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Geneva Accord

From Academic Kids

This article is about the proposal for peace between Israel and Palestine. There was also a Geneva Accord that concerned Vietnam, other Geneva Conventions and other Geneva Conferences.

The Draft Permanent Status Agreement, better known as the Geneva Accord or Geneva Initiative, is an extra-governmental and therefore unofficial peace proposal meant to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It would give Palestinians almost all of the West Bank and Gaza Strip and part of Jerusalem, drawing Israel's borders close to what existed before the 1967 war. In return for removing most of the Israeli settlements in those areas, the Palestinians would limit their "right of return" to Israel to a number specified by Israel and will drop all other claims and demands from Israel.

The Accord was officially launched on December 1, 2003 at a ceremony in Geneva. Amongst its creators are Israeli politician Yossi Beilin, one of the architects of the Oslo accords, and former Palestinian Authority minister Yasser Abed Rabbo. Both noted that the Geneva accord doesn't oblige any of their respective governments, even though Abed Rabbo was a minister at the time of the signing.

Contents

The Accord Content

Main Concepts

The main concept of the agreement is the establishment of a Palestinian state on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in reply for Palestinian recognition of the state of Israel as the rightful homeland of the Jewish people. The agreement puts an end to mutual claims, so that, after its signing, the conflict officially ends.

Further, the agreement obliges the Palestinians to cease all kinds of violence against Israel, including terrorism and incitement; and states that all illegal armed groups must be disarmed and disbanded.

Refugees Issue

There is disagreement over the degree to which the Accord would oblige Israel to accept Palestinian refugees. The relevant text of the Accord is Article 7, section 4.c:

Option iv [Israel as a permanent place of residence] shall be at the sovereign discretion of Israel and will be in accordance with a number that Israel will submit to the International Commission. This number shall represent the total number of Palestinian refugees that Israel shall accept. As a basis, Israel will consider the average of the total numbers submitted by the different third countries to the International Commission.

Some claim that this would not oblige Israel to accept any refugees, while others claim that it would oblige Israel to accept some.

The issue of the number of refugees moving to Israel may be of limited importance. Only 10% of Palestinian refugees would choose to live within Israel. 54% would choose to live within a Palestinian state. These results were published, in a survey by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (http://pcpsr.org/), on 18 July 2003. [1] (http://pcpsr.org/survey/polls/2003/refugeesjune03.html#behavior)

Territory and Israeli Settlement

Palestinians will recover most of the territory captured during the 1967 war by Israel. Israel will annex several densely populated areas near the Green Line (such as Gush Etzion, Maale Adumim which will be connected to Jerusalem via a road that would be annexed as well, similar to the situation of Mount Scopus after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War). Other cities (such as Ariel), communities, such as Hebron, and settlements will be removed and their residents will be transferred. In return for areas annexed by Israel from the West Bank, the Palestinians will receive territory adjacent to the Gaza Strip.

Support

Official support for the agreement is quite low. The government of Israel rejected it outright while the main opposition party, the Labour Party, neither endorsed nor rejected it, and in fact failed to make any official response. On the Palestinian side, acceptance was only slightly warmer.

As of December 2003, the vast majority (78%) of Palestinians are unfamiliar with the details of the Geneva Accords, even though the full text was published in both the al Ayyam and al Quds newspapers. A majority of Palestinians disagree with the document regarding its central concepts (withdrawal, statehood, Jerusalem, refugees, and ending the conflict). [2] (http://pcpsr.org/survey/polls/2003/p10b.html)

Among Israelis there is much greater awareness to the accord's content and it was debated hotly in the Israeli press. Public support of the agreement is about the 30% according to radio polls.

Funding for the promotion of the Geneva Accords (which one unofficial source put at $8 million) has been provided by the some foreign countries and by private donors. The main donor countries were Switzerland, some other European countries, and Japan. No official funding information has been made public. On the Israeli side, most of the funding was used for distribution of a copy of the entire text to "every household in Israel".

The main organizations working on behalf of the Geneva Accords are Heskem (Geneva Initiative-Israel) on the Israeli side and their Palestinian counterpart Palestine Peace Coalition/Geneva Initiative (PPC/GI).

Arab-Israeli peace diplomacy and treaties

External links

de:Genfer Initiative he:יוזמת ז'נבה

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