Israeli-Palestinian Peace Agreement 1993

  • 1974: Yasser Arafat and other moderate PLO leaders hinted that they were ready to consider a mini-state for Palestinians, majority of which lived in West Bank and Gaza
  • 1974: Arafat’s speech to UN, said that Palestinian problem was about people who are struggling with life. Main goal was to bring sympathy
  • Ended speech by saying “Today I have come bearing an olive branch and a freedom fighter’s gun. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hands.”
  • December 1988: US commenced secret talks with PLO officials, Americans persuaded Arafat to publically reject terrorism and speak in favour of  a two-state solution: Independent Palestinian state and Israeli state

Iraqi invasion of Kuwait August 1990

  • UN called Iraq to withdraw, they did not comply thus US troops came and pushed Iraqis out by February of 1991 -> Known as Gulf war
  • However, Palestine and other Arabic states saw that America had different intensions.
  • Interesting to note that US was able to push Iraq out of Kuwait in less than a year, but fails to, after 20 years, persuade Israeli troops to withdraw from Gaza (which was UN resolution 242)
  • US did not pressure Israel before, but now it doing so due to the collapse of the USSR who had previously supported Palestine
  • Now, US did not have to give support to Israel to contain Soviet threat.
  • September 1991, US President George Bush threatened to withhold $10million of loans to Israel, Israel complied with America’s wishes.

Madrid Conference 1991

  • October 1991 at Madrid, Spain – talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
  • Arafat (Palestinian leader) and Yitzhak Shamir (Israeli leader) made very little progress.
  • US still pressured for peace on Israelis
  • In 1992, elections were held in Israel and the new government promised Palestine peace.

The Oslo Accords 1993

  • 14 secret sessions of talks in 8 months.
  • Result: in September Arafat and Rabin (new leader of Israel) exchanged letters
  • Arafat: rejected use of terrorism, called for end of Intifada, and recognized Israel’s right to exist in peace.
  • Rabin: Recognized the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people.
  • September 13th, 1993: The Oslo Accords were signed for the purpose of moving towards self government in Palestine
  • Rabin and Arafat shook hands in from of the white house.

Agreed that:

  • Israeli troops would be withdrawn from Gaza and City of Jericho on West Bank
  • Elections would be held for a Palestinian Government (with limited authority) to govern West Bank and Gaza for 5 years.
  • During theses 5 years, final agreement will be discussed.

Oslo II Accords 1995 (build trust between Israelis and Palestinians)

  • Elections of Palestinian Authority would be held (PA) –> PLO eventually won and Arafat became president of PA
  • Israel forces would withdraw from major Palestinian towns.
  • Palestinian prisoner would be released from Israeli jails.

Israel-Jordan Pace Treaty 1994

  • ­Israel and Jordan settling disputes over their borders
  • Jordan became the second Arab state to recognize the state of Israel.

Israeli and Palestinian views of peace process

  • Oslo Accords offered hope of peace for both sides, yet deep distrust still remains.

Views of peace

  • Israelis: agreement meant that they would withdraw troops from Gaza and parts of the West Bank but still maintaining control.
  • Israeli troops were to have main responsibility both inside and outside West Bank border
  • 200,000 Israeli settlers in and around West Bank
  • Water supplies were needed to be protected.
  • Saw Palestinian Authority (PA) as having limited control where they ran schools and hospitals but had no control over security and control over Gaza.
  • Palestinians: Saw accords as step to independence and the establishment of a Palestinian state.
  • Saw Palestinian Authority as the base of a new government for this future independent state.

Peace Process slows down

  • Withdraw of Israeli troop from Palestinian towns were very slow
  • Palestinians believed that Israelis were increasing Jewish settlement in the occupied territories (not been banned in Oslo Accords but Palestinians believed Israelis were attempting to demolish peace agreements)
  • Complaint of the Palestinians lead to resulted to more takeover of their land and lead to Palestinians to switch from PLO to more militant groups such as Hamas)
  • Hamas states for Islamic Resistance Movement in Arabic, it was founded in 1988 by Sheikh Ahmed, a religious teacher in Gaza

Suicide bombings and assassination 1995-7

  • Hamas opposed peace due to the fact that they believed Palestinian gained little in comparison to Israel
  • Israel did not recognise Palestinians right to an independent Palestine and did not promise such as state.
  • Hamas declared their goal was to destroy Israel
  • In 1994, Baruch Goldstein, a Jewish settler went on a rampage and killed 29 Palestinians at a mosque in Hebron on the West Bank.
  • Hamas declared that the Israelis have unfair advantage over Palestinians due to the police protection and being heavily armed.
  • Hamas encouraged suicide bombing in Israel and its occupied territories.
  • As a result of the bombings, Israeli government took harsh precautions. Troops moved back to Gaza and West Bank and Curfews were imposed.
  • Borders were sealed to prevent suicide bombers. This increased unemployment in Palestinian community
  • Talks often took place in another neutral county and Arafat agreed to arrest Hamas militants and Rabin agreed to withdraw troops.

