Division for Palestinian Rights
DEVELOPMENTS RELATED TO THE MIDDLE EAST
Issue 15 • May 1998 – December 1999
Statement by President Jacques Chirac of France and President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt on the Middle East peace process
Paris, 18 May 1998
The Wye River Memorandum
Wye River Plantation, Maryland, 23 October 1998
Declaration by the European Council on the Middle East peace process
Berlin, 25 March 1999
Statement of the Conference of High Contract Parties to the Forth Geneva Convention
Geneva, 15 July 1999
The Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum
Sharm el-Sheikh, 4 September 1999
Protocol concerning Safe Passage between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip
Jerusalem, 5 October 1999
Since April 1991, at the request of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the Division for Palestinian Rights of the United Nations Secretariat has prepared a compilation of statements, declarations, documents and other material regarding the settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict, including the question of Palestine and the Middle East peace process, entitled "Approaches towards the settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the question of Palestine".
In January 1994, the bulletin was renamed "Developments related to the Middle East peace process". It includes information material related to the bilateral Arab-Israeli peace negotiations, the multilateral negotiations on Middle East regional issues and other aspects of the Middle East peace process.
This issue covers the period from May 1998 to December 1999.
This bulletin and its back issues can be found in the Lotus Notes-based
United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine (UNISPAL) at:
212-963-7197 (server: DPA4)
on the Internet at:
Printed copies of this publication, and back issues, can be obtained from:
United Nations Secretariat
Division for Palestinian Rights
New York, New York 10017
Statement by President Jacques Chirac of France and President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt
on the Middle East peace process
Paris, 18 May 1998
The following statement was issued by President Jacques Chirac of France and President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt at the close of their meeting in Paris on 18 May 1998.
Appeal for peace issued by the President of the French Republic and the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt
in Paris on 18 May 1998
We, the Presidents of the Arab Republic of Egypt and the French Republic, express our extreme concern at the continuing deadlock on all aspects of the Middle East peace process. We are gravely concerned, in particular, at the lack of progress on the Palestinian aspect, despite the genuine efforts made by the United States of America which we have supported as a step towards relaunching the peace process. In this connection, we welcome the positive reaction of the Palestinians to the latest United States proposals, and we issue an urgent appeal to the Israeli Government to now respond to these proposals in a positive and constructive manner. Any further delay in the resumption of the peace process can only lead to greater frustration, which will in turn inevitably result in violence and instability, as the latest developments have shown.
We solemnly reaffirm our commitment to the peace process launched in Madrid. We believe firmly that security can be assured only through the establishment of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East, based on the faithful implementation of Security Council resolutions 242 (1976), 338 (1973) and 425 (1978) and on the principles agreed at Madrid, notably the exchange of land for peace and the attainment of the legitimate political rights of the Palestinian people. In our view, this should lead to the exercise of the right of the Palestinian people to establish its own independent State, based on its right of self-determination. Moreover, we emphasize the absolute necessity of respecting strictly and faithfully the agreements signed within the framework of the Oslo process and of refraining from unilateral measures, in particular the building of settlements, which contradict those agreements and principles. We also express the urgent need to resume negotiations on the Syrian and Lebanese aspects, based on the progress achieved between the parties concerned.
The Madrid Conference and the ensuing progress aroused extraordinary hope in peoples who had long been deprived of their rights and of the possibility of living in peace and security. Significant courageous steps have already been taken along the road towards achieving these objectives. We cannot accept conditions that would cause a return to frustration, tension and violence. We solemnly appeal for short-term considerations to be surmounted in order to respond to the historic challenge of peace in a spirit of responsibility.
That is the unanimous will of the international community, which has accorded the highest priority to the Middle East peace process in the hope that an Arab-Israeli settlement will be concluded before the close of the century. We emphasize the growing responsibility of all international Powers, particular ly the United States, the European Union and the Russian Federation, to persevere in their efforts to overcome the obstacles which are blocking the resumption and success of the Middle East peace process in all its aspects.
To this end, we have considered several alternatives. We propose a conference of countries which are determined to save the peace process. Such a conference would maintain and confirm all existing principles and agreements. It would then seize the protagonists with a view to giving renewed hope and renewed impetus to the peace process. We shall be holding in-depth consultations with all those of our partners who are concerned by this project. *
The Wye River Memorandum
Wye River Plantation, Maryland, 23 October 1998
The following memorandum was signed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the Government of the State of Israel and Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat for the Palestine Liberation Organization at the Wye River Plantation in Maryland, USA, on 23 October 1998, witnessed by President William B. Clinton of the United States.
The Wye River Memorandum
The following are steps to facilitate implementation of the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip of September 28, 1995 (the “Interim Agreement”) and other related agreements, including the Note for the Record of January 17, 1997 (hereinafter referred to as “the prior agreements”), so that the Israeli and Palestinian sides can more effectively carry out their reciprocal responsibilities, including those relating to further redeployments and security respectively. These steps are to be carried out in a parallel phased approach in accordance with this Memorandum and the attached time line. They are subject to the relevant terms and conditions of the prior agreements and do not supercede their other requirements.
I. FURTHER REDEPLOYMENTS
A. Phase One and Two Further Redeployments
1. Pursuant to the Interim Agreement and subsequent agreements, the Israeli side’s implementation of the first and second F.R.D. will consist of the transfer to the Palestinian side of 13% from Area C as follows:
The Palestinian side has informed that it will allocate an area/areas amounting to 3% from the above Area (B) to be designated as Green Areas and/or Nature Reserves. The Palestinian side has further informed that they will act according to the established scientific standards, and that therefore there will be no changes in the status of these areas, without prejudice to the rights of the existing inhabitants in these areas including Bedouins; while these standards do not allow new construction in these areas, existing roads and buildings will be maintained.
The Israeli side will retain in these Green Areas/Nature Reserves the overriding security responsibility for the purpose of protecting Israelis and confronting the threat of terrorism. Activities and movements of the Palestinian Police forces may be carried out after coordination and confirmation; the Israeli side will respond to such requests expeditiously.
