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Ariel Sharon Administration: Weissglas Letter to Rice Confirming U.S.-Israel Understandings

(April 18, 2004)

The following letter was sent from Dov Weissglas, Chief of the Prime Minister's Bureau, to National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice confirming understandings reached between officials of the governments of Israel and the United States:

Dr. Condoleezza Rice
National Security Adviser
The White House
Washington, D.C.

Dear Dr. Rice,

On behalf of the Prime Minister of the State of Israel, Mr. Ariel Sharon, I wish to reconfirm the following understanding, which had been reached between us:

1. Restrictions on settlement growth: within the agreed principles of settlement activities, an effort will be made in the next few days to have a better definition of the construction line of settlements in Judea & Samaria. An Israeli team, in conjunction with Ambassador Kurtzer, will review aerial photos of settlements and will jointly define the construction line of each of the settlements.

2. Removal of unauthorized outposts: the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defense, jointly, will prepare a list of unauthorized outposts with indicative dates of their removal; the Israeli Defense forces and/or the Israeli Police will take continuous action to remove those outposts in the targeted dates. The said list will be presented to Ambassador Kurtzer within 30 days.

3. Mobility restrictions in Judea & Samaria: the Minister of Defense will provide Ambassador Kurtzer with a map indicating roadblocks and other transportational barriers posed across Judea & Samaria. A list of barriers already removed and a timetable for further removals will be included in this list. Needless to say, the matter of the existence of transportational barriers fully depends on the current security situation and might be changed accordingly.

4. Legal attachments of Palestinian revenues: the matter is pending in various courts of law in Israel, awaiting judicial decisions. We will urge the State Attorney?s office to take any possible legal measure to expedite the rendering of those decisions.

5. The Government of Israel extends to the Government of the United States the following assurances:

a. The Israeli government remains committed to the two-state solution - Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security - as the key to peace in the Middle East.

b. The Israeli government remains committed to the Roadmap as the only route to achieving the two-state solution.

c. The Israeli government believes that its disengagement plan and related steps on the West Bank concerning settlement growth, unauthorized outposts, and easing of restrictions on the movement of Palestinians not engaged in terror are consistent with the Roadmap and, in many cases, are steps actually called for in certain phases of the Roadmap.

d. The Israeli government believes that further steps by it, even if consistent with the Roadmap, cannot be taken absent the emergence of a Palestinian partner committed to peace, democratic reform, and the fight against terror.

e. Once such a Palestinian partner emerges, the Israeli government will perform its obligations, as called for in the Roadmap, as part of the performance-based plan set out in the Roadmap for reaching a negotiated final status agreement.

f. The Israeli government remains committed to the negotiation between the parties of a final status resolution of all outstanding issues.

g. The Government of Israel supports the United States' efforts to reform the Palestinian security services to meet their roadmap obligations to fight terror. Israel also supports the American efforts, working with the international community, to promote the reform process, build institutions, and improve the economy of the Palestinian Authority and to enhance the welfare of its people, in the hope that a new Palestinian leadership will prove able to fulfill its obligations under the Roadmap. The Israeli Government will take all reasonable actions requested by these parties to facilitate these efforts.

h. As the Government of Israel has stated, the barrier being erected by Israel should be a security rather than a political barrier, should be temporary rather than permanent, and therefore not prejudice any final status issues including final borders, and its route should take into account, consistent with security needs, its impact on Palestinians not engaged in terrorist activities.


Dov Weissglas
Chief of the
Prime Minister's Bureau

Sources: Prime Minister's Office