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Politics and Economy:
War and Peace in the Middle East
More on This Story:
Timeline and Peace Plans

Israelis and Palestinians are close to an all-out war. Palestinians have changed tactics to inflict casualties using rifles and mortars. Israel has sent tanks and helicopter gunships to Palestinian neighborhoods in one of the biggest assaults in decades. In the last week the situation has changed so rapidly that news organizations and foreign affairs experts can hardly keep up. Below is a round up of significant changes.

This Week in the Middle East
3/11/02: Israel lifts ban on travel for Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat
3/11/02: Israel sends over 20,000 troops into occupied territories, biggest force in 20 years.
3/12/02: UN Secretary Kofi Annan asks Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Arafat to lead their people away from "disaster." Read the speech.
3/12/02: President Bush sends peace envoy Anthony Zinni back to the Middle East.
3/13/02: Two hard-line Israeli cabinet ministers resign over Sharon's reported decision to consider negotiating without a ceasefire.
3/13/02: The UN Security Council passes resolution 1397. It calls for a world where two States, Israel and Palestine, "live side by side within secure and recognized borders." Read the complete resolution.
3/13/02: President Bush calls the Israeli military action "not helpful."
3/14/02: Sharon announces phased withdrawal from West Bank city of Ramallah.
3/14/02: Palestinian National Authority states it will not negotiate until all troops have left the Palestinian territories.
Death toll since 9/2000: Since the escalated violence began 17 months ago, the numbers stand at approximately 1,300. The count changes daily. The ratio of Palestinian deaths to Israeli is now about 3:1.
Death toll in last 30 days: Over 200 to date.

The Peace Plans: The escalating violence has left many wondering the history of peace plan initiatives.

  • U.N. Resolution 1397: Although not a peace plan as such, the Security Council resolution calls for both an immediate ceasefire and the development of two states in the area. The resolution is the first such two-state plan to be sponsored by the United States. Read the complete resolution.
  • Saudi Prince Abdullah's Plan: The text of the plan has yet to be formally announced, however, this variation on the "land for peace" plan has received the support of the the Gulf States and many other nations. The plan reportedly calls for an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and it offers restoration of relations with Israel by prominent Arab nations. However, the plan appears to make no mention of the situation of Palestinian refugees.
  • Tenet Work Plan/Mitchell Report: In May 2001, the U.S.-sponsored Mitchell Commission called for an immediate ceasefire, to be followed by confidence building measures and ultimately by renewed peace negotiations. Mitchell. The Mitchell Report also calls for a freeze on expansion of Jewish settlements in the Occupied Territories. The Tenet Plan, drafted by former C.I.A. director George Tenet, took effect on June 13, 2001. U.N. Resolution 1397 calls for a return to the agreements on security outlined in both these plans. Read the Tenet plan.
For an in-depth history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict please visit the timeline at the POV Promises Web site.
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