JERUSALEM (Sep. 1)
New details of the Israeli-Palestinian declaration of principles approved by the Israeli Cabinet earlier this week have emerged, following the publication of the full text of the agreement by the Israeli daily newspaper Yediot Achronot.
Following are some of the accord’s key elements:
Within two months after the declaration of principles goes into effect, the two sides will conclude an agreement on the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank town of Jericho.
The actual withdrawal of Israeli troops will be completed within four months of the signing of that agreement.
The withdrawal agreement will include provisions for a “smooth and peaceful transfer of authority” from the Israeli military government and Civil Administration to Palestinian authorities.
Once Israeli troops have withdrawn from Gaza and Jericho, a five-year transition period will begin in the administered territories.
As part of an interim agreement, Israel will begin granting the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip authority to administer such areas as health, education, social welfare, tourism and taxation.
It will also enable the Palestinians to create and maintain a strong local police force, to be recruited locally and from abroad — including Palestinians holding Jordanian or Egyptian documents.
The two parties will establish a joint Israeli-Palestinian Liaison Committee “to deal with issues requiring coordination, other issues of common interest, and disputes.”
Authority will eventually be turned over to a Palestinian self-governing council, whose members will be elected in a referendum throughout the territories within nine months after the declaration of principles is signed.
Palestinian residents of eastern Jerusalem will be allowed to vote in those elections, which will be held “under agreed supervision and international observation.”
But the self-governing arrangement itself will apply only to the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Discussion of such issues as the final status of the territories, Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees and Jewish settlements in the territories will begin no later than at the start of the third year of the transition period.