RAMALLAH, January 23 (JMCC) - Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman has drafted a map of an interim Palestinian state, promoting the plan as a means of relieving diplomatic pressure on Israel
Sources say that the map essentially freezes the situation as it is on the ground, with additional roads constructed to connect Palestinian areas.
Lieberman's plan, which corresponds to the second stage of the 2003 U.S.-sponsored road map peace plan, would not involve evacuating settlements or transferring significant additional territory to the PA. Thus the new state's provisional borders would comprise mainly the parts of the West Bank known as Areas A and B. The PA currently has full control over Area A, and civilian but not security control in Area B.
Together, these areas comprise some 42 percent of the West Bank. But a bit of additional territory might be thrown in to bring the new state up to 45 or 50 percent of the West Bank.
By comparison, opposition MK Shaul Mofaz (Kadima), who chairs the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, has proposed a Palestinian state in provisional borders comprising at least 60 percent of the West Bank, accompanied by an Israeli pledge that the final borders would encompass at least 92 percent of the West Bank.
Lieberman's proposal got a boost last week when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
said that a provisional state was one possible outcome of diplomatic talks. The foreign minister says that by showing Palestinians a map, they will be forced to take a position on if they really want statehood or not.