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Road sign to West Bank settlements
Politics and Economy:
The Road to the Road Map
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For the past three decades the United States and international entities have been endeavoring to bring a lasting peace to the Middle East. The latest endeavor is the Road Map to Peace, a joint effort of the United States, United Nations, the European Union and Russia. On June 4, 2003 President Bush met with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas to discuss implementation. The Road Map is an ambitious plan which calls for complete peace, and a separate Palestinian state by 2005.

Will this plan succeed where last decade's Oslo Accords and the more recent plans listed below failed? Time will tell. Keep track of progress with NOW's Middle East Watch resources.

The main tenets of the plan, which is divided into three implementation phases, are as follows:

Phase I, Immediate Action: Ending Terror And Violence, Normalizing Palestinian Life, and Building Palestinian Institutions
In this phase both Palestinians and Israelis are to "resume security cooperation based on the Tenet work plan" and certain elements of the Mitchell Plan. (Read more about these plans below.)


  • Commits to the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state
  • Ends violence against Palestinians
  • Withdraws from Palestinian areas and begin joint security operations
  • Dismantles settlement outposts created since March 2001
  • Freezes settlement activity;
  • Relax travel limits addresses other civil and humanitarian issues.

  • Commit to Israel's right to exist in peace
  • Declare an unequivocal end to violence and incitement against Israelis
  • Undertake visible efforts on the ground to arrest, disrupt, and restrain individuals and groups conducting and planning violent attacks on Israelis anywhere
  • Begin a credible immediate action on credible process to produce draft constitution for Palestinian statehood.
  • Appoints interim prime minister or cabinet with empowered executive authority/decision-making body. (The Appointment of Mahmoud Abbas fulfills this requirement.)

Phase II: Transition, June 2003-December 2003

In Phase II the sponsoring entities will evaluate progress made on the requirements of Phase I. If satisfied, an international convention to plan the implementation of a Palestinian state with provisional borders.

Additional Phase II Elements:

  • Establishments links and resume discussion on diplomatic, economic and environmental issues between Israel and Arab states.
  • New constitution for democratic, independent Palestinian state is finalized and approved by appropriate Palestinian institutions. Further elections, if required, should follow approval of the new constitution.
  • Sponsor promote international recognition of Palestinian state, including possible UN membership.
Phase III: Permanent Status Agreement and End of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, 2004 2005

Progress from Phase II will be evaluated, and if sufficient progress has been made another international conference will be organized. The mandate of the conference is to negotiate a formal end to the the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in 2005. The final agreement will include a Palestinian state with final borders. The conference will also be charged with determining the status of Jerusalem and finding "a just, fair, and realistic solution to the refugee issue." Full normal relations between Arab States and Israel are also slated to resume at this time.

Read the complete plan.

Previous 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 cease fire 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 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. Read more about the plan.
  • Tenet Work Plan/Mitchell Report: In May 2001, the U.S.-sponsored Mitchell Commission called for an immediate cease fire, to be followed by confidence building measures and ultimately by renewed peace negotiations. 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 earlier phases of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict please visit the timeline at the POV PROMISES Web site.

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