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Quartet Roadmap to Israeli-Palestinian Peace
April 30, 2003

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Apparently on the initiative of Israel, the Bush administration began to float the idea of a roadmap, a detailed and interlocked schedule of conditions and events that would break the Palestinian-Israeli impasse, end the violence and lead to a peace settlement. The outlines of this idea were contained in a speech given by President Bush in 2002.  The Israeli government had in mind a specific set of idea, but as the roadmap took shape, it changed its character. The US undertook the roadmap as a joint US and European initiative. Representatives from the European Union, the United Nations, and Russia formed a group known as the "The Quartet,"  which began to shape international policy toward resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  The Quartet issued a statement below regarding a road map for peace on September 17, 2002 that has since undergone several revisions. The program is an outline that is evolving over time. Palestinians and Israelis have greeted each version with various reservations. At present writing  there is evidence of the beginnings of Palestinian compliance with roadmap provision, in the choice of a Prime Minister, but no evidence except promises from Ariel Sharon that Israel is going to go along with the plan. The Israeli government in fact, has many reservations about the road map. In October, President Bush issued his version of a more detailed roadmap, based on Israeli and Palestinian input.

Following the Iraq war in the spring of 2003, pressure mounted on the USA to release a new version of the Roadmap for Palestinian-Israeli and Arab peace, as decided by the Quartet. The US insisted that the roadmap must be accepted as is. Israel asked for specific changes in the roadmap. The document was not published for quite some time, despite the pressure of the EU and the British. Under pressure from Israel, Americans insisted they would not release the document until the Palestinians had chosen and installed in office a Prime Minister, to begin the work of reform.

The official text of the latest version of the roadmap was announced on April 30, and published with the date of May 1, following the elections of Mahmud Abbas (Abu Mazen) as PM of the Palestinian Authority. Abu Mazen pledged to end terror and chaos and to work for a negotiated peace.

Missing from the roadmap, which places a great emphasis on compliance, are any objective criteria for compliance or non-compliance, and any mention of consequences that would ensue if one side or another would not comply. For example, what is the criterion for deciding if the following is fulfilled:

As has been noted, this goal can be achieved when the Palestinian people have a leadership acting decisively against terror, willing and able to build a practicing democracy based on tolerance and liberty.


If terror attacks continue, what is the criterion for deciding that the Palestinian leadership acted "decisively" against them? If on the other hand, Israel does not dismantle settlements, what will happen? Therefore, the roadmap may be criticized, and may fail, for the same reasons as the Oslo accords - many words, with no mechanism to enforce the agreement.

The Palestinian Authority accepted the roadmap, but so far has not implemented key provisions such as combating terror effectively (May 2005). The Israeli government accepted the roadmap, but with fourteen reservations and has likewise not implemented key undertakings of its own for Phase I, especially the freeze on settlement activity and removal of illegal outposts (detailed in the Sasson Report on illegal outposts).

Ami Isseroff

Israeli Reservations on the Middle East Peace Roadmap -
Commentary on the Roadmap: 
: No Illusions
Inaugural Speech of Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmud Abbas

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The following is a performance-based and goal driven roadmap, with clear phases, timelines, target dates, and benchmarks aiming at progress through reciprocal steps by the two parties in the political, security, economic, humanitarian, and institution-building fields, under the auspices of the Quartet. The destination is a final and comprehensive settlement of the Israel-Palestinian conflict by 2005, as presented in President Bush's speech of 24 June, and welcomed by the EU, Russia, and the UN in the 16 July and 17 September Quartet Ministerial statements.

A two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will only be achieved through an end to violence and terrorism, when the Palestinian people have a leadership acting decisively against terror and willing able to build a practicing democracy based on tolerance and liberty, and through Israeli's readiness to do what is necessary for a democratic Palestinian state to be established, and a clear, unambiguous acceptance by both parties of the goal of a negotiated settlement as described below. The Quartet will assist and facilitate implementation of the plan, starting in Phase I, including direct discussions between the parties as required. The plan establishes a realistic timeline for implementation. However, as a performance-based plan, progress will require and depend upon the good faith efforts of the parties, and their compliance with each of the obligations outlined below. Should the parties perform their obligations rapidly, progress within and through the phases may come sooner than indicated in the plan. Non-compliance with obligations will impede progress.

A settlement, negotiated between the parties, will result in the emergence of an independent, democratic, and viable Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbors. The settlement will resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict, and end the occupation that began in 1967, based on the foundations on the Madrid Conference, the principle of land for peace, UNSCRs 242, 338 and 1397, agreements previously reached by the parties, and the initiative of Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah - endorsed by the Beirut Arab League Summit - calling for acceptance of Israel as a neighbor living in peace and security, in the context of a comprehensive settlement. This initiative is a vital element of international efforts to promote a comprehensive peace on all tracks, including the Syrian-Israeli and Lebanese-Israeli tracks.