2. As part of the foregoing implementation of the first and second F.R.D., 14.2% from Area (B) will become Area (A).
B. Third Phase of Further Redeployments
With regard to the terms of the Interim Agreement and of Secretary Christopher’s letters to the two sides of January 17, 1997 relating to the further redeployment process, there will be a committee to address this question. The United States will be briefed regularly.
In the provisions on security arrangements of the Interim Agreement, the Palestinian side agreed to take all measures necessary in order to prevent acts of terrorism, crime and hostilities directed against the Israeli side, against individuals falling under the Israeli side’s authority and against their property, just as the Israeli side agreed to take all measures necessary in order to prevent acts of terrorism, crime and hostilities directed against the Palestinian side, against individuals falling under the Palestinian side’s authority and against their property. The two sides also agreed to take legal measures against offenders within their jurisdiction and to prevent incitement against each other by any organizations, groups or individuals within their jurisdiction.
Both sides recognize that it is in their vital interests to combat terrorism and fight violence in accordance with Annex I of the Interim Agreement and the Note for the Record. They also recognize that the struggle against terror and violence must be comprehensive in that it deals with terrorists, the terror support structure, and the environment conducive to the support of terror. It must be continuous and constant over a long term, in that there can be no pauses in the work against terrorists and their structure. It must be cooperative in that no effort can be fully effective without Israeli-Palestinian cooperation and the continuous exchange of information, concepts, and actions.
Pursuant to the prior agreements, the Palestinian side’s implementation of its responsibilities for security, security cooperation, and other issues will be as detailed below during the time periods specified in the attached time line.
A. Security Actions
1. Outlawing and Combating Terrorist Organizations
(a) The Palestinian side will make known its policy of zero tolerance for terror and violence against both sides.
(b) A work plan developed by the Palestinian side will be shared with the U.S. and thereafter implementation will begin immediately to ensure the systematic and effective combat of terrorist organizations and their infrastructure.
(c) In addition to the bilateral Israeli-Palestinian security cooperation, a U.S.-Palestinian committee will meet biweekly to review the steps being taken to eliminate terrorist cells and the support structure that plans, finances, supplies and abets terror. In these meetings, the Palestinian side will inform the U.S. fully of the actions it has taken to outlaw all organizations (or wings of organizations, as appropriate) of a military, terrorist or violent character and their support structure and to prevent them from operating in areas under its jurisdiction.
(d) The Palestinian side will apprehend the specific individuals suspected of perpetrating acts of violence and terror for the purpose of further investigation, and prosecution and punishment of all persons involved in acts of violence and terror.
(e) A U.S.-Palestinian committee will meet to review and evaluate information pertinent to the decisions on prosecution, punishment or other legal measures which affect the status of individuals suspected of abetting or perpetrating acts of violence and terror.
2. Prohibiting Illegal Weapons
(a) The Palestinian side will ensure an effective legal framework is in place to criminalize, in conformity with the prior agreements, any importation, manufacturing or unlicensed sale, acquisition or possession of firearms, ammunition or weapons in areas under Palestinian jurisdiction.
(b) In addition, the Palestinian side will establish and vigorously and continuously implement a systematic program for the collection and appropriate handling of all such illegal items in accordance with the prior agreements. The U.S. has agreed to assist in carrying out this program.
(c) A U.S.-Palestinian-Israeli committee will be established to assist and enhance cooperation in preventing the smuggling or other unauthorized introduction of weapons or explosive materials into areas under Palestinian jurisdiction.
3. Preventing Incitement
(a) Drawing on relevant international practice and pursuant to Article XXII (1) of the Interim Agreement and the Note for the Record, the Palestinian side will issue a decree prohibiting all forms of incitement to violence or terror, and establishing mechanisms for acting systematically against all expressions or threats of violence or terror. This decree will be comparable to the existing Israeli legislation which deals with the same subject.
(b) A U.S.-Palestinian-Israeli committee will meet on a regular basis to monitor cases of possible incitement to violence or terror and to make recommendations and reports on how to prevent such incitement. The Israeli, Palestinian and U.S. sides will each appoint a media specialist, a law enforcement representative, an educational specialist and a current or former elected official to the committee.
B. Security Cooperation
The two sides agree that their security cooperation will be based on a spirit of partnership and will include, among other things, the following steps:
1. Bilateral Cooperation
There will be full bilateral security cooperation between the two sides which will be continuous, intensive and comprehensive.
2. Forensic Cooperation
There will be an exchange of forensic expertise, training, and other assistance.
3. Trilateral Committee
In addition to the bilateral Israeli-Palestinian security cooperation, a high-ranking U.S.-Palestinian-Israeli committee will meet as required and not less than biweekly to assess current threats, deal with any impediments to effective security cooperation and coordination and address the steps being taken to combat terror and terrorist organizations. The committee will also serve as a forum to address the issue of external support for terror. In these meetings, the Palestinian side will fully inform the members of the committee of the results of its investigations concerning terrorist suspects already in custody and the participants will exchange additional relevant information. The committee will report regularly to the leaders of the two sides on the status of cooperation, the results of the meetings and its recommendations.
C. Other Issues
1. Palestinian Police Force
(a) The Palestinian side will provide a list of its policemen to the Israeli side in conformity with the prior agreements.
(b) Should the Palestinian side request technical assistance, the U.S. has indicated its willingness to help meet these needs in cooperation with other donors.
(c) The Monitoring and Steering Committee will, as part of its functions, monitor the implementation of this provision and brief the U.S.
2. PLO Charter
The Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Central Council will reaffirm the letter of 22 January 1998 from PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat to President Clinton concerning the nullification of the Palestinian National Charter provisions that are inconsistent with the letters exchanged between the PLO and the Government of Israel on 9/10 September 1993. PLO Chairman Arafat, the Speaker of the Palestine National Council, and the Speaker of the Palestinian Council will invite the members of the PNC, as well as the members of the Central Council, the Council, and the Palestinian Heads of Ministries to a meeting to be addressed by President Clinton to reaffirm their support for the peace process and the aforementioned decisions of the Executive Committee and the Central Council.
3. Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters
Among other forms of legal assistance in criminal matters, the requests for arrest and transfer of suspects and defendants pursuant to Article II (7) of Annex IV of the Interim Agreement will be submitted (or resubmitted) through the mechanism of the Joint Israeli-Palestinian Legal Committee and will be responded to in conformity with Article II (7) (f) of Annex IV of the Interim Agreement within the twelve-week period. Requests submitted after the eighth week will be responded to in conformity with Article II (7) (f) within four weeks of their submission. The U.S. has been requested by the sides to report on a regular basis on the steps being taken to respond to the above requests.
4. Human Rights and the Rule of Law
Pursuant to Article XI (1) of Annex I of the Interim Agreement, without derogating from the above, the Palestinian Police will exercise powers and responsibilities to implement this Memorandum with due regard to internationally accepted norms of human rights and the rule of law, and will be guided by the need to protect the public, respect human dignity, and avoid harassment.
III. INTERIM COMMITTEES AND ECONOMIC ISSUES
1. The Israeli and Palestinian sides reaffirm their commitment to enhancing their relationship and agree on the need actively to promote economic development in the West Bank and Gaza. In this regard, the parties agree to continue or to reactivate all standing committees established by the Interim Agreement, including the Monitoring and Steering Committee, the Joint Economic Committee (JEC), the Civil Affairs Committee (CAC), the Legal Committee, and the Standing Cooperation Committee.
2. The Israeli and Palestinian sides have agreed on arrangements which will permit the timely opening of the Gaza Industrial Estate. They also have concluded a “Protocol Regarding the Establishment and Operation of the International Airport in the Gaza Strip During the Interim Period.”
3. Both sides will renew negotiations on Safe Passage immediately. As regards the southern route, the sides will make best efforts to conclude the agreement within a week of the entry into force of this Memorandum. Operation of the southern route will start as soon as possible thereafter. As regards the northern route, negotiations will continue with the goal of reaching agreement as soon as possible. Implementation will take place expeditiously thereafter.
4. The Israeli and Palestinian sides acknowledge the great importance of the Port of Gaza for the development of the Palestinian economy, and the expansion of Palestinian trade. They commit themselves to proceeding without delay to conclude an agreement to allow the construction and operation of the port in accordance with the prior agreements. The Israeli-Palestinian Committee will reactivate its work immediately with a goal of concluding the protocol within sixty days, which will allow commencement of the construction of the port.
5. The two sides recognize that unresolved legal issues adversely affect the relationship between the two peoples. They therefore will accelerate efforts through the Legal Committee to address outstanding legal issues and to implement solutions to these issues in the shortest possible period. The Palestinian side will provide to the Israeli side copies of all its laws in effect.
6. The Israeli and Palestinian sides also will launch a strategic economic dialogue to enhance their economic relationship. They will establish within the framework of the JEC an Ad Hoc Committee for this purpose. The committee will review the following four issues: (1) Israeli purchase taxes; (2) cooperation in combating vehicle theft; (3) dealing with unpaid Palestinian debts; and (4) the impact of Israeli standards as barriers to trade and the expansion of the A1 and A2 lists. The committee will submit an interim report within three weeks of the entry into force of this Memorandum, and within six weeks will submit its conclusions and recommendations to be implemented.
7. The two sides agree on the importance of continued international donor assistance to facilitate implementation by both sides of the agreements reached. They also recognize the need for enhanced donor support for economic development in the West Bank and Gaza. They agree to jointly approach the donor community to organize a Ministerial Conference before the end of 1998 to seek pledges for enhanced levels of assistance.
IV. PERMANENT STATUS NEGOTIATIONS
The two sides will immediately resume permanent status negotiations on an accelerated basis and will make a determined effort to achieve the mutual goal of reaching an agreement by May 4, 1999. The negotiations will be continuous and without interruption. The U.S. has expressed its willingness to facilitate these negotiations.
V. UNILATERAL ACTIONS
Recognizing the necessity to create a positive environment for the negotiations, neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in accordance with the Interim Agreement.
ATTACHMENT: Time Line
This Memorandum will enter into force ten days from the date of signature.
Done at Washington, D.C. this 23rd day of October 1998.
B. Netanyahu (signed) For the Government of the State of Israel
Y. Arafat (signed) For the PLO
Witnessed by: William B. Clinton (signed) The United States of America
Note: Parenthetical references below are to paragraphs in "The Wye River Memorandum" to which this time line is an integral attachment. Topics not included in the time line follow the schedule provided for in the text of the Memorandum.
1. Upon Entry into Force of the Memorandum:
• Third further redeployment committee starts (I (B))
• Palestinian security work plan shared with the U.S. (II (A) (1) (b))
• Full bilateral security cooperation (II (B) (1))
• Trilateral security cooperation committee starts (II (B) (3))
• Interim committees resume and continue; Ad Hoc Economic Committee starts (III)
• Accelerated permanent status negotiations start (IV)
2. Entry into Force – Week 2:
• Security work plan implementation begins (II (A) (1) (b)); (II (A) (1) (c)) committee starts
• Illegal weapons framework in place (II (A) (2) (a)); Palestinian implementation report (II (A) (2) (b))
• Anti-incitement committee starts (II (A) (3) (b)); decree issued (II (A) (3) (a))
• PLO Executive Committee reaffirms Charter letter (II (C) (2))
• Stage 1 of F.R.D. implementation: 2% C to B, 7.1% B to A. Israeli officials acquaint their Palestinian counterparts as required with areas; F.R.D. carried out; report on F.R.D. implementation (I (A))
3. Weeks 2-6:
• Palestinian Central Council reaffirms Charter letter (weeks two to four) (II (C) (2))
• PNC and other PLO organizations reaffirm Charter letter (weeks four to six) (II (C) (2))
• Establishment of weapons collection program (II (A) (2) (b)) and collection stage (II (A) (2) (c)); committee starts and reports on activities.
