Maps of Israeli Interests in Judea and Samaria
Determining the Extent of the Additional Withdrawals
Haim Gvirtzman

 


Introduction

One of the aims, which the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies has set for itself, is the enhancement of the public debate on foreign and security affairs. This booklet, which discusses the map of Israeli interests in Judea and Samaria, is presented to the reader as part of our endeavors to transform this debate into a more learned one.

The territorial aspect of the peace process with the Palestinians is one of the main issues held in controversy by the public in the country. In the near future, the country's leaders are scheduled to make decisions of far reaching implications on the issues discussed here.

The author, Dr. Haim Gvirtzman, has invested much work in gathering material and in presenting it clearly on maps. The Center is privileged to be the intellectual host for the clarification of the issues raised in this research. Of course, the author has sole responsibility for the content of the work. I hope this booklet will be of use in elucidating the territorial issues on the political agenda, and I wish all the readers pleasant reading.

Prof. Efraim Inbar
Director


 

Contents

Introduction

Map of Oslo 2

Map of Defense Interests

Map of Water Resources

Map of Settlements

Map of Further Redployments

Conclusion


Introduction

This paper addresses the Israeli government's commitment of January 1997 (the "Hebron Agreement") to carry out three staged withdrawals (further redeployments [FRD] of the Israel Defense forces [IDF]) in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), as required by the Oslo 2 agreement. Consequently, it is necessary to delineate what parts of Judea and Samaria do not contain Israeli interests, and which thus may be handed over to the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the framework of the FRD. These withdrawals are supposed to be completed during 1998, even if the permanent agreement is not finalized by then. The terms of the final settlement are the subject of controversy in the Israeli public, and the maps presented here are not intended to suggest what the permanent border between Israel and the PA should be (although they bear implications for the map of the final settlement). The maps presented here relate to the interim accord only, and therefore can serve as a temporary common denominator for a variety of opinions. Furthermore, a methodical presentation of the geographic and demographic data ­ which is unfamiliar both to most of the Israeli public and to its political leadership ­ will enhance the public debate over the extent of the future withdrawals in Judea and Samaria.

The proposed map is based on an optimization of two goals:

1. The preservation of vital Israeli interests, including: the territory required for the country's basic security (against a threat to its existence), the territories necessary for current security (the prevention of terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians), the protection of Greater Jerusalem, the preservation of water resources, and the defense of Israeli settlements.

2. The minimization of the number of Palestinians under Israeli control. This is desirable in the implementation of the interim agreement, because as long as there is no agreement between Israel and the Palestinians on the final status agreement, the territorial deployment at the end of the execution of the interim agreement will remain in force, perhaps for a long period.

This paper has benefited from data (in the form of detailed maps and tables) received from various sources:

1. The maps of the existing and planned transportation arteries were received from the Land Use Corporation, which has coordinated road planning in Judea and Samaria for the last decade.

2. Settlement data (Jewish land at various statutory levels) has been received from the Settlement Division of the Zionist Organization and from the Amana settlement movement.

3. Infrastructure maps (water, electricity, telephone, and sewage lines) have been received from the regional councils and local authorities.

4. Demographic data on the Israeli and Palestinian population has been received from the Central Bureau of Statistics and from the Ministry of the Interior. According to these sources, 1,561,000 Palestinians live in Judea and Samaria. In contrast, a census conducted by the PA in 1996 found 1,370,000 Palestinians in Judea and Samaria. The difference is due to Israel's counting of both unreported deaths and Palestinians who are overseas and who may return to the area. The data in this paper is based solely on Israeli sources.

The author wishes to express his gratitude to the staff of the Ofek company for the digital processing of the information for the production of the maps. The maps were examined and corrected on the basis of discussions with scholars, leading figures in the Yesha Council, and senior IDF officers. I have also benefited from a series of discussions with the researchers at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies of Bar-Ilan University. The author thanks all these people for their comments and suggestions. This study was funded by the Settlement Division of the Zionist Organization.

