The Wye River Memorandum
October 23, 1998
Background and Main Points

1. The agreement, reached at the end of a difficult process and concerted efforts, is based on two principles: security and reciprocity.

2. The Memorandum contains a precise timetable for implementation and stipulates mechanisms for supervision and control.

3. Israel made extremely painful concessions, involving a high order of security risks – all with the aim of advancing the peace process. (Foreign Minister Sharon: "The quest for peace is as difficult as the waging of war…")

4. The implementation timetable is an integral part of the arrangement. Israel will perform its part in the agreement on time, immediately after the Palestinians will have fulfilled their commitments, stage by stage – commitments that, for the most part, have been made in several earlier agreements but have yet to be implemented.

5. Israel demanded – and received – Palestinian commitments concerning a number of substantive issues, with American guarantees as to their implementation.

6. The agreement is to go into effect ten days after it is signed.

7. The agreement consists of two main parts:

  • A document listing the steps that are to be taken by the two sides;
  • A timetable for the implementation of the various stages.

8. The agreement will make possible the implementation of the Interim Agreement of September 28, 1995, and the accompanying agreements, including the Note for the Record of January 17, 1997, with emphasis on the principle of reciprocity and on mutual commitments.

9. The steps to be taken by the two sides will be carried out in accordance with the timetable set forth in the agreement. At each stage, there is a reference to the redeployment that is mentioned at the end of the list, in order to make clear that the redeployment (in stages) will take place only after the Palestinians will have fulfilled their commitment at each particular stage.

10. An appropriate mechanism has been established to carry out the necessary supervision and control with regard to implementation of the various commitments. For the first time, there is a clear timetable for the implementation of the Palestinians’ commitments. A letter of guarantees addressed by the US Secretary of State to the Prime Minister of Israel reinforces various points made in the agreement.

11. The following are the Palestinian commitments:

(a) They will submit a working paper setting forth how they will fight terrorism.

(b) The Palestinians will arrest and punish persons suspected of involvement in terrorist operations and in violence.

(c) They will refrain from activating the "revolving door" policy.

(d) Illegal arms will be confiscated.

(e) They will act to prevent incitement.

(f) There will be full Israeli-Palestinian cooperation in security matters. An Israeli-American-Palestinian security committee will be established to facilitate this cooperation and to monitor the fight against terrorism.

(g) The Palestinians will submit to Israel a list of policemen in accordance with the number permitted under the terms of the Interim Agreement. The United States has guaranteed that Israel will receive full information in this regard, and an Israeli-Palestinian steering committee will supervise the implementation of this commitment.

(h) All the members of the Palestinian National Council (PNC) – "The members" in the text of the Memorandum – will be invited, together with the members of the PLO Central Committee, the members of the Palestinian Legislative Council and the department heads of the Palestinian Authority, for the purpose of adopting a decision ratifying the abolition of the articles of the Palestinian National Covenant that Israel has demanded to be abolished. Prior to the convening of the PNC, such a decision will also be adopted by the PLO Executive Committee and by that organization’s Central Council. The President of the United States will address the meeting at which this decision will be adopted.

(i) The stipulation in the Interim Agreement regarding the transfer of suspects and persons under indictment was reaffirmed.

12. The Redeployments:

(a) The three stages of Israel’s redeployment will be carried out, as stated above, only after the Palestinians will have implemented their own appropriate commitment at each stage.

(b) At the completion of the entire process, including the implementation of all the commitments at the various stages, Israel will have transferred to the Palestinians the following areas:

  • One percent of Judea-Samaria (the "West Bank") from Area C to Area A;
  • 12 percent from Area C to Area B;
  • 14.2 percent from Area B to Area A.

(c) 3 percent of the territory to be transferred to the Palestinians from Area C to Area B will be defined as a green area, or nature reserve – in other words, as an area in which Israel will continue to be responsible for security, in which there is to be no further housing construction and no increase in the population. That is, Israel will have more authority in this area than it has in Area B.

(d) Israel made it clear, in the various discussions, that if and when there will be a third redeployment, this will be no more than one percent in scope. It will be recalled that the scope of the redeployment is to be determined by Israel and is not subject to negotiation (see the Interim Agreement and the Note for the Record).

13. Agreement was reached with regard to the industrial park in Gaza and the airport at Dahaniya, the activation of the safe passage between the Gaza district and Judea-Samaria (the "West Bank") and the work of the Legal Committee and the Economic Committee concerning the various subjects on the agenda.

14. There is to be an immediate and accelerated resumption of the negotiations. The two sides have undertaken to refrain from unilateral steps that would alter the status of the area, until the permanent status negotiations will have been completed.