Explainer: 5 Things to Know About the Trump-Netanyahu Apartheid Map

June 10, 2020

Proposed Annexation Map 2020*See note at the bottom.

The Trump administration’s diplomatic plan for Palestine/Israel gives a green light to Israel to annex about a third of the occupied Palestinian West Bank, including the Jordan Valley, in contravention of international law and longstanding official US policy prior to Trump taking office. The following map and explainer provide an overview of the plan. It was produced for StopTheWall.org by cartographer Jan de Jong, who previously produced maps for the Palestine Liberation Organization-Negotiations Affairs Department and the Foundation for Middle East Peace, based on the map and details released as part of the Trump plan document, “Peace to Prosperity," in January 2020.

  1. Major Palestinian cities and towns in the occupied West Bank will be divided and separated into about half a dozen small, isolated enclaves. Israel will also continue to separate Palestinians in the West Bank from those in adjacent occupied East Jerusalem and both of them from Palestinians in Gaza.
  2. Each Palestinian enclave will be surrounded by Israeli territory, walls, and military checkpoints. There are currently more than 130 official Israeli settlements in the West Bank, with approximately 450,000 Jewish settlers. In addition to being built on stolen Palestinian land, settlements cause severe hardships for Palestinians on a daily basis. Israel has built highways for settlers to “bypass” Palestinians on their way to Israel’s internationally recognized pre-1967 borders and other settlements, that take more Palestinian land and further divide Palestinian communities. More than 500 military checkpoints and other obstacles to movement intended to benefit and privilege Jewish settlers also dot the landscape, making it difficult and dangerous for Palestinians to travel from one place to another to visit family or friends, get to school, work, the doctor, or lead a normal life.
  3. Many Palestinians live in areas Netanyahu has threatened to annex, particularly the Jordan Valley, but he says they won’t receive Israeli citizenship. Approximately 65,000 Palestinians live in the Jordan Valley. As with Palestinians living in areas of the West Bank (and Gaza) that won’t be formally annexed, they will continue to live under brutal, undemocratic Israeli military rule, stateless without any rights, as they have for the past 53 years.
  4. Even if Israel annexes a relatively small amount of land, for example, the 3% of the West Bank that Jewish settlements cover that Netanyahu has said he will begin annexing on July 1, it will make the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel as part of the two-state solution impossible. Many observers believe the two-state solution was already made impossible years ago because of massive Israeli settlement construction in areas that were intended to become the heart of a Palestinian state.
  5. Israeli annexation of any part of the West Bank is illegal under international law, as are all Israeli settlements built on occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. International law explicitly prohibits the acquisition of territory by force, which is how the Israeli army came to control the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza during the 1967 War. According to the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967: “International law is very clear: annexation and territorial conquest are forbidden by the Charter of the United Nations.” Israeli settlements violate Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which states: The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” 

* Note on reading the map: Under the terms of the supposedly temporary Oslo Accords signed in the 1990s between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the occupied Palestinian West Bank is divided into three sections:

  • Area A: Under the administrative and security control of the Palestinian Authority (under the overall control of the Israeli army), it covers about 20% of the West Bank and is where most Palestinians in the territory live. 
  • Area B: Is under Palestinian administrative control and direct Israeli military control, also covering about 20% of the West Bank.
  • Area C: Is under total and direct Israeli administrative and military control and is where most Israeli settlements are located, covering about 60% of the West Bank, including most of the Jordan Valley.

For more information on the Oslo Accords, see fact sheets here and here.