Haaretz, August 2, 2017


The seemingly innocent division of the West Bank into Areas A, B and C drew the boundaries of the territorial pockets that we designated for the Palestinians. The four years allotted for this division have been so prolonged that to Israelis, the annexation of Area C will seem like the most logical step. Israeli roads divide Palestinian neighborhoods and surround Palestinian homes, the wall was built adjacent to A-Ram and Shoafat and the area it left for expansion is only for the settlements. Everything is based on “professional considerations,” of course. And the small proportions allocated for construction in Jerusalem’s Palestinian neighborhoods – after 35 percent of their land was expropriated for Jews – was also initially explained by the altruistic reason of preserving the areas' rural character.

[...] And then comes the twist of the logical solution: Unlike the Jerusalem municipality, the new Arab council will be permitted to get help from the PA to collect the garbage and to approve, after the fact, the huge, dangerous and unlicensed housing projects that were built there. Nobody will punish the council if it summons the Palestinian police from the station across street to handle the drug problem.

First comes the de facto. And even if the de jure is delayed, the result is the same as outlined by the sophisticated Oslo Accords: The PA is responsible for dealing with the social, economic, health and problems created by Israel, only without freedom of choice, without resources and without sovereign powers.