Could Israeli Settlers become Palestinians?

By Jeremy Gillick

In an interview published today in Ha’aretz, the 72-year-old former Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei suggested to journalist Akiva Eldad that Israelis living in West Bank settlements could become Palestinian citizens rather than abandon their homes.

Do you believe Israel would agree to evacuate Ma’aleh Adumim’s 35,000 residents?

Qureia: “[Former U.S. secretary of state] Condoleezza Rice told me she understood our position about Ariel but that Ma’aleh Adumim was a different matter. I told her, and Livni, that those residents of Ma’aleh Adumim or Ariel who would rather stay in their homes could live under Palestinian rule and law, just like the Israeli Arabs who live among you. They could hold Palestinian and Israeli nationalities. If they want it – welcome. Israeli settlements in the heart of the territories would be a recipe for problems…

The proposal is not new, but one wonders what the settlers would do if under a new agreement the Israeli army simply left the territories, giving the Israeli citizens there several weeks to move back across the green line or lose their citizenship.

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