Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip


Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip

The Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, also known as the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement, the Interim Agreement, Oslo 2, Oslo II, and Taba, was a key and complex agreement governing several aspects of the Palestinian territories of Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Contents

History

It was first signed in Taba (in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt) by Israel and the PLO on September 24, 1995 and then four days later on September 28, 1995 by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and witnessed by US President Bill Clinton as well as by representatives of Russia, Egypt, Jordan, Norway, and the European Union in Washington, D.C. Yet the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement which created the PA established a fundamental principle: “Neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the Permanent Status negotiations.” [1] [2]

The agreement, in effect a component of a comprehensive peace treaty, built on the foundations of the initial Oslo Accords, formally known as the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements which had been formally signed on September 13, 1993 by Israel and the PLO, with Prime Minister Rabin and Chairman Arafat in Washington, D.C. shaking hands, and officially witnessed by the United States and Russia.

It specifically supersedes three earlier agreements:

  • the Gaza–Jericho Agreement of 29 April 1994 or 4 May 1994, including the Protocol on Economic Relations
  • the Agreement on Preparatory Transfer of Powers and Responsibilities Between Israel and the PLO at Erez Crossing of 29 August 1994, also known as the Early Empowerment Agreement[3][4]
  • the Protocol on Further Transfer of Powers and Responsibilities at Cairo of 27 August 1995, also known as the Further Transfer Protocol

The Interim Agreement of 1995 became the basis for subsequent negotiations and agreements such as the Hebron Protocol of 1997 and the Wye River Memorandum of 1998 and it is a basis for the latter Road map for peace of 2002.

Analysis

The agreement consists of a "preamble" acknowledging its roots in earlier diplomatic efforts of UN Security Council Resolution 242 (1967) and UN Security Council Resolution 338 (1973) the Madrid Conference of 1991 and the other prior agreements that came before it.

The agreement has five "chapters" consisting of thirty-one "articles", plus seven "annexes" and nine attached "maps".

Most significantly the agreement recognizes the establishment of a "Palestinian Interim Self-Government Authority," i.e. an elected Council, called "the Council" or "the Palestinian Council".

Chapter 1: The Palestinian Council

Consisting of Articles I-IX: The role and powers of a governing Palestinian "council" and committee dealing with civil affairs and the transfer of power from Israel to the Palestinian Council. The holding of elections, the structure of the Palestinian Council, and that it should contain 82 representatives, the executive authority of the Council, various other committees, that meetings of the council should be open to the public, and outlining the powers and responsibilities of the Council.

Chapter 2: Redeployment and security arrangements

Consisting of Articles X-XVI: Phases of the redeployment of the Israel Defense Forces, roles of the Israeli Security Forces and the Israeli police, perspectives on the land of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, discussions about the various Area A, Area B, and Area C subdivisions of the land, arrangements for security and public order, prevention of hostile acts, confidence building measures, and the role of the Palestinian police:

The Palestinian police force established under the Gaza-Jericho Agreement will be fully integrated into the Palestinian Police and will be subject to the provisions of this Agreement. Except for the Palestinian Police and the Israeli military forces, no other armed forces shall be established or operate in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Chapter 3: Legal affairs

Consisting of Articles XVII-XXI: The scope of the Palestinian Council's authority and jurisdiction and the resolution of conflicts, the legislative powers of the Council, that "Israel and the Council shall exercise their powers and responsibilities...with due regard to internationally-accepted norms and principles of human rights and the rule of law", the various rights, liabilities and obligations with the transfer of powers and responsibilities from the Israeli military government and its civil administration to the Palestinian Council, dealing with financial claims, and the settlement of differences and disputes.

Chapter 4: Cooperation

Consisting of Articles XXII-XXVIII: Relations between Israel and the Council:

...shall accordingly abstain from incitement, including hostile propaganda, against each other...that their respective educational systems contribute to the peace between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples and to peace in the entire region, and will refrain from the introduction of any motifs that could adversely affect the process of reconciliation...cooperate in combating criminal activity which may affect both sides, including offenses related to trafficking in illegal drugs and psychotropic substances, smuggling, and offenses against property...

The rules for economic relations as set out in the Protocol on Economic Relations, signed in Paris on April 29, 1994, cooperation programs that will hopefully be developed, the role and functioning of the Joint Israeli-Palestinian Liaison Committee set up as part of the Declaration of Principles (Oslo Accords 1993 and the setting up of a Monitoring and Steering Committee, liaison and cooperation with Jordan and Egypt, and locating and returning missing persons and soldiers missing in action.

Chapter 5: Miscellaneous provisions

Consisting of Articles XXIX-XXXI: Arrangements for safe passage of persons and transportation between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, coordination between Israel and the Council regarding passage to and from Egypt and Jordan as well as any other agreed international crossings, and then the final clauses dealing with the signing of the agreement, its implementation, that the Gaza-Jericho Agreement (July 1994), the Preparatory Transfer Agreement (August 1994), and the Further Transfer Protocol (August 1995) will be superseded by this agreement, the need and timing of permanent status negotiations, and that:

The PLO undertakes that, within two months of the date of the inauguration of the Council, the Palestinian National Council will convene and formally approve the necessary changes in regard to the Palestinian Covenant, as undertaken in the letters signed by the Chairman of the PLO and addressed to the Prime Minister of Israel, dated September 9, 1993 and May 4, 1994.

Discussion about the release of Palestinian prisoners, agreement about the attached annexes and maps, and commencement of Israel's redeployment.

References

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ The Settlements Issue: Distorting the Geneva Convention and the Oslo Accords
  3. ^ Arnon, Arie, The Palestinian economy: between imposed integration and voluntary separation, p. 216 
  4. ^ Aruri, Naseer Hasan, Dishonest broker: the U.S. role in Israel and Palestine, p. 98 

See also

  • Taxation in the Palestinian territories

Arab-Israeli peace diplomacy and treaties

External links


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