Geneva Accord

Geneva Accord

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This article is about the proposal for peace between Israel and Palestine. There was also a Geneva Accord
Geneva Conference (1954)
The Geneva Conference was a conference which took place in Geneva, Switzerland, whose purpose was to attempt to find a way to unify Korea and discuss the possibility of restoring peace in Indochina...

 that concerned Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

, Geneva Accords that concerned Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, other Geneva Conventions
Geneva Conventions
The Geneva Conventions comprise four treaties, and three additional protocols, that establish the standards of international law for the humanitarian treatment of the victims of war...

 and other Geneva Conference
Geneva Conference
Several international or multinational conferences have been called the Geneva Conference, because they were held in the city of Geneva, Switzerland...


The Geneva Initiative, also known as the Geneva Accord, is a model permanent status agreement to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Israeli-Palestinian conflict
The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The conflict is wide-ranging, and the term is also used in reference to the earlier phases of the same conflict, between Jewish and Zionist yishuv and the Arab population living in Palestine under Ottoman or...

 based on previous official negotiations, international resolutions, the Quartet Roadmap
Road map for peace
The roadmap for peace or "road map" for peace is a plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict proposed by a "quartet" of international entities: the United States, the European Union, Russia, and the United Nations. The principles of the plan, originally drafted by U.S. Foreign Service...

, the Clinton Parameters
The Clinton Parameters
The Clinton Parameters is a term attributed to the guidelines for Permanent Status Agreement, that were offered by then President of the United States, Bill Clinton, in late 2000....

, and the Arab Peace Initiative
Arab Peace Initiative
The Beirut Summit was a meeting of the Arab League in Beirut, Lebanon in March 2002 to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The meeting became especially noteworthy for the adoption, by the Arab states attending, of a proposal offering a comprehensive peace between the Arab countries and...

. The Geneva Initiative addresses and presents a comprehensive solution to all issues vital to ensuring the end of the conflict and the realization of the national visions of both parties. It would give Palestinians almost all of the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 and Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

 drawing Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

's borders close to what existed prior to the Israeli annexation of territory at the culmination of the 1967 war
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

. Jerusalem would be divided administratively with East Jerusalem serving as the capital for the Palestinian state and West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. In return for removing most of the Israeli settlement
Israeli settlement
An Israeli settlement is a Jewish civilian community built on land that was captured by Israel from Jordan, Egypt, and Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War and is considered occupied territory by the international community. Such settlements currently exist in the West Bank...

s in those areas, the Palestinians would limit their "right of return
Palestinian right of return
The Palestinian right of return is a political position or principle asserting that Palestinian refugees, both first-generation refugees and their descendants, have a right to return, and a right to the property they or their forebears left or which they were forced to leave in what is now Israel...

" of refugees to Israel to a number specified by the Israeli government and will put an end to any further claims and demands from Israel.

Parameters of the Accord were negotiated in secret for over 2 years before the 50-page document was officially launched on December 1, 2003, at a ceremony in Geneva, Switzerland. Its initiator was Swiss Political Science professor Alexis Keller
Alexis Keller
Alexis Keller is a professor of Political Sciences at the University of Geneva. He is a former fellow of the Carr Centre for Human Rights Policy at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.-Academical background:...

. Among its creators are formal negotiators and architects of previous rounds of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations including former Israeli minister and politician Dr. Yossi Beilin
Yossi Beilin
Dr. Yosef "Yossi" Beilin is a left-wing Israeli politician and a former Knesset member, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister and Justice Minister, representing both the Labor Party and Meretz-Yachad, of which he served as chairman between 2003 and 2006. He is best known for his involvement with the...

, and former Palestinian Authority minister Yasser Abed Rabbo. Both noted that the Geneva accord did not obligate either of their respective governments, even though Abed Rabbo was a minister at the time of the signing.

In September 2009, the Geneva Initiative released a book with 13 annexes to the original 2003 Geneva Accord. Comprising over 400 pages, the annexes serve as a supplement to the Geneva Accord, outlining the practical measures required for successful implementation of the two-state solution
Two-state solution
The two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the consensus solution that is currently under discussion by the key parties to the conflict, most recently at the Annapolis Conference in November 2007...

