1998 Mideast Peace Agreement
A militant group, Islamic Jihad, held a rally in Gaza where they burned a coffin with the words “Peace of Oslo” and also burned Israeli flags. And King Hussein, who intervened at key moments in the talks as the Americans demanded, with emotional calls for peace and stern warnings for a narrow policy, said Israel and the Palestinians were moving in the right direction. The king appealed to everyone`s best instincts in the East Room. President Clinton addresses members of the Palestinian National Council and other Palestinian organizations.14 December 1998 The agreement serves in part to recommit both sides to measures they had already promised in the Oslo Accords in 1993 and 1995 by establishing a detailed timetable for the Israelis` withdrawal from an additional 13% of the West Bank in three phases over 12 weeks once the agreement is concluded. Ratified. This would bring the entire territory that the Palestinians control in whole or in part to 40%. In return, the agreement provides for specific measures for the Palestinians to fight terrorism and formally amend its charter to remove clauses calling for Israel`s destruction. The United States has agreed to provide Israel with assistance in implementing the security plan, as well as money for a package of economic development measures for the Palestinians. Clinton will also travel to the Middle East to speak at a session of the Palestinian National Council that will formally reaffirm its commitment to the peace process. WASHINGTON (CNN) –- After nine days of intense negotiations in a remote Maryland resort, the leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Authority have signed an agreement designed to help bring peace to their countries on the other side of the world.
This agreement aims to achieve the long-delayed Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank provided for in the Oslo Accords of 1993 and 1995. Lord. Netanyahu ran in the elections as an opponent of agreements whereby Israel and the Palestinians mutually recognize the right to live in peace and commit to negotiating a final settlement between them. “This is an important and happy day, a day of achievement that we will always remember with optimism and hope,” Arafat said. “Our agreement. stresses that the peace process is progressing. In return, Mr. Clinton praised Mr.
Netanyahu for his strength, willingness and attention to detail. “He has shown himself willing to take political risks for peace, but not to risk the security of his people,” the president said. As a result, this agreement embodies a huge increase in the security of the people of Israel. “This agreement aims to restore confidence and renew hope for peace between the parties. Now both sides must build on that hope (and) fulfill their commitments,” Clinton said. “Both have reaffirmed their commitment to the path to peace, and the world can be grateful for that.” Mr. Arafat referred to Mr. Netanyahu as a “co-partner” in peace, like his favorite Israeli, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated in 1995.
To applause, Arafat acknowledged the difficulties in reaching this agreement, but promised: “We will never leave the peace process and we will never return to violence and confrontation.” Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, founder of the Islamic group Hamas, called it sold. He said the CIA`s involvement in guaranteeing Israel`s security, which is part of the deal, “cannot annihilate Hamas.” Jewish settler leader Aharon Domb said Netanyahu had negotiated a “surrender agreement” and warned of “the most serious consequences.” Some hardliners have threatened to try to overthrow Netanyahu`s government. As difficult as the meetings at the Wye River Conference Centers on Maryland`s east coast were, and as modest as the details of that agreement may be, a failure to reach an agreement here would have had serious consequences for the Middle East and American stature in the region, especially among Washington`s moderate Arab allies. After nine days and nine nights of convoluted negotiations, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today signed a modest agreement that brings Middle East peace efforts back to life and paves the way for talks on a final solution to the 50-year-old struggle over whether the Palestinians will have a state. President Clinton has had more than one hundred and seventy-five phone calls with heads of state to directly support the Middle East peace process. During his six visits to the region, the President has contributed to advancing the peace process. President Clinton also hosted a series of meetings and summits in the United States to advance the process: the Israeli-Syrian talks in Shepherdstown in 1999, the Wye River meetings in 1998, the Washington Summit in 1995, the signing of the Washington Declaration by Israel and Jordan in 1994, which ended the war between the two states. and the signing of the Declaration of Principles in 1993.
The historic handshake between Prime Minister Rabin and Chairman Arafat will be remembered forever. Mr. Arafat and Mr. Netanyahu, who do not seek to hide their personal aversion, shook hands today under the gaze of the King of Jordan and spoke words of peace and determination. In exchange for this public promise that could help Mr. Netanyahu with his right wing at home, officials said, the Israeli prime minister agreed to sign today`s agreement and not break his promise to release 750 Palestinian prisoners. The interim agreement, dubbed the Wye Memorandum, paves the way for the opening of negotiations on a final and comprehensive peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians, as called for in the 1993 Oslo Accords, which inaugurated the current Middle East peace process. The deadline for a final agreement is May 1999. Since taking office, President Clinton has devoted his time and energy to promoting a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East that will ensure Israel`s security and the well-being of its neighbors.
The United States helped broker agreements between Israel and the Palestinians and between Israel and Jordan, and led efforts to resume Israeli-Syrian talks. President Clinton has made it clear that the United States stands firmly with those who have taken risks for peace and offers them strong political, economic and material support; and showed the enemies of peace that violence and terror will not succeed in disrupting the peace process. At the same time, the United States has maintained its long-standing commitment to Israel`s security, strengthened its relationship with Egypt and Jordan, and established new relationships with the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian people. The agreement, which U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright called “a new chapter in the quest for lasting peace,” calls on Israel to withdraw its troops from land in the West Bank that it has occupied since the 1967 Six-Day War. The land will be handed over to Palestinian control, giving the Palestinians hegemony over about 40 percent of the West Bank. The leaders then signed the agreements on a walnut conference table purchased by President Grant in 1869 and last used in 1994 for the peace treaty between Jordan and Israel, signed by Rabin and King Hussein. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat signed the interim peace agreement late Friday afternoon in the East Room of the White House as U.S. President Bill Clinton and Jordan`s King Hussein look on. A proud and relieved President Clinton, who had seen the deal threatened by a last-minute dispute with Mr. Netanyahu over the fate of spy Jonathan J.
Pollard, presided over the signing ceremony at the White House. He was joined as a host by a visibly ill King Hussein of Jordan, who had been called to conclude the talks and spoke with emotion of a search for peace that occupied much of his life. As part of this agreement, intensive negotiations on a final peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians must begin immediately, but given the delay and the start of the Jewish Sabbath, if the Israeli government does not work, these talks could not begin today, as US officials had hoped. Instead, they will be open after this agreement is ratified, and Mr. Clinton could invite those leaders to another summit. When asked if this agreement would bring a Palestinian state closer together, an adviser to Arafat, Marwan Kanafani, smiled widely today and simply replied, “Yes.” The deal was “a big step that came too late,” Clinton acknowledged. “It is true that everything we have accomplished is only temporary and that it was late, but our agreement underlines that the peace process is progressing.” “We will never come back. We will never leave the peace process and we will never return to violence and confrontation,” he said. “I ask all people for goodwill, honesty and openness. to jointly support this important step for a secure future, a future of peace,” he said.
As the Pollard issue threatened to derail the deal, Clinton and Netanyahu met to break the deadlock that allowed the signing ceremony to continue. After reaching a final agreement, the three leaders returned to the White House in the afternoon from the Wye River Conference Center in Maryland for the signing ceremony at 4 p.m. .m.m. . . .