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European Council on Foreign Relations





By - 10 December 2013

According to the assumptions of the Quartet (which consists of the US, the EU, the UN, and Russia), territorial arrangements under a two-state solution would result in a Palestinian state based on the 1967 lines that consists of a territorially-contiguous West Bank linked to the Gaza Strip – by a land corridor, a secure highway, overpass, or tunnel, as set out in most detailed proposals for a two-state solution. This state would be established on some 22 percent of historic Palestine, allowing for land swaps. Furthermore, there would be no Israeli military or civilian presence beyond the timeframe for Israeli withdrawal that could override local Palestinian needs, and Palestinians would enjoy freedom of movement within their state and access to its natural resources.

The territorial contiguity of the future Palestinian state is, however, strained by a much more pervasive factor than the geographical conundrum of linking Gaza and the West Bank. At present, the West Bank is perforated by over 100 Israeli civilian settlements and scores of civilian “outposts”, military bases, restricted roads, temporary and permanent checkpoints, and other obstacles that risk undermining territorial contiguity altogether. This category looks at the manner in which this fragmentation occurs and the degree to which it strains the creation of a viable Palestinian state.


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