The Quartet will meet regularly at senior levels to evaluate the parties' performance on implementation of the plan. In each phase, the parties are expected t perform their obligations in parallel, unless otherwise indicated.


In Phase I. the Palestinians immediately undertake and unconditional cessation of violence according to the steps outlined below; such action should be accompanied by supportive measures undertaken by Israel. Palestinians and Israelis resume security cooperation based on the Tenet work plan to end violence, terrorism, and incitement through restructured and effective Palestinian security services. Palestinian undertake comprehensive political reform in preparation for statehood, including drafting a Palestinian constitution, and free, fair and open elections upon the basis of those measures. Israel takes all necessary steps to help normalize Palestinian life. Israel withdraws from Palestinian areas occupied from September 28, 2000 and the two sides restore the status quo that existed at that time, as security performance and cooperation progress. Israel also freezes all settlement activity, consistent with the Mitchell report.

At the outset of Phase I:

* Palestinian leadership issues unequivocal statement reiterating Israel's right to exist in peace and security and calling for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire to end armed activity and all acts of violence against Israelis anywhere. All official Palestinian institutions end incitement against Israel.

* Israeli leadership issues unequivocal statement affirming its commitments to the two-state vision of an independent, viable, sovereign Palestinian state living in peace and security alongside Israel, as expressed by President Bush, and calling for an immediate end to violence against Palestinian everywhere. All official Israeli institutions end incitement against Palestinians.


* Palestinians declare an unequivocal end to violence and terrorism and undertake visible efforts on the ground to arrest, disrupt, and restrain individuals and groups conduction and planning violent attacks on Israelis anywhere.

* Rebuilt and refocused Palestinian Authority security apparatus begins sustained, targeted, and effective operations aimed at confronting all those engaged in terror and dismantlement of terrorist capabilities and infrastructure. This includes commencing confiscation of illegal weapons and consolidation of security authority, free of association with terror and corruption.

* GOI takes no actions undermining trust, including deportations, attack on civilians; confiscation and/or demolition of Palestinian homes and property, as a punitive measure or to facilitate Israeli construction; destruction of Palestinian institutions and infrastructure; and other measures specified in the Tenet Work Plan.

* Relying on existing mechanisms and on-the ground resources, Quartet representatives begin informal monitoring and consult with the parties on establishment of a formal monitoring mechanism and its implementation.

*Implementation, as previously agreed, of U.S. rebuilding, training and resumed security cooperation plan in collaboration with outside oversight board (U.S. - Egypt - Jordan). Quartet support for efforts to achieve a lasting, comprehensive cease-fire.

* All Palestinian security organizations are consolidated into three services reporting to an empowered Interior Minister.

* Restructured/retained Palestinian security forces and IDF counterparts progressively resume security cooperation and other undertakings in implementation of the Tenet work plan, including regular senior-level meetings, with the participation of U.S. security officials.

* Arab states cut off public and private funding and all other forms of support for groups supporting and engaging in violence and terror.

* All donors providing budgetary support for the Palestinians channel these funds through the Palestinian Ministry of Finance's Single Treasury Account.
As comprehensive security performance moves forward, IDF withdraws progressively from areas occupied since September 28, 2000 and the two sides restore the status quo that existed prior to September 28, 2000. Palestinian security forces redeploy to areas vacated by IDF.

Palestinian Institution-building

* Immediate action on credible process to produce draft constitution for Palestinian statehood. As rapidly as possible, constitutional committee circulates draft Palestinian constitution, based on strong parliamentary democracy and cabinet with empowered prime minister, for public comment/debate. Constitutional committee proposes draft document for submission after elections for approval by appropriate Palestinian institutions.

* Appointment of interim prime minister or cabinet with empowered executive authority/decision-making body.

* GOI fully facilitates travel of Palestinian officials for PLC and Cabinet sessions, internationally supervised security retraining, electoral and other reform activity, and other supportive measures related to the reform efforts.

* Continued appointment of Palestinian ministers empowered to undertake fundamental reform. Completion of further steps to achieve genuine separation of powers, including any necessary Palestinian legal reforms for this purpose.

* Establishment of independent Palestinian election commission. PLC reviews and revises elections law.
Palestinian performance on judicial, administrative, and economic benchmarks, as established by the International Task Force on Palestinian Reform.

* As early as possible, and based upon the above measures and in the context of open debate and transparent candidate selection/electoral campaign based on a free, multiparty process, Palestinians hold free, open, and fair elections.

* GOI facilitates Task Force election assistance, registration of voters, movement of candidates and voting officials. Support for NGOs involved in the election process.

* GOI reopens Palestinian Chamber of Commerce and other closed Palestinian institutions in East Jerusalem based on a commitment that these institutions operate strictly in accordance with prior agreements between the parties.

