to the ridges above the Dead Sea. At its deepest point, this buffer will be about 12 miles wide.
- A zone of separation between the Palestinian areas and the crowded coastline where most of its population lives.
- A security cordon around Jerusalem and the areas abutting Israeli airports.
- Early warning stations at the heights of the Samarian mountains.
- Corridors of territory to facilitate movement from the coastline to the Jordan Valley buffer in times of emergency.
- The ability to protect the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and facilitate the citizens’ ability to live and travel securely.
- Control of the main aquifer that supplies some 40 percent of the country’s water, running at the lower part of the western slopes of the Judean and Samarian hills.
- Access to places sacrosanct to Judaism and the Jewish people.
- Control of the airspace and international entry points.
- A Palestinian entity cannot form military pacts with sovereign states, or build and arm a standing army, or import weapons without Israel’s consent.
- No “right of return” to Israel of Palestinian refugees.
Concessions to the Palestinians
- Transfer to the Palestinians of areas that are not required by Israel’s security needs.
- Special arrangements facilitating safe passage of Palestinians through its own territory and between Gaza and the West Bank.
- The Palestinian entity can enjoy all the attributes of self-government, which include its own legislature, executive, judiciary, passports, flag, education, commerce, tourism, health, police, and every other power and institution controlling the collective and individual life of Palestinians within the Palestinian entity.
Mutual external security terms to be negotiated.
Source: Benjamin Netanyahu, “A Plan for Peace,” Tablet, (August 26, 2019).