During the second week of October, word began to spread about a new Israeli-Palestinian peace proposal. The plan, known as the "Geneva Accord" (reflecting reported Swiss support for efforts to conclude the proposal) is the culmination of more than 2 and 1 2 years of Israeli-Palestinian cooperation and negotiation undertaken by high-profile Israelis and Palestinians, acting as individuals, not as representatives of any government.
Israelis involved in negotiating and promoting this initiative include:
former Chief of Staff Amnon Lipkin-Shahak; Brigadier General (res.) Giora Inbar, a former division commander in Lebanon; Brigadier General (res.) Gideon Sheffer, former director of the IDF Personnel Branch and deputy director of the National Security Council; Brigadier General (res.) Shlomo Brom, former head of the strategy staff; Colonel (res.) Shaul Arieli; former Justice Minister Yossi Beilin; Member of Knesset (Labor) Amram Mitzna; Member of Knesset (Labor) and former Speaker of the Knesset Avraham Burg; Former Minister of Immigrant Absorption and Member of Knesset (Labor) Yuli Tamir; Member of Knesset (Meretz) and former Minister of Agriculture Haim Oron; Member of Knesset (Meretz) and former Minister of Education Yossi Sarid; Professor Aryeh Arnon (a leader of Peace Now); former Member of Knesset (Likud) Nehama Ronen; authors Amoz Oz, David Grossman, and Zvia Greenfield; Jerusalem expert Dr. Menachem Klein; and economist Yoram Gabay.
Palestinians involved in negotiating and promoting this initiative include:
former Minister of Information and Culture Yasser Abed-Rabbo; former Minister of Tourism Nabil Qassis; Palestinian Legislative Council members Qadoura Fares and Mohamed Horani (associated with the Fatah/Tanzim); Samih al-Abed; Bashar Jum1a; Dr. Nazmi Shuabi; Gheith al-Omri (from the Negotiations Support Unit); Jamal Zakut; Prisoners Affairs Minister Hisham Abdel Raziq; Ghadi Jarei (member of the Prisoners Committee and Fatah); Nazmi Jub1a; and General Zoheir Manasra (former governor of Jenin and head of Preventative Security in the West Bank).
Key Issues and Positions
*Adapted from press reports; the full text of the document has not yet been released
End of Conflict
The Geneva Accord will replace and supplant all UN resolutions, including those dealing with refugees, as well as other previous agreements.
Recognition of Israel & Palestine
The Palestinians will recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people. Israel will recognize the state of Palestine, which will be demilitarized, with oversight by an international force, and with border crossings supervised by an international (non-Israeli) force. Israel and Palestine will immediately engage in full diplomatic relations.
Demilitarization, Security & Fighting Terror
No armed forces, except those approved in the Accord, will be permitted to exist in Palestine. Palestine will be a demilitarized state with a strong security force, with mutually agreed-upon restrictions on the arms that it may acquire. No private body, except for the Palestinian security forces, will be able to purchase, own or carry weapons, except as provided for under law.
Both sides will reject and condemn terrorism and violence in all their forms. Both sides will avoid acts or policies that would incite or create conditions that encourage terrorism on either side.
Both sides recognize that mutual understanding and cooperation over security will constitute a significant amount of their bilateral relations. Palestine and Israel will base their security relations on cooperation, mutual trust, good neighborliness, and protection of mutual interests.
Palestine and Israel will be obligated to --
(1) recognize the other's right to live in peace within secure and recognized borders, without threat of acts of war, terrorism, or violence;
(2) refrain from threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or sovereignty of the other, and settle all differences through peaceful means;
(3) avoid joining, cooperating with or supporting any coalition, organization, or pact with a military character whose overall goals include violence or any other hostile objective against the other;
(4) prevent the organization, encouragement, or formation of unauthorized forces or militias, including mercenaries and other military elements within the territories of both sides.
Both sides are obligated to undertake ongoing military cooperation under which a security committee will be formed and will meet on a monthly basis.
There will be an amnesty for Palestinian prisoners and detainees being held for offenses committed prior to the signing of the Accord.
Territory, Borders, and Settlements
The 1967 border will be the border between the State of Israel and Palestine, with agreed on adjustments and 1:1 territorial exchanges.
Most of the West Bank, including the Jordan Valley, will be handed over to the Palestinians as Israel secures defense arrangements along the Jordan River.
