The "Road Map" - Draft Three

(Ha'aretz) Aluf Benn - Draft three of the peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians made its way to Jerusalem this weekend through unofficial channels: A provision included in the latest draft stipulates that a Palestinian state can only be established "when the Palestinian people will have a leadership willing and able to establish practicing democracy based on tolerance and liberty. With such reformed civil institutions and security structure, the Palestinian leadership will have the active support of the Quartet and the broad international community to establish an independent viable state." Under the new version, in the transition phase the Palestinian state will not have full sovereignty but only "certain attributes of sovereignty." A change to which Israel objects refers to the Saudi peace initiative as one of the sources from which the road map draws its authority. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has adamantly opposed this reference because the Saudi initiative calls for an Israeli withdrawal to the borders of June 4, 1967. The previous version said only that the parties should make special consideration of the Saudi initiative. The new version omits a requirement that Israel should discontinue military operations in populated areas. The Palestinians are called on not only to "dismantle" terrorist infrastructure but also to "confront" anyone involved in terrorist activity. The Palestinians are required to collect unauthorized weapons in the very first stage of implementation of the plan. In the first draft, the Palestinians were only required to make a statement condemning terrorism and to reform their security agencies. The new version calls on the Arab countries to fully normalize their relations with Israel at the end of the process.

2002-12-23 00:00:00

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