. They cover key issues including security, border crossings, the Implementation and Verification Group (IVG), roads, water management, environmental concerns, the economy, and the division of Jerusalem.

Main Concepts

The main concepts included in the Geneva Accord include:
  • A mutual Israeli-Palestinian declaration of an end to the conflict and future claims.
  • Mutual recognition of both nations and their right to an independent state.
  • Almost complete Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders, with a limited number of settlement blocs on the basis of a 1:1 land swap.
  • A comprehensive solution to the issue of the Palestinian refugees based on the Clinton Parameters (2000); of which the main component will be compensation and a return to an independent Palestinian State.
  • Jewish Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and Arab Jerusalem as Palestine’s capital with Jewish areas under Israeli sovereignty and Arab areas under Palestinian sovereignty.
  • A non-militarized Palestinian state and detailed security arrangements.


The proposal for the Palestinian refugee
Palestinian refugee
Palestinian refugees or Palestine refugees are the people and their descendants, predominantly Palestinian Arabic-speakers, who fled or were expelled from their homes during and after the 1948 Palestine War, within that part of the British Mandate of Palestine, that after that war became the...

 problem is modeled after UNGAR 194, UNSC Resolution 242, and the Arab Peace Initiative. It outlines a compensation plan for recognition of “Refugeehood” and loss of property and a remuneration plan for states that have hosted Palestinian refugees. The Geneva Accord outlines multiple options and modalities for refugees to exercise a choice of permanent place of residence (PPR) in accordance with clauses set forth in the document, some of which include the option to elect to remain in their present host countries, or relocate to third countries, among them Israel, at the sovereign discretion of third countries.

Borders and Territory

The Geneva Accord bases the International Border between the States of Palestine and Israel on the June 4th 1967 lines, in accordance with UNSC Resolution 242 and UNSC Resolution 338, with reciprocal modifications in the form of landswaps on a 1:1 basis. Israel will annex several areas currently densely populated by Jewish communities near the Green Line
Green Line (Israel)
Green Line refers to the demarcation lines set out in the 1949 Armistice Agreements between Israel and its neighbours after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War...

 (such as Gush Etzion
Gush Etzion
Gush Etzion is a cluster of Israeli settlements located in the Judaean Mountains directly south of Jerusalem and Bethlehem in the West Bank, Palestinian territories. The core group includes four agricultural villages that were founded in 1940-1947 on property purchased in the 1920s and 1930s, and ...

). In return for areas annexed by Israel from the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

, the Palestinians will receive territory of equal area and quality adjacent mostly to the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

. The State of Israel will assume responsibility for resettling the Israelis living in what would be determined as Palestinian sovereign territory such as Ariel
Ariel (city)
Ariel is an Israeli settlement and a city in the West Bank. Ariel was established in 1978. Its population at the end of 2009 was 17,600, including 7,000 immigrants who came to Israel after 1990. It is the fourth largest Jewish settlement city in the West Bank., after Modi'in Illit, Beitar Illit,...

 and other settlements.


The sharing of Jerusalem will be addressed along the Clinton Parameters. Jewish Jerusalem will serve as Israel’s capital and Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 Jerusalem as Palestine’s capital. Each state would be sovereign over the neighborhoods predominately inhabited by its respective community. The Old City will be open and free to movement and the parties will commit to safeguarding the character, holiness, and freedom of worship in the city. The Implementation and Verification Group will act as an impartial international presence to monitor and verify the preservation of cultural heritage in the Old City in accordance with UNESCO World Heritage List rules. The ITG will establish an Old City Policing Unit to perform policing duties to defuse local tensions and resolve disputes.

International Supervision

An Implementation and Verification Group (IVG) will be established to facilitate, assist in, guarantee, monitor, and resolve disputes relating to the implementation of the agreement. Under the authority of the IVG would be a Multinational Force (MF) which will serve to provide security guarantees to the Parties, act as a deterrent, and oversee the implementation of the relevant provisions of the agreement. The specific details related to the composition of the MF and responsibilities of the IVG as a whole are outlined in the annexes.