• Anti-incitement committee report (II (A) (3) (b))
• Ad Hoc Economic Committee: interim report at week three; final report at week six (III)
• Policemen list (II (C) (1) (a)); Monitoring and Steering Committee review starts (II (C) (1) (c)
• Stage 2 of F.R.D. implementation: 5% C to B. Israeli officials acquaint their Palestinian counterparts as required with areas; F.R.D. carried out; report on F.R.D. implementation (I (A))
4. Weeks 6-12:
• Weapons collection stage II (A) (2) (b); II (A) (2) (c) committee report on its activities.
• Anti-incitement committee report (II (A) (3) (b))
• Monitoring and Steering Committee briefs U.S. on policemen list (II (C) (1) (c))
• Stage 3 of F.R.D. implementation: 5% C to B, 1% C to A, 7.1% B to A. Israeli officials acquaint Palestinian counterparts as required with areas; F.R.D. carried out; report on F.R.D. implementation (I (A))
5. After Week 12:
Activities described in the Memorandum continue as appropriate and if necessary, including:
• Trilateral security cooperation committee (II (B) (3))
•(II (A) (1) (c)) committee
• (II (A) (1) (e)) committee
•Anti-incitement committee (II (A) (3) (b))
• Third Phase F.R.D. Committee (I (B))
•Interim Committees (III)
• Accelerated permanent status negotiations (IV) **
Declaration by the European Council on the Middle East peace process
Berlin, 25 March 1999
The European Council meeting held in Berlin on 25 March 1999 adopted the following declaration on the Middle East peace process, contained in “Part IV – Other declarations” of the concluding document.
MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS
The Heads of State or Government of the European Union reaffirm its support for a negotiated settlement in the Middle East, to reflect the principles of "land for peace" and ensure the security, both collective and individual, of the Israeli and Palestinian peoples. In this context, the European Union welcomes the decision by the Palestinian National Council and associated bodies to reaffirm the nullification of the provisions in the Palestinian National Charter which called for the destruction of Israel and to reaffirm their commitment to recognize and live in peace with Israel. However, the European Union remains concerned at the current deadlock in the peace process and calls upon the parties to implement fully and immediately the Wye River Memorandum.
The European Union also calls upon the parties to reaffirm their commitments to the basic principles established within the framework of Madrid, Oslo and subsequent agreements, in accordance with United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). It urges the parties to agree on an extension of the transitional period established by the Oslo agreements.
The European Union calls in particular for an early resumption of final status negotiations in the coming months on an accelerated basis, and for these to be brought to a prompt conclusion and not prolonged indefinitely. The European Union believes that it should be possible to conclude the negotiations within a target period of one year. It expresses its readiness to work to facilitate an early conclusion to the negotiations.
The European Union urges both parties to refrain from activities which prejudge the outcome of those final status negotiations and from any activity contrary to international law , including all settlement activity, and to fight incitement and violence.
The European Union reaffirms the continuing and unqualified Palestinian right to self-determination, including the option of a state, and looks forward to the early fulfilment of this right. It appeals to the parties to strive in good faith for a negotiated solution on the basis of the existing agreements, without prejudice to this right, which is not subject to any veto. The European Union is convinced that the creation of a democratic, viable and peaceful sovereign Palestinian State on the basis of existing agreements and through negotiations would be the best guarantee of Israel's security and Israel's acceptance as an equal partner in the region. The European Union declares its readiness to consider the recognition of a Palestinian State in due course in accordance with the basic principles referred to above.
The European Union also calls for an early resumption of negotiations on the Syrian and Lebanese tracks of the Middle East Peace Process, leading to the implementation of United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 425 (1978). ***
Statement of the Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention
Geneva, 15 July 1999
The following statement was adopted by the Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, held at Geneva on 15 July 1999.
This statement reflects the common understanding reached by the participating High Contracting Parties to the Conference.
After consultations among High Contracting Parties, the Conference, as recommended by United Nations General Assembly in resolution ES-10/6, adopted at its tenth emergency special session 1, convened in Geneva on 15 July 1999.
The participating High Contracting Parties reaffirmed the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. Furthermore, they reiterated the need for full respect for the provisions of the said Convention in that Territory.
Taking into consideration the improved atmosphere in the Middle East as a whole, the Conference was adjourned on the understanding that it will convene again in the light of consultations on the development of the humanitarian situation in the field. ****
The Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum
Sharm el-Sheikh, 4 September 1999
The following memorandum was signed by Prime Minister Ehud Barak for the Government of the State of Israel and Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat for the Palestine Liberation Organization in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on 4 September 1999, witnessed by President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright of the United States and King Abdullah of Jordan.
The Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum on Implementation Timeline of Outstanding Commitments of Agreements Signed and the Resumption of Permanent Status Negotiations
The Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) commit themselves to full and mutual implementation of the Interim Agreement and all other agreements concluded between them since September 1993 (hereinafter "the prior agreements"), and all outstanding commitments emanating from the prior agreements. Without derogating from the other requirements of the prior agreements, the two Sides have agreed as follows:
1. Permanent Status negotiations:
a. In the context of the implementation of the prior agreements, the two Sides will resume the Permanent Status negotiations in an accelerated manner and will make a determined effort to achieve their mutual goal of reaching a Permanent Status Agreement based on the agreed agenda, i.e. the specific issues reserved for Permanent Status negotiators and other issues of common interest.
b. The two Sides reaffirm their understanding that the negotiations on the Permanent Status will lead to the implementation of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973);
c. The two Sides will make a determined effort to conclude a Framework Agreement on all Permanent Status issues within five months from the resumption of the Permanent Status negotiations;
d. The two Sides will conclude a comprehensive agreement on all Permanent Status issues within one year from the resumption of the Permanent Status negotiations;
e. Permanent Status negotiations will resume after the implementation of the first stage of the release of prisoners and the second stage of the First and Second Further Redeployments and not later than September 13, 1999. In the Wye River Memorandum, the United States has expressed its willingness to facilitate these negotiations.
