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The Israeli Camp David II Proposals for Final Settlement
July, 2000

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Between July 11-24, 2000, U.S. President Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and PNA Chairman Yasser Arafat, along with other officials and technical advisers met at Camp David in order to negotiate a final settlement of the Palestine-Israel conflict based on the Oslo accords. The negotiations ended in failure with a bland communique, since the sides could not agree about the issue of Jerusalem. The Palestinians demanded sovereignty over all of East Jerusalem including the Haram-As-Sharif (Temple Mount). It is not clear if there was agreement about the refugee issue either. Palestinians are now (February 2001) demanding full implementation of the right of return of the refugees, under UN Resolution 194.  Israel offered proposals regarding the settlement that were modified in subsequent negotiations. These were modified in various ways by U.S. bridging proposals. The details of the proposals are still secret at this time. Israel claims that they were far reaching and generous. The Palestinians have been claiming that the proposals would have perpetuated the precise situation of the interim agreements, in which the West Bank is divided into numerous small areas of Palestinian sovereignty interspersed with a much larger area of Israeli sovereignty.

The account below is gathered from various sources and is not official. It is believed to be correct at least in major points.

A note on areas and percentages: The total area of Israel and Palestine between the Jordan river and the sea is slightly over 10,000 square miles (26,000 sq km). The area of the entire West Bank is about 2,200 square miles while that of the Gaza strip is approximately 140 square miles. In reporting the proposals different sources give percentage values to designate the land area to be returned. The percentages vary. In part this depends on whether they include a large area surrounding Jerusalem, to be annexed by Israel according to the proposals, as part of the West Bank. This area may account for about 7% of the total area of the West bank. It is not clear how much of these reports represent the Israeli proposal from first-hand sources, how much are due to "leaks" from various sources, and how much reflect the American bridging proposals, which were not necessarily accepted by either side.

If you have additional or contradictory information and maps to contribute, we will be glad to post them.

Prior to the Camp David Summit, a map was published that gives an idea of the Israeli concessions and the approximate areas involved. However, the Israeli offer at Camp David included about 10% more land than is shown in the map, joining the two northern parts of Palestine. Click here to see the map (takes a while to download)!. Later maps prepared by the Palestinian Orient House team confirm the basic outline of the settlement detailed in this account and the earlier map, showing the West Bank divided into several enclaves with numerous tiny enclaves around Jerusalem. Click here to see the maps.

Note that whenever percentages of the West Bank land are given, the area does not include several percent that Israel considers to be part of Jerusalem, as well as the area of the Dead Sea.

On September 17, 2000, according to an AP story, Palestinians announced that they would no longer accept any settlement that did not include all the territory of the West Bank, and would be granted sovereignty over East Jerusalem including the Haram As Sharif (Temple Mount).

On November 16, 2,000, according to Israel radio, Israeli Foreign Minister Ben-Ami revealed that Israel had offered a limited form of sovereignty over the temple mount to a Muslim entity, rather than to the PNA.

Further negotiations with the Barak government and President Clinton, apparently resulted in these maps (click), prepared by pro-Palestinian sources, which do not substantially alter the proposals. It is interesting that rather than presenting a tight security border, the Israeli proposals provide a huge and tortuous frontier that would require extraordinary resources to patrol. The only reason one can surmise for such a frontier is a desire to keep isolated settlements under Israeli rule at all costs.

Documents reportedly submitted by Palestinian and Israeli negotiators at Taba in December 2000 and January 2001 reveal how far the sides remained on the question of refugees, despite agreement on many other issues.

The collapse of the Oslo Peace Process following the violence begun by Palestinians on September 28, 2000, and the subsequent election of hard-line Israeli PM Ariel Sharon, has given rise to a variety of analysis and comments based on recollections and rumors, concerning the nature of proposals.

Essentials of the Camp David II Proposals by Israel

1. Palestinian Statehood and Conditions

A Palestinian state would be established in most of the West Bank and all of the Gaza strip, with these conditions:

  • The state would not have an army with heavy weapons,
  • The state would not make alliances with other countries without Israeli approval and would not allow introduction of foreign forces west of the River Jordan.
  • Israel would be allowed deploy troops in the Jordan Valley if Israel were to be threatened by invasion from the east.
  • Israeli aircraft could overfly  Palestinian airspace.
  • Israeli would install early warning stations in the mountains overlooking the Jordan valley and other areas.
  • Palestinians would control border crossings with Jordan and Egypt along with Israeli security observation.
  • The Israelis would retain management over water sources in the West Bank while approving a limited quota to the Palestinians.
  • Israel would lease areas in the Jordan Valley or maintain temporary sovereignty over them for up to 25 years.

2. Refugees

The Palestine refugee problem would be solved in the following way:

  • Israel would not accept any legal or civilian responsibility for  their displacement.
  • Israel would allow the return of around 100,000 refugees under “humanitarian” grounds in the form of family reunions and considers such a step as compliance with UN Resolution 194.
  • According to one source, the Palestinian State would be limited in the number of refugees it could absorb to half a million refugees according to a fixed timetable. This is not confirmed by other sources and is problematic, since a much larger number of refugees, well over a million, already live in camps in Gaza and the West Bank.
  • An international fund would compensate refugees. Israel, the U.S. and Europe are to contribute. According to one source, this fund would also provide compensation to Jews who were forced to leave their possessions in Arab countries when they fled to Israel.

3. Jerusalem

Palestine would obtain sovereignty over suburbs in the north and the south of Jerusalem that would be annexed to the West Bank, including Abu Dees, Alezariye and eastern Sawahre.  

Within East Jerusalem, in  (Beit Hanina-Shuafat), there would be  a civilian administration affiliated with the Palestinian Authority with the possibility of linking it to West Jerusalem through a municipality covering both sectors. The Palestinians would run a branch municipality within the framework of the Israeli higher municipal council while depriving them from planning and construction jurisdictions.

The proposals allowed for Palestinian, Arab, Islamic and Christian administration of holy sites  in the old city of Jerusalem. The Palestinians would be allowed to hoist the Palestinian flag over the Islamic and Christian shrines along with a safe passage linking northern Jerusalem, which would be annexed to the West Bank, to those areas so that Palestinians and Muslims would not pass through lands under Israeli sovereignty.

4. Land Area of Palestine

The initial area of the Palestinian state would comprise about 73% of the land area of the West Bank and all of Gaza. The West Bank would be divided by the road from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea and a corridor on either side of it. This would form two relatively large Palestinian areas and one small enclave surrounding Jericho. The three areas would be joined by a free passage without checkpoints, but the safe passage could be closed by Israel in case of emergency. According to Palestinian sources, there would be another division between the area north of the Ariel and Shilo settlements along the trans-Shomron highway built by Israel.

In later stages (10-25 years) Israel would cede additional areas, particularly in the mountains overlooking the Jordan valley, to bring the total area to slightly under 90% of the area of the West Bank (94% excluding greater Jerusalem).

The major settlement blocks adjacent to Jerusalem and in the Jerusalem corridor would be annexed to Israel: Efrat, Gush Etzion, Ma'ale Edumim. The town of Ariel and the corridor along the trans-Samaria highway would be annexed to Israel. The Jewish settlement town of Qiriat Arba would remain under Israeli administration in the heart of Palestinian territory, with a single road through Palestinian territory reaching it from the south. Isolated Jewish settlements including the settlement in Hebron, would come under Palestinian jurisdiction and would probably be abandoned.

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