A MAN sits on a fence in Melilla, a Spanish enclave in North Africa. Those successfully scaling the fence are entitled to apply for asylum..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A recent report unveiled that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu advised US officials that Israel might be willing to sustain Israeli enclaves in the West Bank. The settlements would remain Israeli enclaves inside a Palestinian state. This will enable the establishment of an independent Palestinian state without dismantling Israeli settlements and evacuating their residents.
A similar proposal has been raised in the past in discussions with the Obama administration. Later Netanyahu abolished the idea knowing that it would face right-wing opposition.
A territorial enclave is an area that belongs to one state but is entirely surrounded by the territory of another state, or an area that has no territorial link with the state to which it belongs. Such enclaves are common in other countries.
The Spanish city of Llivia is located in France, surrounded by French territory. The province of Nakhchivan belongs to Azerbaijan, but Armenia separates it from the rest of Azerbaijan. In the past, West Berlin was part of West Germany but surrounded by the territory of East Germany. Inside of the Belgian city of Baarle Hertog there are territories that belong to the Netherlands. Furthermore, inside those enclaves there are territories that are part of Belgium. The Italian city of Campione d’Italia is situated inside Switzerland. The Madha district belongs to Oman and is surrounded by the territory of the Emirates. Between 1947 and August 2015 there were more than 100 Indian enclaves in Bangladesh and about 50 enclaves of Bangladesh in India.
The territory of the Russian province of Kaliningrad on the Baltic coast is cut off from the territory of the Russian state. It is surrounded by territories of Poland and Lithuania. Alaska is also cut off from the rest of the United States, and the province of Cabinda, which belongs to the African country Angola, is disconnected from the mainland. Even our Mount Scopus was, until the Six Day War, an enclave surrounded by Jordanian territory.
In all of these cases arrangements were made to ensure the connection between the mother country and its territorial enclaves.
Considering Netanyahu’s proposal to US President Donald Trump, it must be assumed that first is has to be part of a full, comprehensive peace agreement which will establish an independent Palestinian state. The idea is to prevent the need to evacuate about 100,000 Jewish settlers who will remain beyond the settlement blocs which will be the transferred to Israel in exchange for Israeli territories which will be given to the Palestinian state.
The settlements in question will be part of Israel but not contiguous with it. They will remain under Israeli sovereignty and their residents will remain Israeli citizens in all respects. Within the framework of a peace agreement, free access to these enclaves through the territory of the independent Palestinian state will be guaranteed.
Will Netanyahu’s proposal to Trump be fulfilled and give Netanyahu and Trump the Nobel Peace Prize? The author, professor emeritus in the department of geography and human environment of Tel Aviv University, is an expert in international borders.