Daily Israel Report

Netanyahu Reportedly Mulling Ceding Land to PA

Maariv: defense establishment recommends transferring territory to PA control, as pre-Obama visit gesture.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 3/5/2013, 9:07 AM

Netanyahu and Tzipi Livni
Netanyahu and Tzipi Livni
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is considering the possibility of approving a "meaningful package of gestures" toward the Palestinian Authority in advance of U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Israel this month, reports Maariv.

The newspaper said that the recommendations to cede land were handed to the Prime Minister by "the defense establishment," which also explained that the "gestures" would not endanger Netanyahu politically.

The unnamed elements within the defense establishment also reportedly said that "the gestures are of a diplomatic nature, and will create an important effect for Israel on the consciousness level, at a low price, politically and coalition-wise." In the past, the "gestures" were discussed, in part, with Quartet Middle East Envoy Tony Blair – but Netanyahu rejected them then.

One of the "gestures" is the transfer of some areas that are currently under full Israeli control (Area C) to full Arab control (Area A). These territories would include access roads to the new PA city of Rawabi and another road that leads to the Tul Karm industrial area.

Yet another suggested "gesture," according to Maariv, is the approval of zoning plans for about 10 illegal Arab outposts in Area C. Yet another "gesture" is the release of "a meaningful number" of Fatah terrorist prisoners from Israeli jails, and the transfer of light ammunition to the PA forces.