Main Points of the
Declaration of Principles
September 13, 1993

The Declaration of Principles, signed by the PLO and Israel, contains a set of mutually agreed-upon general principles regarding the 5-year interim period of Palestinian self-rule. As such, the DOP defers permanent status issues to the permanent status negotiations, which will begin no later than the 3rd year of the interim period. The permanent status agreement reached in these negotiations will take effect after the 5-year interim period.

1. Transfer of Powers to the Palestinians:

The DOP features an agreement in principle regarding a transfer of power and responsibilities to the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, so they may have control over their own affairs.

2. The DOP does not Prejudge the Permanent Status:

The DOP specifically states that permanent status issues, such as Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, security arrangements and borders are to be excluded from the interim arrangements and that the outcome of the permanent status talks should not be prejudged or preempted by the interim arrangements. During this period, the Israeli government retains sole responsibility for foreign affairs, defense and borders. Israel’s position on Jerusalem remains unchanged. When the DOP was signed, Prime Minister Rabin stated that "Jerusalem is the ancient and eternal capital of the Jewish people." An undivided Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty, with religious freedom for all, is and remains a fundamental Israeli position.

3. Security Remains an Israeli Responsibility:

In the DOP, Israel and the PLO agree that during the interim period, Israel will remain responsible for security along the international borders and the crossing points to Egypt and Jordan. Israel will also retain responsibility for and the overall security of Israelis in the West Bank and Gaza, the Israeli settlements in those areas, and freedom of movement on roads.

4. Implementation of the DOP:

The Declaration of Principles establishes the following phases:

  1. Gaza-Jericho: Self-rule in the Gaza Strip and the Jericho area, including a withdrawal of Israeli forces from those areas, is to serve as a first step in the implementation of the DOP. The details of the Gaza-Jericho aspect of the DOP were negotiated and concluded in an agreement signed in Cairo between Israel and the PLO on May 4, 1994.

  2. Preparatory Transfer of Powers and Responsibilities: In the rest of the West Bank, five specific spheres — education and culture, health, social welfare, direct taxation and tourism — are to be transferred to Palestinian representatives through early empowerment. Additional spheres may be transferred as agreed by the sides. The DOP proposed that this transfer of powers take place immediately following the implementation of the Gaza-Jericho agreement.

  3. The Interim Agreement and Elections: A modalities agreement regarding the election of a Palestinian Council and a comprehensive Interim Agreement specifying the structure and powers of the Council will be negotiated. The Interim Agreement will detail the self-government arrangements in the West Bank and Gaza. Concurrent with the elections, Israeli forces are to be redeployed outside populated areas to specified locations. The Palestinian Council will have a strong police force in order to guarantee public order and internal security. Central to the DOP are two economic annexes which outline economic cooperation between Israel and the Palestinians, both bilaterally and in the multilateral context.

  4. The Permanent Status: Negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians on the permanent status will commence as soon as possible but not later than the beginning of the third year of the interim period (May 1996). These talks will determine the nature of the final settlement between the two sides. It is understood that these negotiations will cover remaining issues including Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, security arrangements, borders, relations and cooperation with other neighbors, and other issues of common interest. Under the DOP, the permanent status will take effect 5 years after the implementation of the Gaza-Jericho agreement, namely May 1999.