A plan first proposed by Olmert in 2008 where Arabs renounce 6.5% of lands with Jewish presence, but under their political control, is now acceptable for land swaps according to a Palestinian source.
By Mordechai Sones
PA President Mahmoud Abbas will present a plan by which the Arabs renounce 6.5 percent of the lands under their political control to Israel, three times as much as previously offered, during US President Donald Trump’s visit to Israel tomorrow (Tuesday), Middle East Eyereported.
The MEE quoted a PA official close to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as saying that the proposal excludes Jerusalem and appears to cement the vision of former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for an Arab-Israeli peace settlement.
“The Palestinian side will be presenting, during the meeting with Trump, a new vision which is quite detached from that of the majority of the Palestinian people. This vision is based on exchanging a lot of Palestinian lands,” the source told the MEE.
“Previous discussions about a Palestinian-Israeli settlement revolved around the exchange of only 1.9 percent of the lands, but now we are talking about more than triple that amount,” the source added.
Abbas had rejected an offer from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert during the failed 2008 peace talks for a near-total withdrawal from Judea and Samaria, proposing that Israel retain 6.3 percent of the territory in order to keep control of major Jewish areas, reported the Times of Israel in 2015.
Abbas met Trump in Washington in early May for their first face-to-face talks. According to Haaretz, Abbas urged Trump at the time to restart peace talks under the 2008 offer made by Olmert.
According to a source in the PA foreign affairs ministry, the 2008 talks failed because the PA delegation agreed only to exchange a much smaller percentage of its lands.
“We’ve been discussing this issue of land exchange since the negotiations with Olmert,” said the foreign ministry source. “But at the time of the 2008 peace talks, Palestinians only agreed to exchange between 1-2 percent of Palestinian lands while Olmert was pushing for approximately 6.5 percent instead.”
According to the Times of Israel report, Olmert had offered to compensate the Arabs with Israeli land equivalent to 5.8 percent of Judea and Samaria, along with a link to the Gaza Strip. The rejected offer also included placing Jerusalem’s Old City under international control.
This time however, Jerusalem, the most controversial aspect of previous discussions, is not mentioned in the proposal that Abbas is allegedly meant to discuss with Trump during his visit.
View original Arutz Sheva publication at: