Barak: Israel should consider unilateral withdrawal from West Bank

May 31, 2012 at 5:02 pm (israel, Middle East, palestine, Pink Prosecco)

Guest post by Pink Prosecco

There was an interesting piece in yesterday’s Jerusalem Post.  Apparently a unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank is being seriously considered by at least some elements in the Israeli government.

Ehud Barak is the main supporter of such a move.  Opponents include Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon:

“Anyone raising the possibility of unilateral steps is preventing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas from returning to the negotiating table because it confirms the belief that if they just wait, Israel will fold and give in,” Ya’alon said.

But – although one might reasonably hope that such a withdrawal could lead to improvements in the day to day lives of some Palestinians – this would hardly amount to ‘giving in’.

There is no indication that settlements would be given up, for example, and I think it can safely be assumed that the withdrawal will not extend to East Jerusalem. But – it’s an intriguing development.


  1. Roger said,

    It entirely depends on what Barak means by ‘West Bank’

    Does he mean a withdrawal to the 1967 Green Line and dismantling the settlements – almost certainly not.

    Withdrawing from some parts of the West Bank and cutting them adrift in the same way as they did Gaza is another thing altogether and has the attraction for the military that Barak represents that no longer will they have to deploy ground troops there – any attacks over the new border can met with artillery and aircraft bombardment.

  2. Mr Mushroom said,

    The on-going ethnic cleansing of the West Bank would suggest that the senario sketched out by Roger is the most likely form of withdrawal if any such withdrawal would occur:

    After the “withdrawal” from Gaza – which transformed it from occupied territory into a prison camp/bantustan – it’s amazing that anyone would think another “ulilateral” withdrawal from Gaza would be desirable. The Israeli government will only make genuine concessions to the Palestinians if its hands are forced.

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