The US administration of Donald Trump has shown interest in its predecessor’s proposal to establish a “security plan” between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank, the Haaretz daily reported yesterday.
Named “the Allen plan”, after retired US Marine Corps General John Allen who was charged with creating it, the strategy provides the US with the start of what would become a robust proposal to provide the necessary level of security for Israel in the day after a withdrawal from most of the West Bank, if a peace treaty were signed.
Within weeks of taking office, Trump’s special envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, met with dozens of officers and experts in the former US administration who worked to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and they recommended he look into the adoption of “the Allen plan”.
Dozens of Israeli officers took part in the negotiations over it, working in a number of different teams. According to multiple Israeli sources, the conversations over the plan were ‘very substantial’ and took place in an atmosphere of ‘openness and transparency’
The plan, which was shelved three years ago, was never completed but parts of it had been shown to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, and the senior command of the Israel Defense Forces. “It won praise from senior military officers, but was rejected by Ya’alon and criticised by Netanyahu,” Haaretz said.
As part of the terms of the plan, discussions had circulated around the Palestinians having an airport in the West Bank, however this had not been agreed upon.
The de-militarised Palestinian state would have a “special forces” unit which the government could dispatch using police helicopters to provide a “rapid reaction” unit against terrorism. This would require Palestinian pilots to pass annual security clearance checks carried out by American officers with Israeli intervention.
“The plan included an American situation room, sensors, drones, satellite imagery, and a significant strengthening of the existing border fence on the Jordan River.”
Closer intelligence cooperation will be intensified between the United States and Israel. The latter will receive intelligence from the assessment room as well as the reinforcement of the border wall between the West Bank and Jordan, in return for the lack of security control in the Jordan Valley area.
No information has been released about whether the Trump administration will employ any or all the suggestions of “the Allen plan”, however what the plan made clear was that it was there to ensure that Israel’s security was a top priority.