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Sunday, May 31, 2009
Background: Israel's conditional acceptance of Roadmap - no commitment to sovereign Palestinian state, settlement freeze conditional

Background: Israel's conditional acceptance of Roadmap - no commitment to
sovereign Palestinian state, settlement freeze conditional
Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA 31 May 2009

In the period up to the critical Sharon Cabinet vote on the Roadmap, the
Foreign Minister Binyamin Netanyahu worked feverishly to draft a set of
Israeli conditions to tack onto Israel's acceptance of the Roadmap proposed
by U.S. President Bush.

When the Cabinet approved the decision - with conditions - Prime Minister
Sharon's office declined to publish the conditions. The text of the
conditions was leaked to IMRA and after it was distributed by IMRA was also
published by Haaretz. For years the Foreign Ministry website featured the
Haaretz article rather than some formal document. Years later, the Knesset
website added the text of the conditions and now the Foreign Ministry
website carries the text with the notation "As published on the Knesset
website."

This remains a bizarre note in Israel's history: the text of a document of
a key cabinet decision in Israel's diplomatic history remains with the
caveat that it is not an official text.

Some features:

#1: No commitment to sovereign Palestinian state:
"5. The character of the provisional Palestinian state will be determined
through negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. The
provisional state will have provisional borders and certain aspects of
sovereignty, be fully demilitarized with no military forces, but only with
police and internal security forces of limited scope and armaments, be
without the authority to undertake defense alliances or military
cooperation, and Israeli control over the entry and exit of all persons and
cargo, as well as of its air space and electromagnetic spectrum.

...10. ... A settlement based upon the Roadmap will be an autonomous
settlement that derives its validity there. The only possible reference
should be to Resolutions 242 and 338, and then only as an outline for the
conduct of future negotiations on a permanent settlement.

#2: Settlement freeze etc. only after Palestinians first carry out certain
activities:

"1. Both at the commencement of and during the process, and as a condition
to its continuance, calm will be maintained. The Palestinians will dismantle
the existing security organizations and implement security reforms during
the course of which new organizations will be formed and act to combat
terror, violence and incitement (incitement must cease immediately and the
Palestinian Authority must educate for peace)."

The following is the entire text:

Israel's Response to the Roadmap
25 May 2003
As published on the Knesset website
http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Peace+Process/Reference+Documents/Israel+Response+to+the+Roadmap+25-May-2003.htm

1. Both at the commencement of and during the process, and as a condition to
its continuance, calm will be maintained. The Palestinians will dismantle
the existing security organizations and implement security reforms during
the course of which new organizations will be formed and act to combat
terror, violence and incitement (incitement must cease immediately and the
Palestinian Authority must educate for peace). These organizations will
engage in genuine prevention of terror and violence through arrests,
interrogations, prevention and the enforcement of the legal groundwork for
investigations, prosecution and punishment. In the first phase of the plan
and as a condition for progress to the second phase, the Palestinians will
complete the dismantling of terrorist organizations (Hamas, Islamic Jihad,
the Popular Front, the Democratic Front Al-Aqsa Brigades and other
apparatuses) and their infrastructure, collection of all illegal weapons and
their transfer to a third party for the sake of being removed from the area
and destroyed, cessation of weapons smuggling and weapons production inside
the Palestinian Authority, activation of the full prevention apparatus and
cessation of incitement. There will be no progress to the second phase
without the fulfillment of all above-mentioned conditions relating to the
war against terror. The security plans to be implemented are the Tenet and
Zinni plans. [As in the other mutual frameworks, the Roadmap will not state
that Israel must cease violence and incitement against the Palestinians].

2. Full performance will be a condition for progress between phases and for
progress within phases. The first condition for progress will be the
complete cessation of terror, violence and incitement. Progress between
phases will come only following the full implementation of the preceding
phase. Attention will be paid not to timelines, but to performance
benchmarks. (Timelines will serve only as reference points).

3. The emergence of a new and different leadership in the Palestinian
Authority within the framework of governmental reform: The formation of a
new leadership constitutes a condition for progress to the second phase of
the plan. In this framework, elections will be conducted for the Palestinian
Legislative Council following coordination with Israel.

4. The Monitoring mechanism will be under American management. The chief
verification activity will concentrate upon the creation of another
Palestinian entity and progress in the civil reform process within the
Palestinian Authority. Verification will be performed exclusively on a
professional basis and per issue (economic, legal, financial) without the
existence of a combined or unified mechanism. Substantive decisions will
remain in the hands of both parties.

5. The character of the provisional Palestinian state will be determined
through negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. The
provisional state will have provisional borders and certain aspects of
sovereignty, be fully demilitarized with no military forces, but only with
police and internal security forces of limited scope and armaments, be
without the authority to undertake defense alliances or military
cooperation, and Israeli control over the entry and exit of all persons and
cargo, as well as of its air space and electromagnetic spectrum.

6. In connection to both the introductory statements and the final
settlement, declared references must be made to Israel's right to exist as a
Jewish state and to the waiver of any right of return for Palestinian
refugees to the State of Israel.

7. End of the process will lead to the end of all claims and not only the
end of the conflict.

8. The future settlement will be reached through agreement and direct
negotiations between the two parties, in accordance with the vision outlined
by President Bush in his 24 June address.

9. There will be no involvement with issues pertaining to the final
settlement. Among issues not to be discussed: settlement in Judea, Samaria
and Gaza (excluding a settlement freeze and illegal outposts), the status of
the Palestinian Authority and its institutions in Jerusalem, and all other
matters whose substance relates to the final settlement.

10. The removal of references other than 242 and 338 (1397, the Saudi
Initiative and the Arab Initiative adopted in Beirut). A settlement based
upon the Roadmap will be an autonomous settlement that derives its validity
therefrom. The only possible reference should be to Resolutions 242 and 338,
and then only as an outline for the conduct of future negotiations on a
permanent settlement.

11. Promotion of the reform process in the Palestinian Authority: A
transitional Palestinian constitution will be composed, a Palestinian legal
infrastructure will be constructed and cooperation with Israel in this field
will be renewed. In the economic sphere: International efforts to
rehabilitate the Palestinian economy will continue. In the financial sphere:
The American-Israeli-Palestinian agreement will be implemented in full as a
condition for the continued transfer of tax revenues.
12. The deployment of IDF forces along the September 2000 lines will be
subject to the stipulation of Article 4 (absolute quiet) and will be carried
out in keeping with changes to be required by the nature of the new
circumstances and needs created thereby. Emphasis will be placed on the
division of responsibilities and civilian authority as in September 2000,
and not on the position of forces on the ground at that time.

13. Subject to security conditions, Israel will work to restore Palestinian
life to normal: promote the economic situation, cultivation of commercial
connections, encouragement and assistance for the activities of recognized
humanitarian agencies. No reference will be made to the Bertini Report as a
binding source document within the framework of the humanitarian issue.

14. Arab states will assist the process through the condemnation of
terrorist activity. No link will be established between the Palestinian
track and other tracks (Syrian-Lebanese).

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