In renewing his proposal for an exchange of populations and territory with the Palestinians, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman seems blissfully unaware of how and why the Arab towns and villages in the “Triangle” between Taibe and Tira in the south and Umm al-Fahm and Arara in the north came to be in Israel in the first place.

At the end of the 1948 War of Independence the entire area was under Arab control and designated to become part of the West Bank, then under Jordanian rule. But at Israeli insistence, under the terms of the 1949 Armistice Agreements, the “Triangle” was allocated to Israel in return for territory near Beit She’an and in the southern Hebron hills. The rationale for the swap was strategic: Israel wanted to secure the road from the Sharon through Wadi Ara to the Jezreel Valley and the Upper Galilee. The border was therefore moved to the east.

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