Taba Peace Talks

(January 2001)


A European Union document detailing the alleged progress made toward a comprhensive Israeli-Palestinian peace pact in the Egptian resort town of Taba in January 2001 was leaked to the press. Israeli offiicials suggested the notes taken by the European representative, Miguel Moratinos, were only his impressions and did not accurately reflect their views and did not represent any binding commitments.


1. Territory

The two sides agree that in accordance with the U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, the June 4, 1967 lines would be the basis for the borders between Israel and the State of Palestine.

1.1 West Bank

For the first time both sides presented their own maps over the West Bank. The maps served as a basis for the discussion on territory and settlements...

The Israeli side stated that it did not need to maintain settlements in the Jordan Valley for security purposes...

Both sides accepted the principle of land swap but the proportionality of the swap remained under discussion. Both sides agreed that Israeli and Palestinian sovereign areas will have respective sovereign contiguity...

1.2 Gaza Strip

Neither side presented any maps over the Gaza Strip. It was implied that the Gaza Strip will be under total Palestinian sovereignty , but details have still to be worked out. All settlements will be evacuated...

2. Jerusalem

2.1 Sovereignty

Both sides accepted in principle the Clinton suggestion of having a Palestinian sovereignty over Arab neighborhoods and an Israeli sovereignty over Jewish neighborhoods. The Palestinian side affirmed that it was ready to discuss an Israeli request to have sovereignty over those Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem that were constructed after 1967, but not Jebal Abu Ghneim and Ras al-Amud. The Palestinian side rejected Israeli sovereignty over settlements in the Jerusalem Metropolitan Area, namely Ma'ale Adumim and Givat Ze'ev.

2.3 Capital for two states

The Israeli side accepted that the City of Jerusalem would be the capital of two states: Jerusalem, capital of Israel, and Al-Quds, capital of the State of Palestine. The Palestinian side expressed its only concern, namely that East Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Palestine.

2.5 Holy Sites: Western Wall

Both parties have accepted the principle of respective control over each side's respective holy sites (religious control and management). According to this principle, Israel's sovereignty over the Western Wall would be recognized although there remained a dispute regarding the delineation of the area covered by the Western Wall...

2.6 Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount

Both sides agreed that the question of Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount has not been resolved. However, both sides were closes to accepting Clinton's ideas regarding Palestinian sovereignty over Haram al-Sharif notwithstanding Palestinian and Israeli reservations.

3. Refugees

... Both sides suggested, as a basis, that the parties should agree that a just settlement of the refugee problem in accordance with the U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 must lead to the implementation of U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194.

4. Security

4.1 Early warning stations

The Israeli side requested to have three early warning stations on Palestinian territory. The Palestinian side was prepared to accept the continued operations of early warning stations but subject to certain conditions...

4.2 Military capability of the State of Palestine

The Israeli side maintained that the State of Palestine would be non-militarized as per the Clinton proposals. The Palestinian side was prepared to accept limitation on its acquisition of arms, and be defined as a State with limited arms.

4.4 Timetable for withdrawal from the West Bank and Jordan Valley

Based on the Clinton proposal, the Israeli side agreed to a withdrawal from the West Bank over a 36-month period with an additional 36 months for the Jordan Valley in conjunction with an international force...

The Palestinian side proposed an 18-month withdrawal under the supervision of international forces. As to the Jordan Valley, the Palestinian side was prepared to consider the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces for an additional 10-month period.

4.7 Borders and International Crossings

The Palestinian side was confident that Palestinian sovereignty over borders and international crossings would be recognized in the agreement. The two sides had, however, not yet resolved this issue including the question of monitoring and verification at Palestine's international borders (Israeli or international presence).


Source: The Forward, (February 22, 2002)