The Peace Now movement has presented a new peace initiative which calls for the evauation of 43 settlements in the West Bank in a two-stage plan, along with the removal of illegal West Bank outposts, and the renewal of negotiations with the Palestinians.
This week, the movement will launch a new campaign under the banner: “The next evacuation, cmoing to you soon.”
Peace Now’s Secretary General, Yariv Oppenheimer, said that “the next evacuation is only a matter of time. The prime minister should look the settlers in the eye and announce out loud which settlers he will evacuate.”
The movement said at a Jerusalem press conference that the realization of the plan would open up “a window of opportunity” for the renewal of the peace process and the creation of a new reality for the Israeli and Palestinian nations.
“The disengagement plan proved that Israeli society is willing and able to accept settlement evacuation, and the attempts of the Israeli right-wing to torpedo a step in which settlements are evacuated did not succeed. Israeli democracy won out," the movement said.
According to Peace Now, in order to build on the positive dynamics in the region, both sides must take a number of diplomatic and security step and renew dialogue channels, in order to reach a peace agreement on the basis of two states for two nations in accordance with the 1967 borders.
“The price of keeping the settlements, especially those in the heart of the Palestinian territories, has become unacceptable to Palestinian and Israeli societies. The continuance of settlement evacuation is first and foremost an Israeli interest, and it can improve the security situation, along with the economic and diplomatic standing of the State of Israel in the present and the future,” said Peace Now.
Under the scheme, the movement established the following criteria for evacuating settlements: Proximity to Palestinian population centers, distance from the Green Line, the settlement’s size, and the ability to create a safe passageway.
The 26 settlements slated for evacuation in phase one of the plan include Hermesh, Mevo Dotan, Elon Moreh, Itzhar, Itamar, Bracha, and Tapuach, as well as the Jewish presence in Hebron. According to Peace Now, implementation of this stage would allow the army to withdraw from large parts of the West Bank.
The second stage of the withdrawal would include the evacuation of Shavei Shomron, Kedumim, Eli, Shilo, Ofra, and Beit El, among others.