2. Phase One and Phase Two of the Further Redeployments
The Israeli Side undertakes the following with regard to Phase One and Phase Two of the Further Redeployments:
a. On September 5, 1999, to transfer 7% from Area C to Area B;
b. On November 15, 1999, to transfer 2% from Area B to Area A and 3% from Area C to Area B;
c. On January 20, 2000, to transfer 1% from Area C to Area A, and 5.1% from Area B to Area A.
3. Release of Prisoners
a. The two Sides shall establish a joint committee that shall follow-up on matters related to the release of Palestinian prisoners;
b. The Government of Israel shall release Palestinian and other prisoners who committed their offences prior to September 13, 1993, and were arrested prior to May 4, 1994. The Joint Committee shall agree on the names of those who will be released in the first two stages. Those lists shall be recommended to the relevant Authorities through the Monitoring and Steering Committee;
c. The first stage of the release of prisoners shall be carried out on September 5, 1999 and shall consist of 200 prisoners. The second stage of the release of prisoners shall be carried out on October 8, 1999 and shall consist of 150 prisoners;
d. The joint committee shall recommend further lists of names to be released to the relevant Authorities through the Monitoring and Steering Committee;
e. The Israeli side will aim to release Palestinian prisoners before next Ramadan.
a. The Third Further Redeployment Committee shall commence its activities not later than September 13, 1999;
b. The Monitoring and Steering Committee, all Interim Committees (i.e. the Civil Affairs Committee, the Joint Economic Committee, the Joint Security Committee, the Legal Committee, People to People), as well as Wye River Memorandum committees shall resume and/or continue their activity, as the case may be, not later than September 13, 1999. The Monitoring and Steering Committee will have on its agenda, inter alia, the Year 2000, Donor/PA projects in Area C, and the issue of industrial estates;
c. The Continuing Committee on displaced persons shall resume its activity on October 1, 1999 (Article XXVII, Interim Agreement);
d. Not later than October 30, 1999, the two sides will implement the recommendations of the Ad-hoc Economic Committee (article III-6, Wye River Memorandum).
5. Safe Passage
a. The operation of the Southern Route of the Safe Passage for the movement of persons, vehicles, and goods will start on October 1, 1999 (Annex I, Article X, Interim Agreement) in accordance with the details of operation, which will be provided for in the Safe Passage Protocol that will be concluded by the two Sides not later than September 30, 1999;
b. The two Sides will agree on the specific location of the crossing point of the Northern Route of the Safe Passage as specified in Annex I, Article X, provision c-4, in the Interim Agreement not later than October 5, 1999;
c. The Safe Passage Protocol applied to the Southern Route of the Safe Passage shall apply to the Northern Route of the Safe Passage with relevant agreed modifications;
d. Upon the agreement on the location of the crossing point of the Northern Route of the Safe Passage, construction of the needed facilities and related procedures shall commence and shall be ongoing. At the same time, temporary facilities will be established for the operation of the Northern Route not later than four months from the agreement on the specific location of the crossing-point;
e. In between the operation of the Southern crossing point of the Safe Passage and the Northern crossing point of the Safe Passage, Israel will facilitate arrangements for movement between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, using non-Safe Passage routes other than the Southern Route of the Safe Passage;
f. The location of the crossing points shall be without prejudice to the Permanent Status negotiations (Annex I, Article X, provision e, Interim Agreement).
6. Gaza Sea Port
The two Sides have agreed on the following principles to facilitate and enable the construction works of the Gaza Sea Port. The principles shall not prejudice or preempt the outcome of negotiations on the Permanent Status:
a. The Israeli Side agrees that the Palestinian Side shall commence construction works in and related to the Gaza Sea Port on October 1, 1999;
b. The two Sides agree that the Gaza Sea Port will not be operated in any way before reaching a joint Sea Port protocol on all aspects of operating the Port, including security;
c. The Gaza Sea Port is a special case, like the Gaza Airport, being situated in an area under the responsibility of the Palestinian Side and serving as an international passage. Therefore, until the conclusion of a joint Sea Port Protocol, all activities and arrangements relating to the construction of the Port shall be in accordance with the provisions of the Interim Agreement, especially those relating to international passages, as adapted in the Gaza Airport Protocol;
d. The construction shall ensure adequate provision for effective security and customs inspection of people and goods, as well as the establishment of a designated checking area in the Port;
e. In this context, the Israeli side will facilitate on an on-going basis the works related to the construction of the Gaza Sea Port, including the movement in and out of the Port of vessels, equipment, resources, and material required for the construction of the Port;
f. The two Sides will coordinate such works, including the designs and movement, through a joint mechanism.
7. Hebron Issues
a. The Shuhada Road in Hebron shall be opened for the movement of Palestinian vehicles in two phases. The first phase has been carried out, and the second phase shall be carried out not later than October 30, 1999;
b. The wholesale market-Hasbahe will be opened not later than November 1, 1999, in accordance with arrangements which will be agreed upon by the two Sides;
c. A high level Joint Liaison Committee will convene not later than September 13, 1999 to review the situation in the Tomb of the Patriarchs / Al Haram Al Ibrahimi (Annex I, Article VII, Interim Agreement and as per the January 15, 1998 US Minute of Discussion).
a. The two Sides will, in accordance with the prior agreements, act to ensure the immediate, efficient and effective handling of any incident involving a threat or act of terrorism, violence or incitement, whether committed by Palestinians or Israelis. To this end, they will cooperate in the exchange of information and coordinate policies and activities. Each side shall immediately and effectively respond to the occurrence or anticipated occurrence of an act of terrorism, violence or incitement and shall take all necessary measures to prevent such an occurrence;
b. Pursuant to the prior agreements, the Palestinian side undertakes to implement its responsibilities for security, security cooperation, on-going obligations and other issues emanating from the prior agreements, including, in particular, the following obligations emanating from the Wye River Memorandum:
9. The two Sides call upon the international donor community to enhance its commitment and financial support to Palestinian economic development and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
10. Recognizing the necessity to create a positive environment for the negotiations, neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in accordance with the Interim Agreement.
