The Palestinians official rejection of the Israeli Prime Ministers proposal of complete separation between Israel and the Palestinian territories, although it may appear strange, reflects a prior understanding of Baraks motives.
The Palestinian Minster of Parliamentary Affairs, Nabil Amru, told the press, after the Israeli proposition was made public, " If Israel truly wants to carry its scheme of total detachment, it first needs to recognize a Palestinian states sovereignty and control over the land, water, borders and entries."
By examining Amrus remarks, Baraks proposal might become a bit clearer. The Israeli Prime Minister is hoping to kill many birds with only one stone. However his schemes, which are giving him the reputation of a man who is striving for peace, are intended to pressure and to threaten the Palestinians ability to achieve a truly independent state.
Before proceeding, something must be made certain. The Palestinian refusal of the plan neither reflects the economic dependency that Palestinians have acquired through long years of occupation, nor does it manifest their failure to govern themselves. Instead, Palestinians reject the notion of being treated as if someone else is determining their fate. But most importantly, it is resentment towards the conditions in which this separation will be implemented.
The lines that the Israeli Prime Minster vowed not to cross, although they grossly and arrogantly violate UN resolutions, resemble warm religious ideas that the man still firmly believes in. While some people argue that Baraks threats are mere political tactics designed to create fear among Palestinians, his recent agreement with Jewish settlers in respect to the fate of their settlements in the West Bank and Gaza, is a confirmation that Barak meant what he said.
According to the arrangement agreed upon by the Israeli government and settlers, Israel will only remove 12, mostly small settlements, in exchange for keeping many more settlements standing. The settlers, knowing that such a moment would come, cleverly managed to dramatically increase the number of settlements built in the last a few months so it appears as if they have to pay the bitter price of peace once a few are removed. The shrewd plan truly paid off. The first settlement, which the settlers wept and angrily protested when it was "dismantled," was a large dumpster which took the place of green olive trees after they were chopped down, and was "protected" with a large fence.
Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that the Israeli governments endorsement of the illegally built settlements in the occupied territories, by describing them as "legal settlements," is an indication that Israel rejects the entire notion of Palestinian sovereignty.
As headstrong as it has always been, Israel saw the future of the Palestinians according to its own terms and needs. If these terms and needs are indeed executed, the Palestinian state will obtain a completely unacceptable structure that is stripped from any meaningful substance or value.
At the same time that Barak passionately tells the world of how separating the Palestinian territories from Israel will make Palestinians the ultimate decision makers over their lives, he insisted on Israeli control over the borders, entries, sky and water boundaries.
The latest from the Israeli media is a new endeavor led by Barak to talk Palestinians into agreeing on the establishment of an independent Palestinian state comprising Gaza and 18 percent of The West Bank (18 percent is all that Palestinians have attained so far since the start of the peace process about 10 years ago).
What seems to be mixed signals by the Israeli government is in fact a very clear signal. Ehud Barak is hoping to create an isolated Palestinian entity, with insignificant PNA control, leaving Israel with the greater chunk of land. Moreover Israel will maintain its ultimate control over all resources which make any nation or land politically and economically sovereign.