Here's a calculation by one Israeli researcher, who added up all the land in Israel proper that meets these Israeli conditions, and arrived at a total
of 315 square kilometers, which is the equivalent of 5.1 percent of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. And indeed, 5.1 percent would be more than enough to
compensate Palestine for Israel's annexing the major Israeli settlements and population centers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Shortly, you'll
see a few scenarios that play out on these lines.
Now that we understand the concept of land swaps, let's look at the most recent round of serious negotiations -- the "Annapolis Process" initiated by
President George W. Bush in 2008, and led by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Let's first look at Olmert's offer. Olmert proposed to annex 5.9 percent of Palestinian territory, which would bring 85 percent of the 500,000 Israelis
in the West Bank and East Jerusalem into Israel's new borders. Olmert did not offer 1:1 swaps -- though he did come closer to that ratio than any other
Israeli leader before him.
The Palestinian offer, as made by President Abbas in 2009 allowed 62 percent of Israelis in the West Bank and East Jerusalem to be included within
Israel's new borders.
So if you look at the two offers side by side, you can see the gaps between the two camps. The bulk of the disagreements focus on two areas: the Ariel
bloc in the north, and the Jerusalem envelope in the center. Let's take a closer look.
This is a focus on the Jerusalem envelope area. The blue represents the land that Olmert proposed to annex to Israel. The green represents the areas
that Abbas offered for annexation. The final arrangement will likely fall somewhere in between these two proposals. Here is a focus on the Ariel bloc.
Again, the areas in blue are what Olmert proposed to annex, and the areas in green are what Abbas offered.
Ariel is important to Israel because it has a sizable population of 18,000. On the other hand, an Israeli annexation of Ariel would violate two of the
Palestinian's core considerations - Ariel is not adjacent to the 1967 lines, and Ariel's annexation by Israel would impede the contiguity of the
Palestinian state. Ariel illustrates the subjectivity involved in meeting each side's conditions, which often comes down to a conflict between Israeli
demographic concerns and Palestinian demands relating to viability and contiguity. Those are the border-related conflicts that need to be resolved at
the negotiating table.
So what could a resolution look like? A number of respected academics, civil-society groups, and think tanks, have proposed maps that fall between the
Israeli and Palestinian proposals. In presenting these, we're not endorsing any of them as THE solution, but rather attempting to illustrate multiple
options for bridging the gap on borders.