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Dr. Haim Gvirtzman is a senior lecturer in the Institute of Earth Sciences at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and specializes in the hydrology of ground water and water resources in Israel.


The Oslo 2 Map

The Oslo 1 agreement between Israel and the Palestinians was signed in August 1993 (it is also known as the "Gaza and Jericho First" Agreement). The Oslo 2 agreement was signed in September 1995, and its implementation commenced in November 1995 when the IDF withdrew from six Judea and Samaria cities (Jenin, Nablus, Tulkarem, Qalqiliya, Ramallah, and Bethlehem), and was completed in January 1997 when IDF personnel withdrew from Hebron as well. The withdrawal from the Palestinian urban centers in the West Bank completed the first stage of the Oslo 2 agreement; according to that agreement, three further redeployments are to take place. The agreement does not define the extent of the withdrawals, and this is one of the major issues now on the political agenda. Negotiations on the permanent settlement with the Palestinians were begun but have been suspended. The difficult issues to be decided are: the permanent borders between Israel and the PA, the status of Jerusalem, the future of Israeli settlement in Judea and Samaria, the water rights of each side, and the refugee problem. The first four of these issues have territorial dimensions that impinge on the map of the permanent settlement.

The Oslo 2 map (map #1) defines the authority of Israel and the PA in the area of Judea and Samaria, and is the map in force today (so long as no additional withdrawals are carried out under the terms of the interim agreement). The map is divided into three types of areas:

Area A (colored brown) is the area of the major cities under exclusive PA security and civil control. This constitutes 2.7% of the land area of Judea and Samaria, and has a population of 588,000 (Table 1).

Area B (colored yellow) is the area of villages under Israeli security control, but in which the PA has civil jurisdiction. Some of the yellow area is defined within the borders of the built-up area of villages, and some extends over open areas between villages (on the map, the boundaries of the villages' built-up area is marked within the large yellow spots). These areas constitute 25.1% of Judea and Samaria and have a population of about one million.

Area C (colored white), the remaining territory, is under Israeli civil and security control. This area contains all Israeli settlements and military installations and all the roads that serve them. This constitutes 72.2% of Judea and Samaria.

Table 1:

Palestinian population in the cities under PA control (Area A)*:

City Population
Jenin 40,900
Nablus 153,000
Qalqiliya 33,000
Tulkarem 35,000
Ramallah 50,700
Bethlehem 84,200
Jericho 30,000
Hebron 131,200
Total 558,000
* The total Palestinian population of Judea and Samaria is 1,561,000.


The Map of Defense Interests

War remains a threat in the Middle East. The area needed for defense in a conventional war on the eastern front extends over the Jordan River Valley and the Judean Desert and is marked on the map of defense interests in pink (map #2). This security zone is required also to create a buffer between the Arab-Muslim space and Israel, because otherwise the former will extend up to 15 kilometers from the Mediterranean Sea. Israel also needs to provide for current security against terrorist attacks that disrupt the day-to-day life of its population. The territory required to meet this type of threat is a band of separation marked on the map in purple. In addition to the areas required for defense, the map also presents the area defined as Greater Jerusalem, and the area required to preserve water resources (in blue dots), as will be explained below.