Humanitarian Response

* Israel takes measures to improve the humanitarian situation. Israel and Palestinians implement in full all recommendations of the Bertini report to improve humanitarian conditions, lifting curfews, and easing restrictions on movement of persons and goods, and allowing full, safe, and unfettered access of international and humanitarian personnel.

* AHLC reviews the humanitarian situation and prospects for economic development in the West Bank and Gaza and launches a major donor assistance effort, including to the reform effort.

* GOI and PA continue revenue clearance process and transfer of funds, including arrears, in accordance with agreed, transparent monitoring mechanism.

Civil Society

* Continued donor support, including increased funding through PVOs/NGOs, for people to people programs, private sector development and civil society initiatives.


* GOI immediately dismantles settlement outposts erected since March 2001.

* Consistent with the Mitchell Report, GOI freezes all settlement activity (including natural growth of settlements).


In the second phase, efforts are focused on the option of creating an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders and attributes of sovereignty, based on the new constitution, as a way station to a permanent status settlement. As has been noted, this goal can be achieved when the Palestinian people have a leadership acting decisively against terror, willing and able to build a practicing democracy based on tolerance and liberty. With such a leadership, reformed civil institutions and security structures, the Palestinians will have the active support of the Quartet and the broader international community in establishing an independent, viable, state.

Progress into Phase II will be based upon the consensus judgment of the Quartet of whether conditions are appropriate to proceed, taking into account performance of both parties. Furthering and sustaining efforts to normalize Palestinian lives and build Palestinian institutions, Phase II starts after Palestinian elections and ends with possible creation of an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders in 2003. Its primary goals are continued comprehensive security performance and effective security cooperation, continued normalization of Palestinian life and institution-building, further building on and sustaining of the goals outlined in Phase I, ratification of a democratic Palestinian constitution, formal establishment of office of prime minister, consolidation of political reform, and the creation of a Palestinian state with provisional borders.

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE: Convened by the Quartet, in consultation with the parties, immediately after the successful conclusion of Palestinian elections, to support Palestinian economic recovery and launch a process, leading to establishment of an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders.

* Such a meeting would be inclusive, based on the goal of a comprehensive Middle East peace (including between Israel and Syria, and Israel and Lebanon), and based on the principles described in the preamble to this document.

* Arab states restore pre-intifada links to Israel (trade offices, etc.).

* Revival of multilateral engagement on issues including regional water resources, environment, economic development, refugees, and arms control issues.

* 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.

* Empowered reform cabinet with office of prime minister formally established, consistent with draft constitution.
Continued comprehensive security performance, including effective security cooperation on the bases laid out in Phase I.

* Creation of an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders through a process of Israeli-Palestinian engagement. Launched by the international conference. As part of this process, implementation of prior agreements, to enhance maximum territorial contiguity, including further action on settlements in conjunction with establishment of a Palestinian state with provisional borders.

* Enhanced international role in monitoring transition, with the active, sustained, and operational support of the Quartet.

* Quartet members promote international recognition of Palestinian state, including possible UN membership.


Progress into Phase III, based on consensus judgment of Quartet, and taking into account actions of both parties and Quartet monitoring. Phase III objectives are consolidation of reform and stabilization of Palestinian institutions, sustained, effective Palestinian security performance, and Israeli-Palestinian negotiations aimed at a permanent status agreement in 2005.

SECOND INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE: Convened by Quartet, in consultation with the parties, at beginning of 2004 to endorse agreement reached on an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders and formally to launch a process with the active, sustained, and operational support of the Quartet, leading to a final, permanent status resolution in 2005, including on borders, Jerusalem, refugees, settlements; and, to support progress toward a comprehensive Middle East settlement between Israel and Lebanon and Israel and Syria, to be achieved as soon as possible.

* Continued comprehensive, effective progress on the reform agenda laid out by the Task Force in preparation for final status agreement. Continued sustained and effective security performance, and sustained, effective security cooperation on the basis laid out in Phase I. International efforts to facilitate reform and stabilize Palestinian institutions and the Palestinian economy, in preparation for final status agreement.

* Parties reach final and comprehensive permanent status agreement that ends the Israel - Palestinian conflict in 2005, through a settlement negotiated between the parties based on UNSCR 242, 338, and 1397, that ends the occupation that began in 1967, and includes an agreed, just, fair, and realistic solution to the refugee issue, and a negotiated resolution on the status of Jerusalem that takes into account the political and religious concerns of both sides, and protects the religious interests of Jews, Christians, and Muslims worldwide, and fulfills the vision of two states, Israel and sovereign, independent, democratic and viable Palestine, living side-by-side in peace and security.

* Arab state acceptance of full normal relations with Israel and security for all the states of the region in the context of a compressive Arab-Israeli peace.



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