"Permanent Status"

This concept relates to a reality in which a Permanent Status Agreement has been signed and action has been taken to implement it.

Definition

The concept of Permanent Status relates to a reality in which a Permanent Status Agreement has been signed and action has been taken to implement it, including, at the very least, the following elements:

  1. An end of the State of Occupation of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and the Gaza Strip as defined by international law; the establishment of a Palestinian state; establishment of relations between Israel and the Palestinian state (which can range from peace to conflict);
  2. A path to End of Conflict and to Finality of Claims which emanate from the historic conflict;
  3. Permanent Borders were delineated.

Background

The first reference to Permanent Status is: “…final settlement of all questions outstanding…” – appeared in UN Resolution 194.1 The concept of Permanent Status was further shaped in the 1978 Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt and throughout the Oslo Process2 until the Taba Talks in (1/2001), and recently in the Roadmap (4/2003).

According to all of the agreements and documents listed above, a Permanent Status Agreement that is signed by Israel and the Palestinians should set forth the principles of the Permanent Status.

The best known models for a Permanent Status Agreement are the Israeli Draft Permanent Status Agreement3, the Geneva Initiative and the ICG Document on Middle East End Game.4

The Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt (1978) included a Framework for Peace in the Middle East, which provides for an Interim Status of about five years that will determines the final status of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, as well as the permanent relations between the State of Israel and the Palestinians.5

Based on Camp David 1978, the Declaration of Principles (Oslo A), between Israel and the PLO (9/93), provided for an Interim Status of five years starting on May 4, 1994. It was also determined that negotiations for the Permanent Status agreement would take place as of the third year of the Interim Period i.e. May 4, 1996.6

The Roadmap sets the final goal of the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians as the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, which will be achieved after an end is put to Palestinian violence and terror against Israel. The third phase in this plan discusses the implementation of the Permanent Status Agreement and the end of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The final result of this phase will actually be the Permanent Status.7



1 See Article 5 of Resolution 194 of the General Assembly of the United Nations, Dec. 11, 1948.
2 Significant milestones in the Oslo Process include the Declaration of Principles (9/93), Gaza-Jericho Agreement (5/94), Interim Agreement (9/95) (Oslo B), The Wye River Memorandum (10/98), The Sharm el Sheikh Memorandum (9/99), Camp David Summit 2000 (7/00), Clinton Ideas (12/00), and the Taba Talks (1/01).
3 See Sher, Gilad, Just Beyond Reach: Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations 1999-2001 – A Testimony, Tel Aviv: Maskal, 2001, pg. 419-444.
6 These negotiations did, in fact, begin officially on the stipulated date, but were stopped due to the elections held in 5/1996.
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