Zionist Union party leader Member of Knesset Isaac Herzog was prepared to uproot all Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and to divide Yerushalayim if he became prime minister last year, Israel’s Makor Rishon and Channel 10 outlets reported this week.
Herzog, the Israeli Knesset’s opposition leader, reportedly offered those concessions in talks conducted with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas before the March 2015 Israeli election. According to the reports, Herzog agreed to give Abbas an area that was equivalent to 100 percent of Judea and Samaria, including 4 percent in land swaps. On the issue of Jerusalem, Herzog agreed to withdraw from neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem, which would have become the Palestinian capital. Herzog and Abbas also agreed to set up a joint Israeli-Palestinian municipality to run the shared city.
Under the Herzog-Abbas plan, a multinational force would administer the Temple Mount, although the Western Wall would remain under Israeli sovereignty. The two sides agreed to let Israel keep a symbolic presence in the Jordan Valley and to have Israeli, Jordanian, and Palestinian security forces fight terrorism together.
In response to the reports, Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Minister Zeev Elkin (Likud) said, “The unearthing of the secret agreement between Herzog and Abbas proves once again that the Likud’s victory in the last election saved Israel from this suicidal plan that involved extremely dangerous concessions, including the division of Jerusalem.”
Herzog’s office dismissed the criticism, saying in a statement that “there is no need for mediators or secret negotiators in the dialogue with Abbas, and Herzog has stated that he would address the Palestinian parliament in Ramallah if he is elected prime minister.”