The ICG document on Middle East End Game

This term deals with a model for permanent agreement that was written by the International Crisis Group, an international NGO. The ICG suggests a package approach for resolving all the outstanding issues and ending the Israeli Palestinian conflict.

Definition

The term "The ICG Document on the Middle East End Game"1 (Hereinafter ICG Document) deals with a model for permanent agreement written by an international NGO. It suggests a package approach for resolving all outstanding historic issues and defines the principles of relations between Israel and a Palestinian State in Permanent Status.

Background

The International Crisis Group is an independent multi-national NGO that aims to prevent and resolve international conflicts. Its Middle East Program Director is Rob Malley who served as Special Assistant to President Clinton for Arab-Israeli Affairs. The ICG Document is one of the four best-known models for an agreement based on the package approach. The others are the Beilin-Abu Mazen Document (10/95), the Framework Agreement on Permanent Status (1/01)2 and the Geneva Initiative (10/03).

The ICG Document is one of three agreements by the organization that suggests a comprehensive resolution to the Arab - Israeli conflict. The other documents were published simultaneously and were intended for the parties involved and the international community.

The document is comprised of two parts: the first part describes a detailed bilateral Israeli - Palestinian agreement. The second part describes a multilateral supporting agreement involving the Quartet (US, EU, UN and Russia) as well as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

The guiding principles of the document are: Greater US and international involvement, Israel maintaining some settlements with a territorial exchange according to a ratio of 1:1, and no comprehensive Palestinian right of return to Israeli territory.

Agreement's Content: First Part: Bilateral Israeli - Palestinian Agreement

  • Territory - Israel will withdraw from the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Settlement blocs making up no more than 4% will be annexed to Israel and a territorial exchange from within the Green Line will take place on the basis of a ratio of 1:1. The Palestinians will receive a Safe Passage between Gaza and the West Bank.

  • Security - The Palestinian State will be non - militarized. There will be joint cooperation against terrorism. Israel will keep three early warning stations within the Palestinian state. The Israeli air force will be able to train within Palestinian air space under certain conditions.

  • Jerusalem - Jerusalem will be divided and serve as the capital city for two states. Sovereignty over the Old City and Holy Places will be divided between the two sides or transferred to an agreed upon international protectorate.

  • Refugees - Both sides will agree that UN Resolution 194 will be satisfied by Palestinian refugees receiving financial compensation and resettlement assistance; having the choice between relocation to Palestine, relocation to lands within Israel proper that will be swapped with the state of Palestine, relocation to third countries or rehabilitation in host countries; and returning to Israel on the basis of family reunification and humanitarian programs. There will be no comprehensive right of return to Israel.

  • End of Conflict and Finality of Claims - The agreement is intended to lead to the Finality of Claims that stem from the historic conflict and therefore to an end of conflict.

Agreement's Content: Second Part: Multi-Lateral Agreement

  • Multilateral force - A multilateral force will be responsible for the perimeter of the Palestinian state and supervise the implementation of the agreement.

  • Jerusalem - There will be an international presence in Jerusalem, regardless of whether sovereignty is divided or an international protectorate is agreed.

  • Refugees - A special international commission on refugees will supervise the implementation of the resolution to the problem and the mechanism of compensation.

  • Economics - International involvement in rehabilitating the Palestinian economy.

1 Middle East Endgame II: How A Comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian Peace Settlement Would Look, Middle East Report N°3, 16 July 2002

2 Sher Gilead, Within Reach: The Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations 1999-2001, Routledge, 2006.