Geneva Accord launched

01 December 2003
The Geneva Accord peace plan, which aims to rival the internationally sponsored peace roadmap, was launched on 1 December in the Swiss capital. The accord was written after two years of secret negotiations between former senior officials from both sides, including former Israeli Justice Minister, Yossi Beilin, and former Palestinian Information Minister, Yasser Abed Rabbo. 'For the first time in more than a hundred years of conflict a detailed and comprehensive solution was agreed upon which settles the most critical issues of this conflict,' said a statement from the team responsible for the accord.

In summary, the plan outlines a final, lasting solution in which, 1) The Palestinians would give up the right of return in return for some form of compensation, 2) The Palestinians would recognise the Israeli state and get 97.5% of all the land occupied by Israel in the 1967 war, 3) The majority of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip would be dismantled, but Israel would be allowed to annex two settlements south and east of Jerusalem and a further 12 in East Jerusalem, 4) Jerusalem would be divided administratively, but not physically, 5)The Temple Mount (Haram al-Sherif) would be under Palestinian sovereignty and an international force would guard it and Israel would retain the Western Wall and the old Jewish quarter, 6) Jerusalem would become the capital of two states (MEED 28:11:03).

Some Israeli lawmakers have condemned the plan, saying that the new rival peace plan gives more away to the Palestinians than the the roadmap. 'The Geneva Initiative does not fit into the roadmap, therefore the Israeli Government considers the roadmap as the only basis for talks with the Palestinians,' Israeli Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz told state radio in late November.

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