A. The Eastern Front and Transportation Arteries Leading to it

Defense on the eastern front requires the IDF to deploy itself along the Jordan River and the Dead Sea. Two major north-south emergency arteries are marked: the Jordan Valley road from Beit She'an to Ein Gedi (Route 90) and the Allon Road from Mehola to Ma'aleh Adumim and its planned extension to 'Arad (Route 80). The staging areas for IDF forces in the case of such a large-scale war extend up to a line two to four kilometers west of the Allon Road. According to a widespread assessment in the IDF, there are at least four strategic east-west arteries for moving mobilized forces from the population centers on the coastal plain to the front: the North Trans-Samaria Road (partly paved) to the northern Jordan valley, the Trans-Samaria Road (fully paved) to the central Jordan Valley, the Ma'aleh Beit Horon Road to Jericho (Route 45), and the Trans-Etzion Road to the Dead Sea. Corridors two kilometers to each side of these arteries (set off on the map by red lines) are required to ensure free and secure movement in times of emergency. Likewise, deployment of strategic installations (controlling terrain, early warning stations, and command posts) are required on the eastern slopes of the mountain range, and these have been added to the pink areas on the map. Control over these areas has no "demographic cost" because the Palestinian population there is extremely sparse (with the exception of Jericho, which has already been handed over to the PA).

B. The "Band of Separation" on the Green Line

Current security, which focuses on preventing terrorism within the State of Israel, requires Israeli control of a band of separation along the Green Line. The width of this band varies in accordance with the population densities in the urban areas along the coastal plane, as marked on the map in purple. The band reaches a maximum width of eight kilometers near the Jerusalem and Dan (Tel Aviv) metropolitan areas, and narrows to the north and south to a minimum of three kilometers in the area of Mt. Gilboa in the north and in the Beer Sheva area in the south. The air space around Ben-Gurion Airport marked on the map (a radius of 18 km from the edge of the runway) largely overlaps the area of this security strip. The band of separation also contributes to broadening the Israel's "narrow waist, " in particular in the Netania area where the distance from the Green Line to the Mediterranean is only 15 km. This security band includes, in northwest Samaria, an especially dense Palestinian population, but elsewhere in the band the Palestinian population is relatively sparse.

C. Defense of the Israeli Settlements in Judea and Samaria

Current security also includes protection of the Israeli residents in the Judea and Samaria settlements and on its roads. Preventing disruption of day-to-day life requires exclusive IDF control of the transportation arteries. The major arteries marked on the map are, first, the north-south artery on the mountain range (Route 60), and also the east-west arteries ­ the North Trans-Samaria Road, the Trans-Samaria Road, the North Trans-Benjamin Road, the South Trans-Benjamin Road, the Ma'aleh Beit-Horon Road, the Trans-Etzion Road, and the Trans-Judea Road. Likewise, current security also requires Israeli control over some strategic points and over the area of the major intersections, as marked on the map in purple circles.

Greater Jerusalem

Jerusalem, Israel's capital, is the national-religious focus of the Jewish people. There is a Jewish majority in the city of Jerusalem and in the areas surrounding it. Jerusalem is also a strategic crossroads of the first order. Even though the discussion of the issue of sovereignty in the Jerusalem area has been postponed to the permanent settlement, there is a broad Israeli consensus about preventing any erosion of the control of the "Greater Jerusalem" area at least in the interim period. This area extends from the Trans-Etzion Road in the south to the Beit Horon Road in the north, and in the east up to the planned extension of the Allon Road (Route 80). The territory of Greater Jerusalem joins up in the east to the area required for defense in a war on the eastern front, and to the north and south it touches on the security band along the Green Line.


The Map of Water Resources

The ground water reservoir in Judea and Samaria, called the Mountain Aquifer, is the State of Israel's largest and most important water reservoir. Some 600 million cubic meters of water are produced from it in an average year, about a third of the State of Israel's national water consumption. This water is of the highest quality and supplies the domestic needs of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Beer Sheva, and most of the cities in the center of the country; it is also used for irrigation of large agricultural areas along the coastal plain, the piedmont, the Beer Sheva valley, the Jezreel Valley, and the Jordan Valley. Natural water sources must be preserved even in an era of desalination, because the value of water is not determined only by the cost of its production; rather, it has value as a national natural resource. Therefore, Israeli governments have declared that water is a strategic resource for Israel even in an era of peace.

