Israel had made a tentative peace with its neighbors to the North and
West, trouble within its borders remained. Hundreds of thousands of
Palestinians, many displaced during the 1948 and 1967 wars, were living
in camps in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
in 1987, a general uprising began in the camps and surrounding areas.
The Intifada, as it was known, was marked with day after day of clashes
between stone-throwing Palestinians and Israeli soldiers. As the protests
continued, diplomatic efforts were making tentative headway. In 1988,
the Palestinian National Council accepted a U.N. partition, Israel's
right to exist and renounced terrorism. The move sparked a new dialogue
with the U.S. about becoming more involved in the peace process. Meanwhile,
the Israeli government of Yitzhak Shamir proposed a form of self-rule
in the West Bank and Gaza.
maneuvers opened the path to the first major all-party summit. The 1991
Madrid conference, organized by the U.S. and the Soviet Union, included
Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestinian representatives. The
three-day meeting paved the way to a series of bilateral talks, many
overseen by the U.S., between Israel and its Arab neighbors.
in 1992, the sides began a series of discussions focusing on Israeli
relations with its neighbors and the Palestinians. Throughout the year,
working groups convened to discuss water rights, refugees, security
matter and other topics. Following the tenth round of talks in the summer
of 1993, Palestinian and Israeli officials said they had reached a provisional
agreement in secret talks on partial autonomy in occupied territories.
11th round of talks opened in Oslo, Norway with Israel's announcement
of an agreement on Palestinian self-rule in the Gaza Strip and Jericho.
Just a week later, the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the Israeli
government agreed to recognize each other after 45 years of conflict.
The full series of agreements become known as the Oslo Accord.
September 13, 1993, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman
Yasser Arafat met and watched Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and PLO
official Abou Abbas formally sign the agreement reached at Oslo. President
Clinton, who presided over the signing, said, "Today marks a shining
moment of hope for the people of the Middle East; indeed, of the entire