Myths and Facts about Israeli
Redeployments & Jewish Settlements
Israel is obligated to withdraw from 90% of Judea and Samaria during the three "Further
The Oslo 2 Accords make no mention of percentages or the size of territory from which Israel is to
withdraw. There is no basis in the accord for the Palestinian claim that Israel must pull back from all or
most of Judea and Samaria.
Israel is obligated to negotiate the extent of each withdrawal with the Palestinian Authority (PA).
Nowhere in the Oslo Accords does it state that the extent of each withdrawal is to be a subject of
negotiations between the two sides. Israel has the sole authority to decide the extent of the withdrawals.
This position is supported by the United States. A statement issued by the State Department spokesman
on January 15, 1997, at the time of the signing of the Hebron Accord, said, "The Note for the Record,
prepared by the United States at the request of the parties, makes clear that further redeployment phases
are issues for implementation by Israel rather than issues for negotiation with the Palestinians."
Just as the PA has fulfilled its obligations under the accords, so too Israel must now carry out the
Under the January 15, 1997, Hebron accord, both Israel and the PA undertook a series of obligations
listed in the accord and in the Note for the Record accompanying it. Israel has fulfilled all of its
1) Withdrawal of Israeli forces from most of Hebron;
2) Delineation of areas to be evacuated in the first Further Redeployment;
3) Release of Palestinian prisoners;
4) Resumption of negotiations on outstanding issues; and
5) Agreement on the resumption of permanent status talks.
The Palestinian Authority has not fulfilled several of its obligations:
1) To complete the revision of the PLO covenant which calls for Israel's destruction;
2) To fight terror and prevent violence, including uprooting the infrastructure of terror groups, the
confiscation of illegal firearms, the apprehension and punishment of terrorists, the transfer of terror
suspects to Israel, the prevention of incitement to violence and the strengthening of security cooperation
3) To reduce the size of the Palestinian police to the number permitted by Oslo 2 (the Palestinian police
currently consist of at least 35,500 men, or nearly 50% more than the 24,000 allowed); and
4) To refrain from governmental activity in areas not under PA jurisdiction, such as Jerusalem.
Israel has complied with its commitments. The PA has not.
Israel is responsible for the delay in the implementation of the first further redeployment.
Under the Note for the Record accompanying the January 15, 1997, Hebron accord, Israel was
obligated to carry out the first phase of the further redeployment in the West Bank during the first week
of March 1997.
On March 6, 1997, the Israeli Cabinet voted to approve the first phase of the redeployment, consisting
of 9.1% of the territory. This figure includes 7% of territory that is currently Area B (Israeli security
control, Palestinian civilian control) and 2.1% of Area C (exclusive Israeli control). The redeployment
would have tripled the amount of territory under exclusive Palestinian control in the West Bank. The
Palestinians rejected the Israeli Cabinet decision, thus causing the delay of its implementation on the
The Oslo Accords prohibit the expansion of Jewish settlements in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
Neither the Declaration of Principles (DOP) of September 13, 1993, nor the Interim Agreement ("Oslo
2") of September 28, 1995, contains any provisions prohibiting or restricting the establishment or
expansion of Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
When he presented the Oslo 2 accords before the Knesset on October 5, 1995, the late Prime Minister
Yitzhak Rabin stated, "I wish to remind you, we made a commitment, meaning we reached an
agreement, we made a commitment to the Knesset not to uproot any settlement in the framework of the
Interim Agreement, nor to freeze construction and natural growth."
Under Article XXXI(5) of Oslo 2, the issue of Jewish settlements is to be addressed in the final status
negotiations. According to an internal Israel Foreign Ministry legal analysis prepared on March 18,
1996, by Joel Singer, the Foreign Ministry Legal Advisor under the Labor Government, Israel rejected
Palestinian attempts to bar new Jewish settlements in the context of the Oslo process. According to
Singer, "In the course of the negotiations on the DOP [Declaration of Principles], the representatives of
the PLO tried to obtain a clause prohibiting Israel from establishing new settlements. Israel rejected this
demand." Thus, Yasser Arafat agreed to the Oslo Accords despite the fact that he failed to achieve a
halt in settlement activity in the interim period.
The expansion of Jewish settlements is an obstacle to peace.
Under the previous Labor government, the Jewish population of the West Bank and Gaza grew by
approximately 50%, from 96,158 in June 1992 to 145,000 in June 1996. This rapid growth occurred
concurrently with the signing of the September 1993 Oslo Accords and the September 1995 Oslo 2
Accords and did not forestall progress in the peace process.
As the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin said, "I am not ready for there to be a law in Israel to forbid
building houses in existing settlements, or a kindergarten or a cultural center in a place where people
live today" (AP, January 10, 1995). Former Prime Minister Shimon Peres also stated, "Building which
is necessary for normal life, like schools, private apartments, we are not going to stop" (Jewish
Telegraphic Agency, January 25, 1995).
Israel confiscates land to build settlements.
As a matter of policy, Israel does not requisition private land for the establishment of Jewish
communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Housing construction is allowed only on public land after an
exhaustive investigation has confirmed that no private rights exist regarding the land in question.