Permanent Status Agreement

This term refers to an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, which includes a format for Finality of Claims and End of Conflict and brings about to establishment of a Palestinian state.

Definition

The term, Permanent Status Agreement, refers to an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, which addresses, at least the following issues:

  1. A format for Finality of Claims originating from the historic conflict such as permanent borders, settlements, Jerusalem, resolution of the refugee issue, and security arrangements;
  2. Attainment of an End of Conflict;
  3. End of the State of Occupation in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and the Gaza Strip as defined in international law; establishment of a Palestinian state; establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and the Palestinian state.

Background

The first reference to the concept of Permanent Status Agreement was in UN Resolution 194, which calls for final settlement of all questions outstanding.1 The need to reach a Permanent Status Agreement was reestablished in UN Resolutions 242 and 338 (10/67 and 11/73, respectively).

The Framework for Peace in the Middle East in the 1978 Camp David Accords provided for a two-phased approach for reaching a Permanent Status Agreement. In the first phase a Palestinian Self-Governing Authority would be for an Interim Period of about 5 years. No later than the third year of the interim period, negotiations on the Permanent Status Agreement would begin.2This format was adopted by Israel and the PLO in the Declaration of Principles (9/93) (Oslo A)3 and became the agreed framework for the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians known as the Oslo Process.4 Through the Taba Talks (1/01), negotiations were conducted using the framework of the Oslo process referred to above.

Negotiations on the Permanent Status Agreement began in May 1996 under the Peres Government and were stopped immediately thereafter.5

Another round of negotiations on the Permanent Status Agreement was held between 11/99 and 1/01 under the Barak Government. The Sharm el Sheikh Memorandum6 (9/99) stipulating that the Permanent Status Agreement would include two components7:

  1. A Framework Agreement on Permanent Status (FAPS) to be concluded by Feb. 13, 2000;
  2. A Comprehensive Agreement on Permanent Status (CAPS) to be based on the FAPS and be concluded by Sep. 13, 2000.

This effort peaked with the 2000 Camp David Summit (7/00), the Clinton Ideas (12/2000) and the Taba Talks (1/01).

The four best known models for A Permanent Status Agreement based on the Oslo process framework, i.e. a Permanent Status Agreement leading to the establishment of a Palestinian state, are the Beilin-Abu Mazen Document (10/95), the Israeli Draft Permanent Status Agreement (1/01)8, the ICG Document on Middle East End Game (7/02)9, and the Geneva Initiative (10/03).

The Roadmap (4/03), adopted by Israel and the Palestinians, outlines a framework for achieving a Permanent Status Agreement that is opposite to the Oslo Process. The second phase of the Roadmap calls for a Palestinian State with Provisional Borders to be established in an Interim Phase.10 The third phase of the Road Map discusses the signing and implementation of a Permanent Status Agreement in order to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, after which Permanent Status will be established.11



1 See Article 5 of Resolution 194 of the General Assembly of the United Nations, December 11, 1948.

2 See the preamble to the Accords.

3 See Article I – Aim of the Negotiations.

4 Significant milestones in the process include the Declaration of Principles (9/93) (Oslo A), Gaza-Jericho Agreement (5/94), Interim Agreement (9/95) (Oslo B), The Wye River Memorandum (10/98), The Sharm el Sheikh Memorandum (9/99), 2000 Camp David Summit (7/00), Clinton Ideas (12/00), and the Taba Talks (1/01).

5 The Interim Agreement set the target date for start of negotiations on the permanent status settlement as May 4, 1996. These negotiations did, in fact, begin officially on the stipulated date, but were stopped due to the elections held in May 1996.

6 For the main points of the memorandum.

7 See Sher Gilad, Just Beyond Reach: Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations 1999-2001 – A Testimony, Tel Aviv: Miskal, 2001, p. 56.

8 Ibid, pp. 419-444.

9 See an ICG document titled, “Middle End-Game II: How a Comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian Peace Settlement Would Look”, July 16, 2002.

10 See Grinstein Gideon, Follow the Roadmap to Palestine, Forward, November 15, 2002.

11 See Third Phase of the Roadmap.

More Sources
To review a chronology of the peace process, see the Web site of the Foreign Ministry of Israel. To read about the underlying logic of the Oslo process, see:
  • Hirshfeld Yair: Oslo: A Formula for Peace, Tel Aviv: Am Oved, 2000;
  • Savir Uri, The Process: Behind the Scenes of a Historic Decision, Tel Aviv: Yedioth Aharonoth/Hemed, 1998.

For criticism of the Oslo process, see

  • Begin Benny, Sad Story, Tel Aviv: Miskal, 2000.
For information about the negotiations on the Permanent Status Agreement under the Barak Government (1999-2001), see:
  • Sher Gilad, Just Beyond Reach: Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations 1999-2001 – A Testimony, Tel Aviv: Miskal;
  • Ben-Ami Shlomo, A Front without A Rearguard – A Voyage to the Boudaries of the Peace Process, Tel Aviv, MIskal, 2004;
  • Edelist Ran, Ehud Barak: Fighting the Demons, Or Yehuda: Kinneret, 2003.