In order to incorporate the West Bank and East Jerusalem permanently into Israel proper, a $3 billion system of highways and “by-pass roads” has been constructed that integrates the settlement blocs into the metropolitan areas of Tel Aviv, Modi’in and Jerusalem, while creating additional barriers to Palestinian movement. This ambitious project articulates with the Trans-Israeli Highway, now being built along the entire length of the country, hugging the West Bank in its central portion. Shifting Israel’s population center eastward from the coast to the corridor separating Israel’s major cities from the settlement blocs it seeks to incorporate, the Trans-Israel Highway will become the new spine of the country, upon which the by-pass road network can be hung. The result is the reconfiguration of the country from two parallel north-south units – Israel and the West Bank, the basis of the two-state idea – into one country integrated east-west. Besides ensuring Israeli control, the reorientation of traffic, residential and commercial patterns further weakens a truncated Palestinian mini-state; each Palestinian canton is integrated separately into Israel, with only tenuous connections one to the other.

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