Page 1A: The Elephant in the Map Room
The network of settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank is by now so dense that a unilateral Israeli withdrawal seems utterly implausible. The religion-inspired obduracy of a large segment of the settler community would make even the smallest concession unthinkable. If a final settlement is reached, present circumstance suggests it will be imposed by Israel on an unwilling Palestinian Authority. The remainder of the Palestinian territories will be locked away behind the so-called separation barrier. This barrier — a Middle Eastern variation on the Berlin Wall — has been an effective tool in stopping terrorist attacks inside Israel, but it constitutes yet another annexation of Palestinian territory: largely ignoring the Green Line, it cuts deep into the West Bank, occasionally isolating Palestinian towns and villages from their hinterland.
An interesting but brief introduction to the borders of Israel and Palestine. Worth a read if you know nothing at all to everything about the conflict. The main issue missing is, of course, water access and rights. This land is largely desert and access to water helps determine borders, possibly even more so than politics.