| The Wye River Memorandum
October 23, 1998
During the middle of October 1998 a summit, hosted by U.S. President Bill Clinton, was held at Wye River, Maryland. The Israeli delegation was headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and included Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon, Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai and Minister of Trade and Industry Natan Sharansky.
As a result of the negotiations, the Wye River Memorandum was signed by Prime Minister Netanyahu and Chairman Arafat on October 23, 1998 in a ceremony attended also by King Hussein of Jordan. The Memorandum consists of steps to facilitate implementation of the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip of September 28, 1995 (the "Interim Agreement") and other related agreements, including the Note for the Record of January 17, 1997.
The agreement emphasizes reciprocity and addresses specific security concerns which had been raised by Israel in the past. Attached to the Memorandum is a "timeline", which outlines, step by step, the implementation of the mutual undertakings which are incumbent upon each side. Upon completion of each phase of the Palestinian commitments, Israel will transfer a specified percentage of land to the Palestinians within the context of the "further redeployments" as stated in previous agreements.
Accompanying the memorandum was a letter from Secretary of State Albright to Prime Minister Netanyahu reiterating the U.S. commitment to Israeli security and various assurances received from the Palestinians. This was followed a week later by four letters of assurance from the U.S. to Israel on various points contained in the memorandum.
The main provisions of the memorandum are as follows:
The Israeli side’s implementation of the first and second further redeployments will consist of the transfer to the Palestinian side of 13 percent from Area C (1 percent to Area A and 12 percent to Area B) and 14.2 from Area B to Area A.
1. The Palestinian side will make known its policy of zero tolerance for terror and violence against both sides.
2. A work plan will be developed by the Palestinians and shared with the U.S. Implementation of the plan is to begin immediately.
3. In addition to bilateral Israeli-Palestinian security cooperation, a U.S.-Palestinian committee will meet weekly to review the steps being taken to eliminate terrorism.
4. The Palestinian side will apprehend specific individuals suspected of perpetrating acts of violence and terror for the purpose of further investigation, prosecution and punishment.
5. The Palestinian side will establish and vigorously and continuously implement a program for the collection and appropriate handling of illegal firearms.
6. The two sides agree that their security cooperation will be based on a spirit of partnership and will include:
- Bilateral cooperation
- An exchange of forensic expertise, training and other assistance
- The establishment of a high ranking U.S.-Palestinian-Israeli committee which will meet not less than on a biweekly basis to assess current threats and deal with any impediments to security cooperation.
1. The Palestinian side will issue a decree prohibiting all forms of incitement to violence and terror, and establishing mechanisms for acting systematically against all expressions or threats of violence or terror.
2. A U.S.-Palestinian-Israeli committee will meet on a regular basis to monitor cases of possible incitement to violence or terror and to make recommendations and reports on how to prevent such incitement. This committee will be comprised of law enforcement, education and media specialists as well as current or former elected officials from all of the sides.
THE PALESTINIAN POLICE FORCE:
1. The Palestinian side will provide a list of its policemen to the Israeli side in conformity with the prior agreements.
THE PLO CHARTER:
1. The executive committee of the PLO and the Palestinian Central Council will reaffirm the letter of 22 January from PLO Chairman Arafat to President Clinton concerning the nullification of the Palestinian National Charter provisions that are inconsistent with the letters exchanged between the PLO and the Government of Israel on 9/10 September 1993.
2. PLO Chairman Arafat, the Speaker of the Palestine National Council, and the Speaker of the Palestinian Council, will invite the members of the PNC, as well as the members of the Central Council, the Council, and the Palestinian Heads of Ministries to a meeting to be addressed by President Clinton to reaffirm their support for the Peace Process and the aforementioned decisions of the Executive Committee and the Central Council.
INTERIM COMMITTEES AND ECONOMIC ISSUES:
1. The Israeli and Palestinian sides will launch a strategic economic dialogue to enhance their economic relationship. They will establish an Ad Hoc Committee for this purpose within the framework of the Joint Economic Committee.
2. The Israeli and Palestinian sides have agreed on arrangements which will permit the timely opening of the Gaza Industrial Estate (at Karni).
3. The Israeli and Palestinian sides have also concluded a protocol on the operation of the international airport in the Gaza Strip during the interim period.
4. Both sides will renew negotiations on "safe passage" (of people and goods) and will make best efforts to conclude the agreement (regarding the southern route) within a week of the entry into force of the memorandum. Operation of the southern route will start as soon as possible thereafter. As regards the northern route, negotiations will continue with the goal of reaching agreement as soon as possible.
5. Recognizing the importance of the port of Gaza, both sides commit themselves to proceeding without delay to conclude an agreement to allow the construction and operation of the port in accordance with the prior agreements.
PERMANENT STATUS NEGOTIATIONS:
The two sides will immediately resume permanent status negotiation on an accelerated basis and will make a determined effort to reach agreement by May 4, 1999.
Neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in accordance with the Interim Agreement.