1980: Venice Declaration
The Venice Declaration was produced by the nine member states of the European Community in June 1980 to articulate the basic EC position on peace negotiations. It called for recognition of Israel’s right to exist within secure borders, as well as recognition of the rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination. It also states that the nine EC states are ‘prepared to participate within the framework of a comprehensive settlement.’
1982: Israeli proposal for self-governing authority in the West Bank and Gaza
In accordance with the Camp David Accords, Israel proposed a plan for the establishment of a self-governing authority (administrative council) that would be comprised of one body representing Palestinian Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza. The plan envisioned that this body would be chosen through free elections, thereby giving the Palestinians their first elected representative body in accordance with their own wishes and free choice, that would be able to carry out the functions assigned to it as an administrative council.
1989: Baker’s Five Point Plan
US secretary of state James Baker presented a plan intended to bring together Israeli and Palestinian delegations to discuss elections and the negotiating process as set out in Israel’s initiative.
1989: Israeli Peace Initiative calling for a negotiation process
Israel’s national unity government (Labour and Likud coalition) presented a document of principles for a political initiative that would deal with the continuation of the peace process, the termination of the state of war with the Arab states, the situation for the Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza, peace with Jordan and a way to handle the situation of the residents of the refugee camps in the West Bank and Gaza.
1991: Madrid Peace Framework
In the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War, US president George Bush Sr. and US secretary of state James Baker organised the Madrid Conference, in collaboration with Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev. It was attended by Israel, Syria, Lebanon and a joint Palestinian-Jordanian delegation. The opening of the three-day conference inaugurated two separate yet parallel negotiating tracks – the bilateral track (meant to resolve bilateral conflicts) and the multilateral track (intended to shape the future Middle East and build confidence among the regional parties). For the first time, Israel entered into direct, face-to-face negotiations with Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and the Palestinians. Today’s Middle East peace negotiations are carried out within the structure of the Madrid Framework.
1993: Declaration of Principles (Oslo I)
The Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements (the DOP, also known as Oslo I), signed by prime minister Rabin and chairman Arafat on the White House Lawn on13 September 1993, outlined a framework for the transfer of self-governing authority to the Palestinians. The DOP called for (1) a staged Israeli withdrawal from two areas, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank town of Jericho, (2) the creation of a Palestinian Authority to govern Palestinians in those areas until the election of a governing council to conduct affairs for five years whilst a permanent settlement was negotiated, (3) the creation of a Palestinian police force, and (4) Israeli control over external security and foreign relations and Palestinian control over domestic affairs during the five-year interim period. Permanent status negotiations were to commence by the beginning of third year of the interim period. The agreement on contentious issues – Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, security arrangements, borders, relations and cooperation with other neighbours, and other issues of common interest – were to be resolved in permanent status negotiations, reserved for discussion at a later stage.
1993: Israel-PLO Mutual Recognition
A few days before the signing of the Declaration of Principles, PLO chairman Yasser Arafat and Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin exchanged letters of mutual recognition. The PLO accepted Israel’s ‘right to exist in peace and security’ and renounced ‘the use of terrorism and other acts of violence.’ Israel recognised the PLO ‘as the representative of the Palestinian people.’