Haaretz publishes map of Olmert's offer to Abu Mazen

Here is the graphic of the map, as Haaretz reconstructed it, of the “unprecedented” offer made during direct contacts in 2008 between Israel’s then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen ):

Olmert peace plan presented to Abu Mazen as reconstructed by Haaretz - 17 Dec 09

The accompanying article, published in Haaretz today, was written by Aluf Benn, who reported that “Former prime minister Ehud Olmert proposed giving the Palestinians land from communities bordering the Gaza Strip and from the Judean Desert nature reserve in exchange for Jewish settlement blocs in the West Bank.   According to the map proposed by Olmert, which is being made public here for the first time, the future border between Israel and the Gaza Strip would be adjacent to kibbutzim and moshavim such as Be’eri, Kissufim and Nir Oz, whose fields would be given to the Palestinians. Olmert also proposed giving land to a future Palestinian state in the Beit She’an Valley near Kibbutz Tirat Tzvi; in the Judean Hills near Nataf and Mevo Betar; and in the area of Lachish and of the Yatir Forest. Together, the areas would have involved the transfer of 327 square kilometers of territory from within the Green Line.  Olmert presented his map to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in September of last year. Abbas did not respond, and negotiations ended. In an interview with Haaretz on Tuesday, Abbas said Olmert had presented several drafts of his map. The version being disclosed Thursday in Haaretz is based on sources who received detailed information about Olmert’s proposals. Olmert wanted to annex 6.3 percent of the West Bank to Israel, areas that are home to 75 percent of the Jewish population of the territories … Olmert proposed the transfer of territory to the Palestinians equivalent to 5.8 percent of the area of the West Bank as well as a safe-passage route from Hebron to the Gaza Strip via a highway that would remain part of the sovereign territory of Israel but where there would be no Israeli presence.  Olmert gave Col. (res.) Danny Tirza, who had been the primary official involved in planning the route of the security fence, the task of developing the map that would provide the permanent border between Israel and the Palestinian state. Olmert’s proposed annexation to Israel of settlement blocs corresponds in large part to the route of the security fence. In his proposal for a territory swap, Olmert rejected suggestions previously raised involving the transfer to the Palestinians of the eastern Lachish hills, deciding instead to establish communities there for evacuees from the Gaza Strip. He also showed a preference for giving the Palestinians agricultural land over the transfer of the Halutza sands near the Egyptian border. The implementation of the Olmert plan would require the evacuation of tens of thousands of settlers and the removal of hallmarks of the West Bank settlement enterprise such as Ofra, Beit El, Elon Moreh and Kiryat Arba, as well as the Jewish community in Hebron itself.   Olmert reached a verbal understanding with the Bush administration to the effect that Israel would receive American financial aid to develop the Negev and Galilee to absorb some of those settlers evacuated from the West Bank. Other evacuees would have been resettled in new apartments to be built in the settlement blocs that Israel would annex. Olmert’s office said in response to the disclosure of the plan: ‘On September 16, 2008, [Olmert] presented Palestinian Authority President Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] a map that had been prepared based upon dozens of conversations that the two held in the course of the intensive negotiations after the Annapolis summit. The map that was presented was designed to solve the problem of the borders between Israel and the future Palestinian state. Giving Abu Mazen the map was conditioned upon signing a comprehensive and final agreement with the Palestinians so it would not be used as an ‘opening position’ in future negotiations the Palestinians sought to conduct. Ultimately, when Abu Mazen did not give his consent to a final and complete agreement, the map was not given to him’.  Olmert’s office also told Haaretz that ‘naturally for reasons of national responsibility, we cannot relate to the content of that map and the details of the proposal. At the same time, it should be stressed that in the details contained in your question, there are a not inconsiderable number of inaccuracies that are not consistent with the map that was ultimately presented’.”   This article is posted on the Haaretz website here.

This is fascinating. The leaks are coming fast and furious. This is positioning, or pre-positioning, in advance of some bigger move.

Now, Haaretz, we would like to see a close-up map of the Olmert proposals concerning the Jerusalem area, please…

If this map is correct, Olmert was not proposing any swaps in the Jerusalem area — but sources, and other published reports, indicated that Olmert had put on the table something about Jerusalem areas with large Palestinian populations being turned over to the PA…

According to this map, the entire Greater Jerusalem Municipal area plus something around Dahiet al-Bariid (Jerusalem side) and Neve Yaakov, as well as the E-1 envelope and all of Maale Adumim — a huge amount of territory — would be “annexed to Israel”.

Also, the map does not show any Israeli ambitions in the Jordan valley, in the Israeli settlements around Jericho, or along a large part of the Dead Sea coastline, something that also seems to fly in the face of known facts [though the U.S. has apparently consistently opposed Israeli annexation — or anything like it — of the Jordan valley] …  As Ma’an News Agency reported on Friday evening, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad told the Climate Conference in Copenhagen that ““Today, 9000 Israeli settlers living in the Jordan Valley consume approximately one quarter of the total amount of water made available to all 2.5 million Palestinians living in the West Bank.”   There are now more Israeli settlers living in the Jordan Valley than were living in Gaza at the time of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s unilateral “Disengagement” of Israeli settlers and the soldiers protecting them in 2005.

One of the many comments posted on this article and map, on the Haaretz website (written by Johnboy in Sydney) notes the following:
…look at some of the other nonsense going on nearer the Green Line:
1) Qalqilyah is sandwiched between Tzofim and Alfei Menashe; Abbas would have no choice but to tell the Israelis that they can`t have both.
2) The twin roads leading back from Ariel through Elkana and Beit Aryeh entrap a triangle of Palestinian territory; Abbas can`t possibly accept that.
3) What on earth is that road heading south of Beit Aryeh doing/going?
4) The Latrun salient is all Israeli; is that counted in the “5%” that Israel is annexing from the Pals, or is it excluded from the calculations?
5) There is a little cut-off triangle of land betweem Givat Ze`ev and Nataf; were we supposed to miss that fact?”

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