11. Obligations pertaining to dates which occur on holidays or Saturdays shall be carried out on the first subsequent working day.
This memorandum will enter into force one week from the date of its signature. 1
Made and signed in Sharm el-Sheikh, this fourth day of September 1999.
1 [The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel adds the following footnote to the Memorandum: “It is understood that, for technical reasons, implementation of Article 2-a and the first stage mentioned in Article 3-c will be carried out within a week from the signing of this Memorandum.”]
Protocol concerning Safe Passage between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip
Jerusalem, 5 October 1999
The following protocol was signed, in Jerusalem on 5 October 1999, by Minister of Public Security Shlomo Ben-Ami for the Government of the State of Israel and Minister of Civil Affairs Jamil Al-Tarifi for the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Protocol concerning Safe Passage between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip
A. Pursuant to the Wye River Memorandum of October 23, 1998 and the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum on Implementation Timeline of Outstanding Commitments of Agreements Signed and the Resumption of Permanent Status Negotiations of September 4, 1999; and
In accordance with the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, signed in Washington, D.C. on September 28, 1995 (hereinafter "the Agreement"); and
With a view to implement Article X and the other related provisions of Annex I to the Agreement "Protocol Concerning Redeployment and Security Arrangements" (hereinafter "Annex I"),
both sides hereby agree to the following "Protocol Concerning Safe Passage between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip" (hereinafter the "Protocol").
B. This Protocol establishes the modalities for the use of safe passage. The arrangements set out in this Protocol are subject to the Agreement and are not in any way intended to derogate from any of its provisions, including, inter alia, the provisions of the Agreement regarding passage between the West Bank and Israel, between the Gaza Strip and Israel and between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
C. This Protocol may be amended by a decision of both sides.
D. This Protocol will come into force upon the signing thereof by both parties.
E. This Preamble is an integral part of this Protocol.
2. General Provisions
A. Article X of Annex I, and the attached map No. 6 delineate two routes through which Israel will make safe passage available.
1. Israel will ensure safe passage for persons and transportation during daylight hours (from sunrise to sunset) or as otherwise agreed, but in any event not less than 10 hours a day.
2. Travelers will be required to commence their journey as follows,
1. Safe passage will be effected by means of privately owned road vehicles and public transportation, as detailed in paragraph 5 below.
2. Safe passage shall be via the following designated crossing points:
1. The safe passage arrangements will not be available on Yom Kippur, Israel's Memorial Day and Israel's Independence Day.
2. Both sides may make special arrangements for other designated days, as agreed between them.
E. Israel shall signpost the safe passage routes clearly and shall take all necessary measures to ensure smooth movement while preserving safety and security on the route or routes in use on any specific day.
F. Except as provided in paragraph 3.H.2 below, the use of safe passage by residents of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip does not afford them license to be present in Israel except along the safe passage routes designated for their use.
G. Israel may, for security or safety reasons, temporarily halt the operation of a safe passage route or modify the passage arrangements while ensuring that one of the routes is kept open for safe passage. Notice of such temporary closure or modification shall be given to the Palestinian side, through agreed channels, as far in advance as the circumstances will allow.
H. Israel may deny the use of its territory for safe passage by persons who have seriously or repeatedly violated the safe passage provisions detailed in this Protocol or in the Agreement. Israel will notify the Palestinian side, through agreed channels, of any decision to deny the use of its territory as a result of such violations. The notification shall include details of the violations giving rise to the denial. The individual in question shall have the right to request, through the Palestinian side, that Israel reconsider its decision.
I. Nothing in this Protocol will be construed as derogating from Israel's right to apply inspection measures necessary for ensuring security and safety at the crossing points of the safe passage. Maximum efforts will be made to maintain the dignity of persons using safe passage and to implement inspection measures relying heavily on brief and modern procedures.
J. Israel shall notify the Palestinian side of incidents involving persons using safe passage routes through the agreed channels.
K. It is understood that the safe passage shall be operated on a cost-reimbursement basis, in accordance with an agreement on the modalities to be reached in the Joint Economic Committee.
L. Israel shall be compensated for damages incurred by Israel, Israelis or their property as a result of the use of safe passage, in accordance with an agreement on the modalities to be reached in the Joint Economic Committee.
3. Use of Safe Passage
A. Residents of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip wishing to make use of safe passage shall arrive with a safe passage card at the safe passage terminal at one of the crossing points specified at paragraph 2.C.2 above, where they will identify themselves by means of identification documents as mentioned in paragraph 6, Article 28, Appendix 1, Annex III to the Agreement.
B. After identification at the terminal, and after the validity check of the safe passage card, travelers will be issued with safe passage slips subject to the provisions of this Protocol and the Agreement, except for persons provided for in paragraph 2.H above and paragraph 6 below.
1. The Palestinian side shall transfer to the Israeli side all applications for safe passage cards, after initial Palestinian security approval. The applications shall be in accordance with the agreed procedures (including the submission of all required information as well as two updated photographs).
2. The Israeli side shall respond to the applications within two working days. It is agreed that in all cases in which the photographs submitted with the application do not match the Israeli database, or in which the photograph of the individual does not appear in the Israeli database, the application shall not be processed and shall be returned to the Palestinian side.
3. Safe passage cards shall be issued in the relevant Israeli District Civil Liaison Office (DCL) in the West Bank or in the Regional Civil Affairs Subcommittee (RCAC) in the Gaza Strip.