After the IDF's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, some 500 new wells were drilled there, in violation of the agreement reached with the PA, and today many attempts to drill wells are being made in the Jenin area. The vital need to prevent wildcat drilling by Palestinians and the need to ensure the supply of good quality water in the future requires exclusive Israeli control of the vital pumping areas. A mapping of the pumping potential in Judea and Samaria is presented in the map of ground water reservoirs (Map #3). The map defines three areas: A. Areas in which water cannot be pumped; these areas are located on the top of the geological domes in Hebron and Ramallah to Mt. Gilboa. B. Areas of low pumping potential, in which the thickness of the saturated subterranean stratum is no greater than 200 meters, and in which water can be pumped at low yields of up to a few tens of cubic meters per hour. These areas are marked on the map in light blue and are located around the areas of the first type. C. Areas of high pumping potential, in which the thickness of the saturated stratum is between 200 and 600 meters, and in which water may be pumped at yields of thousands of cubic meters per hour. These areas are marked on the map in blue.

Accordingly, the Mountain Aquifer is divided into three subareas marked on the map by the numbers 1-3, representing different levels of strategic importance, as follows:

Area no. 1: the western basin of the Mountain Aquifer, called the Yarkon-Tanninim Aquifer. This basin today supplies an average of 340 million cubic meters per year, largely for the domestic use of 2.5 million civilians living in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and the cities in the center of the country (the Palestinians today pump an additional 20 million cubic meters a year). This basin is of prime importance and the Palestinians cannot be allowed any further drillings in it. The boundaries of this basin have thus been marked on the map of defense interests (Map #2) with blue dots. Special arrangements will have to be made in the cities of Qalqilia and Tulkarem, which are located in this area, in order to prevent further drilling there. This area largely overlaps the security band, and contains a large proportion of the Israeli settlement blocs in western Samaria and Benjamin.

Area no. 2: The northern basin is called the Nablus-Gilboa Aquifer. This basin today supplies an average of 115 million cubic meters a year, largely for agricultural irrigation in the kibbutzim and moshavim in the northern valleys (the Palestinians pump an additional 25 million cubic meters a year). Demographically, this area is one of dense Palestinian settlement (especially in Nablus and Jenin), and Israel will not be able to control it exclusively. However, regulations for the ongoing use of the aquifer will have to be agreed upon by both sides.

Area no. 3: The area in which water may be pumped from the eastern basin. This aquifer today supplies abut 40 million cubic meters to the Israeli agricultural settlements in the Jordan Valley (the Palestinians pump an additional 60 million cubic meters a year). This aquifer is of lesser importance because it supplies water largely to the Palestinians, and it supplies Israel little water (primarily for agricultural purposes). Nevertheless, regulations for its use will have to be agreed upon here as well.

In summary, the Yarkon-Tanninim Aquifer (area no.1) has strategic importance, and Israel must maintain exclusive control over its potential pumping areas; in the other basins (2 and 3), as well as in the cities of Qalqilia and Tulkarem, other arrangements can be determined for the supply of water in the future.


The Settlement Map

The Israeli government headed by the Labor Party asserted the principle of not evacuating Israeli settlements in the territories during the interim stages. Indeed, the settlement of Netzarim was left intact as part of the Oslo 1 agreement, and the road leading to it remained under IDF control. Similarly, the orchards of Vered Yericho determined the boundary of the autonomy in Jericho. This principle remained in force in the Oslo 2 agreement, under which no settlement was evacuated. The current government has continued to adhere to this principle, retaining full control of the Jewish Quarter in Hebron. The principle of non-evacuation of settlements will continue to guide Israeli policy during the additional withdrawals that will complete the interim agreement. Therefore, the Settlement Map (Map #4) displays all existing settlement areas in green. These areas include land whose legal status can be divided into several categories: land belonging to the Israel Lands Authority, lands belonging to the Jewish National Fund, lands that have been declared appointed or expropriated by the State of Israel for settlement and security purposes, and land to which the state claims title. Likewise, the settlement areas contain land between adjacent settlements in order to create settlement clusters with a protected space.