Current Geneva Initiative Activity

Since the writing of the Geneva Accord, the Geneva Initiative developed two cooperating not-for-profit associations / Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), Heskem (H.L. Education for Peace/Geneva Initiative-Israel) on the Israeli side and their Palestinian counterpart Palestine Peace Coalition/Geneva Initiative (PPC/GI).
The organizations work together and among their respective communities to promote the Accord’s mission of a negotiated agreement between Israel and Palestine, and to prepare public opinion and leadership to be accepting of the compromises required to solve the conflict.

The Geneva Initiative NGOs educate and campaign, both locally and internationally, that it is in the best interest of Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate directly in order to reach a sustainable 2-state solution.


Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini , popularly known as Yasser Arafat or by his kunya Abu Ammar , was a Palestinian leader and a Laureate of the Nobel Prize. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization , President of the Palestinian National Authority...

 praised the "brave initiative that opens the door to peace". It was reported by Palestinian sources that Arafat and Ahmed Qurei
Ahmed Qurei
Ahmed Ali Mohammed Qurei , also known by his Arabic Kunya Abu Alaa is a former prime minister of the Palestinian Authority...

 had approved
the Geneva initiative in principle but not the details, and sent official representatives to the launching ceremony.

A June 2010 poll conducted by the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah found support for the Geneva/Clinton parameters running at about 49% amongst Palestinians and 52% among Israelis. The level of opposition was equal at 49% in the Palestinian community, but stood at 37% for Israelis.PSR - Survey Research Unit, Press Release, 29 June 2010 The Jerusalem Post
The Jerusalem Post
The Jerusalem Post is an Israeli daily English-language broadsheet newspaper, founded on December 1, 1932 by Gershon Agron as The Palestine Post. The daily readership numbers do not approach those of the major Hebrew newspapers....

 reported on 10 March 2008 that influential Palestinian figure Marwan Barghouti
Marwan Barghouti
Marwan Hasib Ibrahim Barghouti is a Palestinian political figure. He is regarded as a leader of the First and Second Intifadas. Barghouti at one time supported the peace process, but later became disillusioned, and after 2000 went on to become the main figure behind the Al-Aqsa Intifada in the...

 had told Israeli politician Haim Oron
Haim Oron
Haim "Jumas" Oron is an Israeli politician and former Minister of Agriculture. He is currently head of the political party New Movement-Meretz, for whom he served as a member of the Knesset.-Biography:...

 “that it was possible for Israel and the Palestinians to reach a final-status agreement along the lines of the Geneva Initiative”.

U.S. Support

  • George W. Bush: "[The Geneva Accord] is productive, so long as they adhere to the principles [to] fight off terror, that there must be security, and there must be the emergence of a Palestinian state that is democratic and free."
  • Colin Powell: "The U.S. remains committed to the President's two-state vision and to the road map, but we also believe that projects such as yours are important in helping to sustain an atmosphere of hope in which Israelis and Palestinians can discuss mutually acceptable resolutions to the difficult issues that confront them."
  • Bill Clinton: "That's why the agreement in Geneva is so important... Such efforts prove that Israelis and Palestinians of goodwill can agree on even the most vexing settlement issues."

International Support

  • Fifty-eight former presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers and other global leaders, among them former presidents Mikhail Gorbachev of the Soviet Union and F.W. de Klerk of South Africa, issued a statement expressing "strong support" for the plan. Other world leaders who voiced their backing included King Hassan III of Morocco, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Clinton.


Upon the Geneva Accord’s release in 2003, the government of Israel headed by Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon is an Israeli statesman and retired general, who served as Israel’s 11th Prime Minister. He has been in a permanent vegetative state since suffering a stroke on 4 January 2006....

 criticized the accord. A publicity campaign on the Israel Broadcasting Authority
Israel Broadcasting Authority
Israel Broadcasting Authority is Israel's state broadcasting network.It grew out of the radio station Kol Yisrael, which made its first broadcast as an independent station on . The name of the organisation operating Kol Yisrael was changed to Israel Broadcasting Service in 1951...

 stations was cancelled after and Israel Radio investigation raised suspicions of questionable financing.