Certain large settlements will be left inside the Palestinians state, including Ariel, Efrat, Kiryat Arba, Ofra, Elon Moreh, Bet El, Eli and Har Homa.
All of the Gaza Strip, including the Qatif Bloc of settlements, will be handed over to the Palestinians. More than 50% of settlers will be annexed to Israel.
In exchange for parts of the West Bank that Israel will keep, including a strip of land required to expand the territorial defenses of Ben Gurion Airport (the Latrun area), the Etzion Block, andsettlements on the outskirts of Jerusalem, (including Maale Adumim and Givat Zeev) Israel will transfer parts of the western Negev adjacent to Gaza (not including Halutza) to the Palestinians, including some fields belonging to Israeli communities.
Israel will control the entire airspace, including the airspace over the state of Palestine.
Refugees & the Right of Return
The Palestinian right of return is not mentioned in the Accord, and Israel does not recognize responsibility for the creation of the refugee problem.
Refugees will be given the choice whether to (1) move to the new Palestinian state (unlimited numbers), (2) move to Israeli areas that will be swapped into the Palestinian state (unlimited numbers); (3) remain in the countries where they currently reside (numbers based on the sovereign decision of the host countries); (4) move to a third country (numbers based on the sovereign decision of the potential host countries); or (5) move to Israel (numbers based on the sovereign decision of Israel).
Israel will view the decision to accept refugees into Israel as the same as any other third country offering to accept refugees, and will determine the number of refugees to accept based on the average numbers accepted by other third countries.
Refugees will be entitled to compensation for their refugee status and loss of property. An international commission and international fund will be established to deal with implementation of these residence options and compensation.
Refugee status of individual Palestinians will be terminated once a permanent residence option has been realized, providing a permanent and complete resolution of the Palestinian refugee problem.
Jerusalem and its environs
Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem will become part of the Palestinian state, while Jewish neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, including the Jerusalem-area settlements of Givat Ze'ev, Ma'aleh Adumim, and the original historically Jewish area of Gush Etzion, will be part of Israel.
Jerusalem's Old City & "Holy Basin"
The Temple Mount will fall under Palestinian sovereignty, but security will be in the hands of a permanent international supervisory body. The Mount will be open to people of all faiths, with the international body ensuring freedom of access to the site. Neither Jewish prayer nor archeological digs (by any party) will be permitted on the site.
The Western Wall (or 3Wailing Wall2) and the Jewish Quarter will remain under Jewish sovereignty and the "Holy Basin" will be under international supervision. The Tower of David will come under Palestinian sovereignty, but Israeli administration.
The Muslim, Christian, and Armenian Quarters will come under Palestinian control. Special arrangements will be made regarding the Armenian Quarter for Israeli citizens. No borders will be erected within the Old City and free passage will be guaranteed.
The Palestinians will have sovereignty over Damascus Gate, Herod's Gate, and Lions Gate, and Palestinians will enter and exit the Old City through these gates.
Israel will have sovereignty over Zion Gate and Dung Gate, and Israelis will enter and exit the Old City through these gates. Jaffa Gate will come under Palestinian sovereignty but with international supervision and with special arrangements guaranteeing Israeli passage to and from the Western Wall.
The Geneva Initiative
Majorities Of Israelis & Palestinians Back Geneva:
According to a public opinion poll that was commissioned by the Baker Institute, more than half of the Palestinian public supports the fundamental principles of the Geneva agreement. The survey was conducted in parallel both in the Palestinian Authority and in Israel, and it examined the positions of 1,241 respondents.
The poll in the occupied territories was conducted through face-to-face interviews, a method that generally is considered to be more reliable than telephone surveys.
The respondents were asked to respond to a series of questions that presented principles that are nearly identical to the principles of the Geneva agreement, but without mentioning the word "Geneva" or the people involved in the initiative. The Baker Institute did not coordinate its activity with the sponsors of the Geneva agreement.
The poll found that 55.6% of Palestinians voiced support for such an accord, as did 53% of Israelis.
Among the principles that were presented to the respondents:
Two independent states, Israel and Palestine, that exist alongside one another and recognize one another, with borders that are based on the 1967 lines with minor revisions;
Jerusalem is divided so that the Arab neighborhoods are Palestine and the Jewish neighborhoods are Israel;
the Palestinian refugees' right of return is restricted to the independent Palestinian state; and
an international force will supervise the implementation of the agreement. (Ma'ariv, 11/24/03)