The existence and security of the Israeli settlements requires full control of the "life arteries" ­ the roads leading to the settlements and along the infrastructure lines (water, electricity, sewage, and communications), and these too are marked on the map in double green lines. The width of the arteries serving the settlements are estimated at about 0.5 kilometers. Four of these roads also serve as strategic arteries in times of emergency, so their width is four kilometers.

The Settlement Map shows four large settlement blocs and three other smaller blocs that create a clear continuum of Jewish land:

Greater Jerusalem: This includes Gush Etzion, the city of Ma'aleh Adumim, the local authorities of Givat Zeev, Betar Ilit, Efrat, and Har-Adar, and additional rural settlements belonging to the Benjamin regional council. There are a total of 20 settlements in Greater Jerusalem, containing a total population of 52,000.

West Samaria: This includes the local authorities of Ariel, Emmanuel, Karnei Shomron, Kedumim, Elkana, Oranit, Alfei Menashe, and additional rural settlements belonging to the Samaria Regional Council. West Samaria contains a total of 18 settlements, with a total population of 44,000.

West Benjamin: This includes the local authorities of Kiryat Sefer and Beit Arieh, and additional rural settlements belonging to the Benjamin Regional Council. There are a total of 12 settlements in West Benjamin, with a total population of 14,000.

The Jordan Valley and Judean Desert: This includes the Ma'aleh Efrayim local authority, and additional settlements belonging to the Jordan Valley, Megilot, Benjamin, and South Mt. Hebron Regional Councils. It consists of a total of 44 settlements with a total population of 17,000.

The Richan-Dotan Bloc: This lies in northern Samaria adjacent to the Green Line (by Wadi 'Ara) and includes five settlements with a total population of 1,500.

The 'Einav-Sal'it Bloc: This lies in northwest Samaria adjacent to the Green Line (near Netania) and includes four settlements with a population of 2,000.

The Eshkolot-Shim'a Bloc: This lies in southern Judea next to the Green Line (near Beer Sheva and 'Arad) and includes five settlements with a population of 1,000.

Aside from these blocs there are 16 isolated settlements that are not included in typical settlement blocs, with a total population of 13,000. The largest of these are Hebron-Kiryat Arba (population 5,750) and Beit El (population 3,400).

Demographic data on the Israeli and Palestinian populations shows that there are two districts (the Jordan Valley and Judean Desert, and the southern Judean Mountains) in which there is already a Jewish majority today. There are three additional districts (Greater Jerusalem, West Samaria, West Benjamin) in which there no Jewish majority as yet, but in which the current settlement growth rate will allow the creation of a Jewish majority within a few years. These three districts are located in areas required by Israel for other reasons (current security and the preservation of the Yarkon-Tanninim Aquifer). On the other hand, in northern Samaria Jews are a small minority, but the areas are required by Israel for defense and/or for ground water.


The Map of Further Redeployments (FRD)

An integration of these maps (overlaid one on top of the other) defines the geographical extent of the territories that Israel must keep in the framework of the interim agreement. These territories cover 70% of Judea and Samaria. In some, there is an overlapping of areas required for defense and those needed to preserve water resources and settlements, and in others there is no overlap; these areas are defined as an Israel interest according to only one criteria (or two). The rest of the territory (30%), which is not required according to the criteria presented here, defines the areas which may be handed over to the PA in the framework of the additional withdrawals. This area is colored pink on the FRD Map (Map #5), and is added to the territories already under the exclusive control of the PA, which are colored brown. This paper does not discuss the extent of each of the withdrawals; this depends on the timetable for the completion of the roads bypassing the Palestinian cities and the separation of the water networks.

