Israel-Palestinian Joint Communique

(September 26, 2001)


The following communique was issued after a meeting between Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and PA Chairman Yasser Arafat. It was read by Sa'eb Erakat:


President Arafat and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres met on September 26, 2001, and reiterated their full commitment to the implementation of the Mitchell recommendations and the Tenet understandings. To this end, both sides agreed to establish a joint committee of senior representatives in order to deal with any issue that may arise from the implementation of the Mitchell recommendations and the Tenet understandings.

The two sides will resume full security cooperation and exert maximum efforts to sustain the declared cease-fire. In accordance with the parties' commitments, they will carry out all their security obligations emanating from previous agreements, and the Government of Israel will begin to lift closures and redeploy its forces.

The two sides agreed that President Arafat and Foreign Minister Peres will have a second meeting within a week or so.

Both sides wish to extend their appreciation to all countries and leaders who encouaraged our endeavor to facilitate the peace process.

* * *

Peres and Arafat agreed to take a number of steps spread out over several weeks. The initial stage of the plan calls for both sides to make a commitment to a cease-fire and to implementation of the plan. This means a renewal of top-level security cooperation, the public denunciation of every act of terror, as well as the investigation of those involved in terror and those responsible for them.

The second stage is to take place over the next 96 hours, or by Sunday morning (September 30, 2001).

During this period, Israel is to take the following steps: S

* Removal of a number of roadblocks in quiet areas

* Granting additional permits to Palestinian businessmen and merchants to enter Israel.

* Improving the ability to transfer merchandise at the Allenby Bridge.

* Further development of the construction of a power plant in Gaza

* Permits to import into the Palestinian territories non-security related governmental supplies.

During this period, the Palestinians are expected to take the following steps:

* The arrest of high-profile terrorists.

* Take over security responsibility in areas where Israel eases up on security restrictions.

The next period runs for a week, during which Israel will:

* Continue lifting closures in quiet areas

* Allow for Palestinian security personnel to move between different areas

* Move forward on water and sewage projects

* Advance tourism in areas where security easements apply

* Establish a central framework to advance joint projects

* Ease up on the transfer of agricultural merchandise

* Opening of the Rafiah crossing point

* Allow for family reunification

The Palestinians are to:

* Continue arresting terrorists

* Take action to close mortar and bomb-making factories and storehouses.

During the next period, of yet undetermined length, Israel will:

* Carry out a gradual redeployment in all areas, conditional on a calming of the security situation

* Allow Palestinian security outposts to return to where they were before the violence began

* Widening the fishing area off the Gaza coast

* Granting of visitors permits (a few hundred a month)

* Start transferring held up funds to the PA

The Palestinians are expected to:

* Complete the arrest of terrorists on a list provided by Israel

* Continue to dismantle the terror infrastructure

During the last stage, when both sides are to expected to create a calm security atmosphere that will assist dialogue, Israel will:

* Transfer the rest of the funds owed the PA

* Allow VIP permits

* Open the safe passage road

* Advance the development of long-term infrastructure projects, such as the Gaza-West Bank train and a desalination plant.

The Palestinians are to:

* Take systematic and consistent action against the terror infrastructure, including the total disarmament of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad

* Collect and transfer illegal weapons.


Sources: Israeli Foreign Ministry and Jerusalem Post, (September 28, 2001)