According to an Israeli TV news channel on Sunday 12 May, the plan for Israel-Palestine due to be announced by the Trump administration in early June will provide for all Israeli settlements in the West Bank to remain under Israeli rule permanently. The report also said that the Trump administration will not oppose all West Bank settlements being integrated into the Israeli state immediately, whether that is part of an overall deal or not.
About 400,000 Jewish settlers live in settlements planted in the West Bank since 1967, among about 2.9 million Palestinians, and another 200,000 in areas of East Jerusalem annexed by Israel in 1967. A number of the settlements are well inside the West Bank, not near the Israeli border. Integrating them into the Israeli state will also mean, at least de facto, integrating the roads which connect them to Israel. De facto, it means declaring integration into Israel of all or most of “Area C”, an area defined under the Oslo Accords to include little of the Palestinian population of the West Bank but over 60% of the land area.
“Area C” surrounds each of the over 160 patches of land — cities, towns, villages — which make up “Areas A and B”, in which the Palestinian Authority has some autonomous authority, though to do little more than police the population and administer aid money from the EU and Arab states and tax revenues passed on by Israel.
Israeli prime minister Benyamin Netanyahu, just before the 9 April Israeli general election that he won, said that he planned to annex the area of the settlements. This move will create a major extra obstacle to a “two states” deal, giving the Palestinians the right to a real independent state in contiguous territory alongside Israel, because it means that such deal will require Israel to withdraw from places which it has annexed as part of its own state territory.
A majority of public opinion in Israel is against annexation. That public opinion will not stop annexation unless we can also rouse a wide international protest against the Trump-Netanyahu plan.
The Netanyahu government has also announced plans to build two new roads to connect more remote West Bank settlements, and to allow the Israeli parliament and government to ignore rulings of the High Court of Justice in administrative matters and in cases where it strikes down legislation as contradictory to basic law. The movements would permit the annulment of a High Court decision to allow prosecution of Netanyahu on corruption charges, sought by the Israeli police and outgoing attorney general, to proceed.