With Secretary of State John Kerry pushing a framework to get peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians rolling again, Israel has reportedly presented an offer to the United States in which it would “trade” part of East-Central Israel to the Palestinians for the right to annex large settlement blocs in the occupied West Bank.
The notion of a land swap has been around for a long time, and Palestinians have suggested in the past some revisions of the 1967 border in one-for-one land swaps was possible. The Israeli proposal is said to be much broader than expected, however.
And more populous. Instead of simply trading uninhabited parts of Israel, the Israeli government’s proposal involves trading a relatively populous chunk of land, including the cities of Tira and Taibe, and the 300,000-or-so Israeli Arabs that live there, in the swap.
Unclear from the early reports of the plan are what exactly happens to the 300,000 Israeli citizens that get “traded” to Palestine, and if their Israeli citizenship gets revoked.
The plan resembles one that has been pushed by Avigdor Lieberman for the past decade however, and in his version expelling “undesirable” citizens was the whole point of the swap, kicking out ethnic minorities as a way of solving the “demographics problem.”