Report: Netanyahu Offers Wadi Ara for Jewish Blocs in Yehudah and Shomron

YERUSHALAYIM -
Wadi Ara
Wadi Ara, also known as Nachal Iron. (Yossi Zamir/Flash90)

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has for the first time offered to trade land controlled by Israel before 1967 in return for the Jewish population blocs in Yehudah and Shomron in a final status peace agreement, according to an unconfirmed report by Israel’s Channel 2 on Thursday night.

Netanyahu reportedly made the offer recently in talks with White House envoys Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, though neither his office nor the White House would comment on the story, based on a leaked phone conversation.

At issue is the Wadi Ara region, east of the Netanya-Hadera-Haifa coastal strip, which would be transferred to the Palestinians, while Israel would annex the Jewish blocs in Yehudah and Shomron, including Gush Etzion.

Wadi Ara, Charish
Construction of new homes in Charish last year. (Lior Mizrahi/Flash90)

Wadi Ara, also known as Nachal Iron, includes large Israeli-Arab cities, such as Umm al-Fahm, but also several Jewish communities, including Charish, which is undergoing a rapid expansion from its current population of 1,000 to a projected 100,000 in the coming years.

A similar proposal was advanced years ago by Avigdor Liberman and strenuously opposed by Arab Israeli leaders.