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LETTER: Palestinian deal is nothing new

From Mr Rob Kent

Sir: In the headline to Patrick Cockburn's article about the Taba accords between Israel and the PLO, you declare the "New Palestinian state [is] shackled at birth" (Foreign News, 25 September). In reality there is nothing "new" in the accords. They merely revive Israel's "Allon Plan" for the Occupied Palestinian Territories, which was first proposed after the 1967 war by the deputy prime minister, Yigal Allon.

Under the Allon Plan, Israel would annex one-third of the West Bank and give the more densely populated areas to a "Palestinian entity". Now the PLO has accepted an Israeli withdrawal from population centres accounting for less than one-third of the West Bank. In the long-run, the remaining areas will be integrated into Israel in the same way that Jerusalem has been.

Prospects for the PLO-controlled areas look bleak. They will be subject to the same closures that have socially and economically suffocated the Gaza Strip and Jericho. Moreover, in the absence of the legitimacy conferred by a just peace, the authorities will increasingly rely upon the kind of brutal repression the Palestinians suffered under Israeli occupation.

Yours faithfully,

Rob Kent