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Israeli ‘peace plan’ involves Palestinian state and no right of return

An Israeli group will introduce a 'peace initiative' that includes a Palestinian state and a withdrawal from Golan but with land swaps and 'minor' territorial modifications

Ahram Online , Tuesday 5 Apr 2011
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A group of prominent Israeli figures will present a "peace initiative" to the Arab world this week, according to a New York Times report.

The initiative reportedly includes the creation of a Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank, land swaps of seven per cent, financial compensation and giving up the right of return. It also involves Israel’s withdrawal from the Syrian Golan Heights and the establishment of joint projects.

The proposal, dubbed the "peace initiative", was, the report said, inspired by recent developments and has been prepared as a direct response to the Arab peace plan proposed by the Arab League in 2002 and again in 2007.

The initiative’s Palestinian state would be established on "almost" the whole of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with a capital in East Jerusalem. It also includes an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights as well as a number of regional security mechanisms and economic cooperation projects.

Yaakov Perry, a member of the group proposing the initiative and a former head of the Shin Bet, said that a copy of the plan was sent to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The plan is scheduled to be released on Wednesday in Tel Aviv and its goal, according to the report, is to put an end to the Israeli-Arab conflict.

The plan is based on the 1967 borders but with land swaps in seven per cent of the West Bank.

Israel would be in control of Jerusalem’s Jewish neighbourhoods and Palestine its Arab ones. The Noble Sanctuary (Al-Haram Al-Sharif), or Temple Mount, would be under no sovereignty while the Western Wall and the Old City’s Jewish Quarter would fall under Israeli soveignty.

Financial compensation, the plan suggests, would be paid to refugees who are entitled to live in the state of Palestine but not to their land if it exists within today’s Israeli entity, with “symbolic exceptions.”

As for Israel’s withdrawal from the Golan Heights, that too would include "mutually agreed upon" minor modification and land swaps over a period of no more than five years.

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