This Week in the Middle East

Palestine and Israel: The Shape of Peace

October 29, 2021 William Season 12 Episode 18
This Week in the Middle East
Palestine and Israel: The Shape of Peace
Show Notes

The core principles which could be embodied in a secure and final peace settlement between Israel and Palestine. 


Since the 1990s, land swap has become part of the negotiations between Israel and Palestine. However, the disagreement on the principles from both sides undermines the formation of a consensus on the land swap issue. 

In order to fulfill Palestine’s requirements on the completion of its sovereignty and Israel’s security concerns, the Next Century Foundation proposes that the 6% annexation of the West Bank take place, including the West Bank’s city Ari’el  as well as the settlements of Modi’in Illit, Beitar Illit, Ma’ale Adumin, Giv’at Ze’ev and East Talpiot together with some contiguous smaller settlements in the incursion at Qalquilya.  However, very little else should be included and the controversial settlement at Hebron would be excluded.  

The land swap should be based on the following principles:

1.Israel should be able to defend itself – by itself – against any threat.
2.The exchange should be on an acre-for-acre ratio. 
3.The ethnicities involved in the targeted areas should be taken into consideration. 


After the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel took control of East Jerusalem and claimed all Jerusalem as its capital with the extension of its jurisdiction and governance. Some Palestinians regard East Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestinian state. Others look to all Jerusalem as their capital. The lack of regional and international consensus on this issue has left tens of thousands of residents in Jerusalem live in constant uncertainty. 

In understanding the religious, historical, and cultural complexity in Jerusalem, the Next Century Foundation proposes that:

1.Israel and Palestine should share the de jure sovereignty of Jerusalem. 
2.The international community should symbolically recognise Jerusalem as the capital of both Israel and Palestine.
3.In practical terms specific de facto arrangements could be negotiated to deal with each secondary issue. For example these would include joint patrols in East Jerusalem, the use of Orient House as the Palestinian President’s Jerusalem residence, and a Palestinian Parliament in Abu Dis.


Millions of Palestinians were displaced following the 1948-1949 Israel’s War of Independence and subsequent 1967 war. While international law guarantees the right of return as part of refugees’ rights, disagreements over history and insecurity on both sides have prevented meaningful progress on the right of return issue.

The Next Century Foundation endorses the proposal from Israel’s former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that: 

1.Palestinians will be allowed to enter Israel only on an individual humanitarian basis.
2.Entry will not be under the names of “rights of return” or “family reunification”.
3.1,000 Palestinians are allowed to enter Israel in each year, for five years. The situation will then be reviewed.

4.Palestinians living outside Palestine will have a right of return to the State of Palestine.
5.Palestinians displaced in difficult circumstances (as is the case for example in regard to many Palestinians in Syria and Lebanon) will have a right to choose to emigrate to the West or to accept compensation in lieu.

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