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The Wye River Memorandum: U.S. Brokers Secret Deals At Wye

(October 1998)

During the negotiations at the Wye River Plantation in Maryland in October, the United States made a number of secret deals with the Israelis and Palestinians to help secure their agreement on the final memorandum.

The United States agreed that it would not make an issue of Israeli plans to build at Har Homa if the Israelis did not oppose the Clinton Administration's decision to use a waiver to avoid having to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as specified in the Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act of 1995.

Israel also agreed to restrict building in settlements in the West Bank in return for a Palestinian pledge to defer their planned declaration of independence beyond May 4, 1999. Israel will only be allowed to add new housing to accommodate "natural growth," defined by the Americans as the building of just one more row of houses contiguous to the last existing row.

The United States also reportedly committed $1 billion to cover the cost to Israel of redeploying from the West Bank and instituting new or additional security measures. The Palestinians are to receive $300 million for economic infrastructure.

Sources: Jerusalem Report, (November 23, 1998)