by Chana Ya'ar
Defense Minister Ehud Barak says it is likely that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will agree to divide Jerusalem with the Palestinian Authority.
Barak told the Hebrew-language newspaper Haaretz in an interview published Wednesday that he believes the best chance for peace lies in a peace deal in which all the Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem would be handed over to the PA in order to create a capital for a new Arab country.
“If Netanyahu leads a process, a significant number of rightist ministers will stand with him,” he told the newspaper. “So what is needed is courage to make historic, painful decisions. I'm not saying that there is certainty for success, but there is a chance. This chance must be exploited to the fullest.”
The peace plan described by Barak includes the following:
* two states for two nations
* an end to the conflict and the end of all future demands
* demarcation of a border “that will run inside the Land of Israel” dividing a demilitarized PA state from an Israel that includes the “settlement blocs”
* retrieving and relocating the “isolated settlements” into the settlement blocs or within Israel
* a solution to the refugee problem within the PA state, or rehabilitating them through international aid
* comprehensive security arrangements
* a “solution to the Jerusalem problem.”
As for the “Jerusalem problem,” Barak told the newspaper that the western side of the city plus "12 Jewish neighborhoods that are home to 200,000 residents will be ours.” The neighborhoods in which nearly 250,000 Arabs are living “will be theirs.”
In addition, Barak envisions a “special regime” with “agreed-upon arrangements” to administer the Old City, the Mount of Olives and the City of David...