On the assumption that all the pink area is handed over to the PA in the interim arrangement and becomes Area A, the PA will rule over 1,244,000 people. The PA's territory will include four major districts, including both cities and villages, and four additional urban areas. The districts are: the Jenin district (approx. population 124,000), the Nablus district (approx. population 420,000), the Ramallah district (approx. population 147,000) and the Hebron district (approx. population 371,000). These districts do not coincide with the administrative districts currently in use. Each district will be composed of a number of sub-blocs that will be divided from each other by security and settlement corridors. The continuity between the sub-blocs in each district will be preserved through the use of bridges and tunnels (as already exist in many places). The four urban areas that will also be included in the PA's territory are Jericho (population 30,000) in Israel's eastern security area, Bethlehem (population 84,000) in the Greater Jerusalem area, and Qalqilia (population 33,000) and Tulkarem (population 35,000) in the western security band along the Green Line.

This map includes corrections of errors made in the Oslo 2 map, in which Israel unwittingly gave up transportation arteries (Route 45 connecting Modi'in to Jerusalem, now being paved, and the planned North Trans-Samaria Road) and areas vital to the protection of the Yarkon-Tanninim Aquifer (the Kfar Na'ama and Beitilu blocs in west Benjamin and the Kfar Zivad bloc in western Samaria). In other words, this map defines the places in which a reduction of the area under Palestinian civilian rule (Area B) is required. Such an exchange of territory is possible, as has already been shown several times in the past (after the signing of the Oslo 2 accord), when the Palestinians signed correction agreements to the Oslo 2 maps. Then, more than 2,000 dunams (500 acres) were cut out of Area B in the area of the Israeli settlement of Keidar in exchange for the enlargement of the Abu Dis area. Such changes were also made in the area of the western woods of the city of Ma'aleh Adumim, on the access road to the settlement of Ganim, and in the cemetery in Hebron. An additional example is the elimination of the section of Area A near Psagot without a quid pro quo.

Table No. 2:

The Political Status of the Palestinian Population in the West Bank Today and After the FRD


   Current Status Post-Withdrawal
Full independence Area A

588,000

1,244,000

Under IDF control Area B+C

1,003,000

317,000

Total

1,561,000

1,561,000


Conclusion

The withdrawals proposed here constitute an optimal plan to bridge between the two fundamental aspirations that together make up the national consensus in Israel. On the one hand there is general agreement on ending Israeli rule over the Palestinians, their lives, and their fate. On the other hand there is general agreement on preserving Israel's vital interests in Judea and Samaria and on not evacuating any Israeli settlements in the framework of the interim agreements. Likewise, this framework allows the Israeli government to fulfill its obligations in accordance with the Oslo 2 accord, at least in the short run, through the end of the interim arrangements. When this arrangement ends, the State of Israel will still have enough territorial cards to play in the negotiations on the permanent settlement, and the Palestinians will have an incentive to continue to pursue the process rather than torpedoing it.

According to the framework plan proposed here, the territory under the exclusive control of the Palestinian Authority (Area A) will grow from 2.7% of the area of Judea and Samaria to 27% at the end of the withdrawals -- that is, an area ten times as great. In this process, the number of Palestinians under the full control of the Palestinian Authority will grow from 588,000 at present to 1,244,000 at the end of the withdrawals (Table 2). Moreover, if the Palestinian population of Gaza is also taken into consideration, the population of Palestinians under exclusive Palestinian rule will grow from 63% to 88%. The rest of the Palestinian population, numbering 317,000 (about 130,000 in greater Jerusalem, 90,000 in western Samaria and Benjamin, and the rest concentrated largely in northern Samaria) will enjoy civil autonomy only, in the built-up area of their villages, on only 3% of Judea and Samaria.

This document does not presume to sketch the map of the permanent settlement, but it can provide evaluations of the importance of different units of land. By basing themselves on the demographic data on the Jewish and Palestinian populations, and on the interest maps, government bodies can weigh the importance of each territorial unit and contrast it with its demographic price, and so formulate the map of the permanent settlement.