4. On-duty Palestinian policemen and minors under age 14, traveling in accordance with the provisions of paragraphs 7 and 3.I below, respectively, shall not be required to receive a safe passage card for the use of safe passage.
5. Men over 50 and women shall generally receive their safe passage cards through the Palestinian side, except for special cases. The Israeli side will make all efforts to minimize such exceptions.
6. In light of the special nature of the safe passage, those persons whose applications for safe passage have been approved shall receive from the Israeli side their safe passage cards at the Israeli side of the District Coordination Offices (DCOs). An unarmed civilian Palestinian liaison officer shall be present throughout all stages of this process. Receipt of the safe passage card shall be contingent on the individual being definitively identified by the Israeli side, using the best available methods (including, in the near future, biometric information), as agreed upon by the two sides.
D. A safe passage card shall be valid for one year for multiple two-way journeys on the safe passage routes. Travelers can only use safe passage within the operation time as provided for in paragraphs 2.B.1 and 2.B.2 above.
E. Upon completion of the journey, the safe passage slips and safe passage stickers shall be returned to the Israeli authorities at the destination crossing point.
F. Residents of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in possession of permits enabling them to enter Israel will be able to use these permits as safe passage cards, subject to the conditions of such permits and to the modalities set out in this Protocol.
1. Individual safe passage slips will be issued and stamped by the Israeli authorities at the crossing points, with the time of departure from the crossing point and the estimated time of arrival (hereinafter "the designated time").
2. The designated time shall enable completion of the journey within a reasonable time.
1. Persons and vehicles using safe passage under these arrangements shall neither break their journey nor depart from the designated routes, and shall complete the passage within the designated time, unless a delay is caused by a medical emergency or a technical breakdown.
2. Notwithstanding paragraph 3.H.1 above, in the case of a medical emergency travelers may drive directly to the nearest hospital or first aid station. Such travelers will be required to report the incident to the relevant authorities at the destination crossing point as soon as circumstances allow.
3. In the case of a technical breakdown, travelers must remain on the safe passage route with their vehicles until the arrival of the Israeli police and follow their instructions. In addition, travelers may stop another vehicle using safe passage and request the driver to inform the authorities at the destination crossing point of the case.
a. Minors under the age of 16 who are accompanied by a parent and registered in the identity card of that parent will not be required to carry individual safe passage cards.
b. Such minors shall identify themselves via the identity card of the accompanying parent.
a. Minors who are not accompanied by a parent may also use safe passage without carrying a safe passage card provided that:
b. Such minors shall identify themselves by means of a birth certificate or a certified copy of the parent's identity card in which they are registered.
J. Persons and vehicles shall not carry explosives, firearms or other weapons or ammunition except for special cases that may be agreed by both sides. Transportation of dangerous substances shall be in accordance with the provisions of the Agreement.
4. Use of Safe Passage Routes by Visitors from Abroad
A. Provisions of the Agreement and this Protocol regarding the use of safe passage will apply to visitors to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip from abroad, without derogating from the provisions of the Agreement concerning visitors.
B. Visitors will identify themselves by means of: (i) valid visitors' permits; and (ii) passports or travel documents when using the safe passage.
5. Use of Vehicles on Safe Passage Routes
1. Residents of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip wishing to use their privately owned vehicles to travel along the safe passage shall apply for a vehicle safe passage permit through the Palestinian side. The Israeli side shall respond to such applications within five working days. Such applications shall include the identification documents referred to in paragraph 3.A above; safe passage cards or permits enabling them entry into Israel; valid drivers' licenses; valid vehicle licenses; and valid insurance policies. The vehicle safe passage permits shall be issued in the relevant Israeli DCL in the West Bank or in the RCAC in the Gaza Strip and transferred to the Palestinian side.
2. In addition to the above, the two sides may agree on specific categories or persons who may use a vehicle not owned by them. Such categories include, inter alia: (i) persons employed by the Palestinian Authority driving a vehicle owned by the Palestinian Authority; (ii) persons employed by a private company driving a vehicle owned by the private company; and (iii) taxi drivers (only one designated driver per taxi). In such cases, in addition to all other requirements of this Protocol, the person shall be required to possess and submit a written permit signed by the Palestinian side and by the vehicle-owner authorizing that person's use of the vehicle for safe passage.
1. On the day of the journey, the drivers will arrive at the safe passage terminal at the departure crossing point with their vehicle safe passage permits; safe passage cards or permits enabling them entry into Israel; identity cards; valid drivers' licenses; valid vehicle licenses; valid insurance policies; and, if applicable, the permit referred to in paragraph 5.A.2 above. After identification, and after the validity check of the vehicle safe passage permit, drivers will be issued with an individual safe passage slip and a safe passage sticker, to be displayed on the right-hand side of the front windshield of the vehicle.
2. The names of all passengers traveling in the vehicle shall be listed on a separate document to be attached to the driver's safe passage slip.
3. Persons listed as travelers in a particular vehicle must remain with the vehicle for the full duration of their safe passage journey, except for the medical emergencies provided for in paragraph 3.H.2 above.
C. Residents of the West Bank or the Gaza Strip in possession of valid permits enabling them to enter Israel with their vehicles, will be able to use these permits as vehicle safe passage permits, subject to the conditions of such permits and to the modalities set out in this Protocol.
1. Vehicle safe passage permits shall be valid for not less than three months from the date of issuance, for multiple two-way journeys.
2. Certain persons who are acceptable to both sides will be issued vehicle safe passage permits, the validity of which shall be for more than the period specified in paragraph 5. D.1 above and up to one year. Such permits shall be issued provided that the Joint Civil Affairs Coordination and Cooperation Committee (CAC) had applied for them through the relevant DCL in the West Bank or the RCAC in the Gaza Strip.
E. All vehicles used by residents of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip for the purpose of traveling via safe passage must have valid licensing in accordance with Article 38, Appendix 1, Annex III to the Agreement and at least valid compulsory insurance policies, in accordance with Article 19, Appendix 1, Annex III to the Agreement, and Article XI, Annex V to the Agreement.