Palestinian criticism

Palestinian support was not universal. Some strongly opposed the plan and its apparent trade-off of the Palestinian right of return
Palestinian right of return
The Palestinian right of return is a political position or principle asserting that Palestinian refugees, both first-generation refugees and their descendants, have a right to return, and a right to the property they or their forebears left or which they were forced to leave in what is now Israel...

 in exchange for statehood.
Jamal Zakut, one of the participants and drafters of the plan from the palastinian side, argued that the section

dealing with the refugee issue has "certain ambiguity" and the whole purpose of this document is only to be a model

for a future agreement. "The document does not indicate or ensure full and collective return of millions of Palestinians

but neither does it waive this right ...
the document is only another tool by which we continue the struggle to restore our national rights and achieve peace as confirmed by international community and nothing more ".

Israeli criticism

Silvan Shalom
Silvan Shalom
' , born 4 October 1958) is an Israeli politician, member of the Knesset for Likud and the country's Vice Prime Minister and Minister for Regional Development. He previously served as the country's Foreign Minister and Finance Minister.-Biography:...

, who was the Foreign Affairs Minister of Israel
Foreign Affairs Minister of Israel
The Foreign Affairs Minister of Israel is the political head of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The position is one of the most important in the Israeli cabinet after Prime Minister and Defense Minister...

 at the time, revealed the significant foreign national funding of Beilin's plan, and the Israeli government protested this foreign meddling in internal affairs.

Arab-Israeli peace diplomacy and treaties

  • Middle East economic integration
    Middle East economic integration
    Middle East economic integration has been envisioned, proposed or implemented by various parties in recent history.The stated rationale is that peace, stability and prosperity in the Middle East can only be sustained over the long-run through intra-regional economic cooperation.Governance,...

  • Paris Peace Conference, 1919
    Paris Peace Conference, 1919
    The Paris Peace Conference was the meeting of the Allied victors following the end of World War I to set the peace terms for the defeated Central Powers following the armistices of 1918. It took place in Paris in 1919 and involved diplomats from more than 32 countries and nationalities...

  • Faisal-Weizmann Agreement (1919)
    Faisal-Weizmann Agreement
    The Faisal–Weizmann Agreement was signed on January 3, 1919, by Emir Feisal , who was for a short time King of the Arab Kingdom of Syria or Greater Syria in 1920, and was King of the Kingdom of Iraq from August 1921 to 1933, and Chaim Weizmann as part of the Paris Peace Conference, 1919 settling...

  • 1949 Armistice Agreements
    1949 Armistice Agreements
    The 1949 Armistice Agreements are a set of agreements signed during 1949 between Israel and neighboring Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria. The agreements ended the official hostilities of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and established armistice lines between Israeli forces and the forces in...

  • Camp David Accords (1978)
  • Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty (1979)
    Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty
    The 1979 Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty was signed in Washington, D.C. on the 26th of March 1979, following the 1978 Camp David Accords, which were signed by Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and were witnessed by United States President Jimmy Carter.The peace...

  • Madrid Conference of 1991
    Madrid Conference of 1991
    The Madrid Conference was hosted by the government of Spain and co-sponsored by the USA and the USSR. It convened on October 30, 1991 and lasted for three days. It was an early attempt by the international community to start a peace process through negotiations involving Israel and the Palestinians...

  • Oslo Accords (1993)
    Oslo Accords
    The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles , was an attempt to resolve the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict...

  • Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace (1994)
    Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace
    The Israel–Jordan Treaty of Peace was signed in 1994. The treaty normalized relations between the two countries and resolved territorial disputes. The conflict had cost roughly US$18.3 billion...

  • Camp David 2000 Summit
    Camp David 2000 Summit
    The Middle East Peace Summit at Camp David of July 2000 took place between United States President Bill Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat...

  • Froman-Amayreh Agreement
  • Peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
    Peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
    The peace process in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict has taken shape over the years, despite the ongoing violence in the Middle East and an "all or nothing" attitude about a lasting peace, "which prevailed for most of the twentieth century"...

  • Projects working for peace among Israelis and Arabs
    Projects working for peace among Israelis and Arabs
    Projects working for peace among Arabs and Israelis have been operating for years in different fields.- Policy groups:Organizations or institutions which address and analyze policy issues in a wide range of areas...

  • List of Middle East peace proposals
  • International law and the Arab-Israeli conflict
    International law and the Arab-Israeli conflict
    There is a broad international consensus that the actions of the nations involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict violate prohibitions contained in international law. However, this legality is disputed by some of the nations involved...

External links