Assassination of Rabin 1995

  • November 1995- 150,000 Israelis gather in Tel Aviv for a peace rally
  • Main speaker was Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzak Rabin, who had signed the peace deal in 1993
  • After the rally, Yigal Amir stepped up and shot Rabin who died on the way to the hospital
  • Amir was a part of a group who believed that West Bank (Judea and Samaria) belonged to the Land of Israel as God had promise the Jews.
  • Amir said “when I shot Rabin, I felt I was shooting a terrorist.”
  • May 1996, a new government was elected in Israel and opposed the Oslo Peace Accords and blocked any further negotiations with the PA.
  • New Prime Minister was now Binymin Netanyahu

Building a new Jewish Settlement

  • February 1997, the new Israeli government allowed the building of 6,500 homes on the Arab land in east Jerusalem.
  • This cut off Arab inhabitants of east Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank.
  • destroyed hopes of Palestinians making east Jerusalem their capital
  • As demolishing commenced, Israeli PM announced “The battle for Jerusalem has begun.”

Clinton’s final bid for peace, Camp David 2000

  • 1999, Israel elected a more moderate government led by Ehud Barak
  • Camp David – Held in July 2000 by President Clinton
  • Barak offered Palestinians a deal which would give them Gaza and most of West Bank.
  • Discussed partition of city of Jerusalem
  • the West blamed Arafat for rejecting deal

Second Intifada 2000

  • September 28: an Israeli politician, Ariel Sharon toured Temple Mount (for Jews)/ Dome of the Rock (for Muslims)
  • Many Palestinians saw Sharon’s visit as Israeli attempt to control the holy sites
  • Demonstrations followed:  Israeli troops shot 7 dead, 200 wounded
  • Second Intifada: within one month, 127 Palestinians were killed
  • cause: frustration and anger with Palestinians and little progress of peace after 7 years (Oslo)
  • Problems still existing: borders, status, settlements, refugees
  • Conditions worse: most suicide bombings and Israeli still building over Palestinians
  • 1993 to 2000: 70% increase of Jewish settlers in occupied territories
  • In Gaza: there are a million Palestinians and only 6,500 Jews. However, Israeli troops controlled 1/3 of the land and protected most of the water supplies
  • In West Bank: there were 400,000 Jewish settlers and tens of thousands of troops.
  • Israeli troops had total control over water and electricity supplies and controlled main roads, check points, road blocks and curfews
  • After 9/11, Sharon said ‘Everyone had his own Bin Laden and Arafat is ours.”
  • By May 2003, over 2000 Palestinians and 760 Israelis have been killed as a result of the Intifada which was a higher amount than the first intifada.
  • Palestinians had rifles and Israelis had rockets, tanks and helicopters.

Operation Defensive shield

  • February 2001, Ariel Sharon elected Prime Minister of Israel
  • Promise: maintain control over Jerusalem and increase Israeli settlements in West Banks
  • March 2002, Hamas suicide bombings killed 29 Israelis and Sharon begun “Operation Defensive Shield”
  • Israel’s security border: violence resulted in Israel building a barrier around the West bank. Some places it was a 8m wall while other places were just a fence.
  • Border was watched by Israeli troops and surveillance cameras.
  • A wall was not built along the green line which was the border between Israel and the West Bank before the Six Day war.
  • Israelis claimed that the wall was temporary and for defensive reasons only.
  • Palestinians views the barrier as a way for Israel to take more land from the Palestinians

“Road map” to peace 2003

  • George W. Bush published a “road map” to peace for Palestinians and Israelis in April of 2003
  • Outlines time table for actions moving towards a Palestinian state.
  • Step one: stop Palestinian bombings and Israeli raids on Palestinian towns.
  • However, March 2004, Israeli helicopter missile killed spiritual leader of Hamas.
  • April 2004, Israel announced that all Jewish settlers and troops would be evacuated from Gaza.
  • November 2004, Yasser Arafat died and was succeeded by Mahmoud Abbas
  • February 2005, Abbas persuaded Palestinian militants to temporary halt their bombing
  • This resulted in both sides mutually agreeing to mutual ceasefire.
  • Summer of 2005, Jewish settlers and troops were withdrawing from Gaza.

Hamas victory in Palestinian elections in 2006

  • 2006 elections were held for the Palestinian Parliament. All Palestinian adults were entitled to vote.
  • Fatah was the main body of parliament up until this election but many viewed them as corrupt and ineffective
  • Hamas won majority, Abbas still remained President of PA despite the fact that he was a Fatah.
  • Other nations refused to have interactions with Hamas, and therefore, peace progressed as delayed again.

Fighting in Gaza

  • 2007: hopes of peace died down.
  • Internal fighting between Fatah and Hamas occurred in Palestine

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