Not long ago, Israeli Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett, former chairman of the Judea, Samaria and Gaza Council, called on Israel to impose sovereignty unilaterally on Area C and then grant Israeli citizenship to Area C’s local Palestinian residents, whom he said numbered 50,000.
The above proposal considers Area C an independent region, separate from the rest of the West Bank. Yet the division of the West Bank into Areas A, B and C does not reflect a geographic reality, but rather an administrative division made as a part of the Interim Agreement of the Oslo Accords. The division was to have been temporary and to have enabled an incremental transfer of authority to the Palestinian Authority. It was not designed to address the needs of long-term demographic growth. Nonetheless, this “temporary” arrangement has remained in force for nearly twenty years.