F. All vehicles used for the purpose of safe passage shall meet Israeli standards and applicable Israeli law.
1. "Sterile" public transportation vehicles shall operate between Tarkumya and Erez crossing points.
2. The public transportation vehicles will be designated for the purpose of safe passage only.
3. The public transportation vehicles as well as their drivers should be acceptable to both sides.
H. In special emergency related cases, to be handled through agreed channels, safe passage may be used by privately owned vehicles without having submitted an application in advance.
6. Use of Safe Passage by Persons Denied Entry into Israel
A. Persons who are denied entry into Israel will use safe passage by means of shuttle buses which will he escorted by Israeli security forces vehicles, and which will operate from 7:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Mondays and Wednesdays of every week.
B. Applications by persons denied entry into Israel to use the safe passage must be submitted to, and agreed upon, at least five working days prior to the planned journey.
C. Cases of persons denied entry into Israel whose applications to use safe passage are not agreed upon shall he discussed in the agreed channels.
1. Persons denied entry into Israel who have used the safe passage will be able to return that same day to their original point of departure via the mechanism established in paragraph 6.A above.
2. Persons denied entry into Israel and who have used the safe passage will be able to return to their original point of departure by shuttle bus within two weeks following the date of departure with notification through the agreed channels at least 1 working day prior to the planned journey.
3. Persons denied entry into Israel and who have stayed for a period in excess of that specified in paragraph 6.D.2 above, will be required to submit applications as provided for in paragraph 6.B above.
1. The aforementioned shuttle buses shall have Palestinian registration and shall be driven by Palestinian residents.
2. The aforementioned shuttle buses as well as their drivers should be acceptable to both sides.
7. Passage of Palestinian Police
A. In accordance with paragraph 2.g, Article X of Annex I, uniformed and plainclothes Palestinian policemen required to use the safe passage so as to perform their duty in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, or Palestinian policemen other than in instances covered by paragraph 7.E below, using privately owned vehicles, official vehicles or other means of transportation, will be able to use the safe passage after the Palestinian police has submitted an application and after that application was approved, through the relevant DCO two working days prior to the planned journey.
B. Palestinian policemen provided for in paragraph 7.A above and Palestinian police vehicles and equipment moving between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip via safe passage shall be escorted by Israeli security forces vehicles.
C. When in safe passage, the weapons of the Palestinian policemen will be handed over to the Israeli police and placed in a closed trailer affixed to the Israel police vehicle. A Palestinian policeman may travel in the aforementioned Israeli police vehicle. The vehicle shall be driven by a member of the Israeli police. Upon completion of the safe passage journey the weapons shall be handed over to the Palestinian officer in charge in the DCO.
D. Cases of usage of safe passage by Palestinian policemen requiring special attention and arrangements will be dealt with and coordinated through the Joint Coordination and Cooperation Committee for Mutual Security Purposes (JSC).
E. The provisions set out in this Protocol and in the Agreement relating to regular persons will apply to Palestinian policemen using safe passage when off duty. Such policemen may only use safe passage when unarmed and out of uniform.
8. Use of Safe Passage for Commercial Traffic
A. Goods transferred to or from the Gaza Strip via the safe passage will enter or leave the Gaza Strip through the Karni (Commercial) crossing point.
B. Commercial vehicles carrying goods from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip via safe passage will travel along the relevant safe passage route as far as the Yad Mordechai Junction, and from there branch off to Karni as indicated on Map No. 6 (attached to the Agreement). Commercial vehicles carrying goods from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank will follow the same routes in reverse.
C. All provisions of this Protocol and the Agreement relating to use of vehicles on safe passage routes shall apply to the use of commercial vehicles.
D. The provisions in this paragraph 8 shall not prejudice any other mechanism established in the Agreement, or based on the Agreement, with respect to passage of goods.
E. Further details concerning commercial traffic will be agreed upon in a special sub-committee in the CAC. Until decided otherwise, the current arrangements adopted by the CAC concerning commercial traffic shall remain in effect.
9. Future Meetings for Improving Operation of the Safe Passage
A Continuing Safe Passage Committee shall meet regularly to supervise the implementation of this Protocol and to discuss ways to improve the safe passage operation, as agreed between both sides.
10. Use of Safe Passage by the Ra'ees of the Executive Authority
Arrangements for the use of safe passage by the Ra'ees of the Executive Authority shall be discussed in a special sub-committee through the JSC.
11. Final Clauses
A. Consistent with paragraph 6, Article XXXI of the Agreement, the arrangements included in this Protocol are without prejudice to the permanent status negotiations.
B. There shall be a Liaison Bureau at agreed locations close to each of the safe passage crossing points. In addition, the Palestinian side shall establish coordination points at agreed locations on the roads leading to the crossing points. The function of the coordination points shall be to ensure the smooth and orderly movement of persons and vehicles to the crossing points, in accordance with their capacity.
C. In between the operation of the Southern crossing point of the safe passage and the Northern crossing point of the safe passage, Israel will facilitate arrangements for the movement between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, using non-safe passage routes other than the Southern route of the safe passage.
Done at Jerusalem, this 5th day of October, 1999.
Shlomo Ben-Ami (signed) for the Government of the State of Israel
Jamil Al-Tarifi (signed) for the Palestine Liberation Organization******
* United Nations, letter dated 26 May 1998 from the Permanent Representatives of Egypt and France to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General (A/52/921- S/1998/436)
** Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel, via the Internet at < and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Palestinian Authority, via the Internet at <
***** Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel, via the Internet at < and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Palestinian Authority, via the Internet at <
Document Type: Declaration, Memorandum, Peace process review, Protocol, Publication, Statement
Document Sources: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
Subject: Middle East situation, Negotiations and agreements, Palestine question, Peace process, Refugees and displaced persons, Settlements, Situation in the OPT including Jerusalem
Publication Date: 31/12/1999