The Palestine Papers
Current Palestinian and Israeli Negotiating Positions as of November, 2008

Chart/matrix that identifies current Palestinian & Israeli positions, by committee and related specific issue, reflecting discussions up to November 1, 2008.

Last Updated:

Current P/I Positions*

reflecting discussion up to

November 1, 2008

*Note:  This chart is for informational purposes only.  Nothing in it shall be construed to bind either party to the positions indicated herein. Furthermore, none of the positions stated in this chart may be considered separately from the whole chart or the context of the negotiations, whereby there can be no partial agreement on any issue or set of issues without full agreement on all the issues: in brief “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”. For further clarity, any attempt at fragmentation of the issues, or their phasing (for example leading to a “state with provisional borders”) based on selective use of provisions stated herein renders these provisions null and void. The only acceptable outcome of the negotiations is a comprehensive agreement on all the core issues of the conflict.    

File (Committee)


Palestinian Position

Israeli Position



Framework/ principles

Palestinians seek:

  •  a comprehensive, just and agreed resolution of the Palestinian refugee issue
  •  in accordance with international law and the Arab Peace Initiative

The solution should ensure closure/end of claims.

Israelis seek:

  •  a comprehensive, just and agreed resolution of the Palestinian refugee issue
  •  in accordance with the vision of the two States for two people

The solution should ensure closure/end of claims.

Refugees (Plenary/SE-TB)

Recognition of responsibility / apology

Palestinians seek recognition of Israel?s moral and legal responsibility /apology as a core element of refugees? rights for reparations.

Israel so far opposes to recognize its responsibility.

Refugees (Plenary/SE-TB)

Right of return / relocation options

Refugees shall be provided with repatriation, resettlement and integration options. They must have a choice that will include:  

  •  return to Israel (scope & modalities to be agreed with Israel)
  •  return/resettlement to the Palestinian state (at Palestine?s discretion)
  •  resettlement/integration in consenting third countries & host States

Refugees shall be entitled to Palestinian citizenship and provided with resettlement and integration options only (no return to Israel).

Refugees (Plenary/SE-TB)

Reparation /


Refugees shall be granted restitution and compensation for the material and non material damages they have suffered  (including loss of livelihood and opportunities and human suffering, as a result of refugees? protracted displacement)

{States that have hosted Palestinian refugees shall be entitled for remuneration.}

Refugees shall be granted compensation only.



International Mechanism (IM)

An IM shall be established to enable implementation of all Palestinian refugee rights. Palestine, Israel, the host countries and other relevant countries and entities should be represented in the mechanism.

IM comprehensive mission will include the repatriation, resettlement and integration of the refugees and the management of their claims for restitution & compensation.

The resolution of the refugee issue shall bring an end to the Palestinian refugee status and enable the phased termination of UNRWA in parallel with the implementation of the solution and in coordination with the IM

IM will also provide rehabilitation assistance to Palestinian refugees and to relevant States.


Israel agrees to an IM mechanism, but which would be established and led by the US, in coordination with Israel & Palestine.

IM mission will extend to all aspects of the agreed solution. It shall bring an end to the Palestinian refugee status and enable the phased termination of UNRWA in parallel with the implementation of the solution and in coordination with the IM.

IM will also provide rehabilitation assistance to Palestinian refugees and to relevant States.

Refugees (Plenary/ SE-TB)

International fund

An international fund shall be established to finance the restitution and compensation claims process & the process of repatriation, resettlement, integration and rehabilitation of the refugees.

Israel shall commit to contribute financially to the fund as necessary to cover restitution and compensation claims. International stakeholders will also contribute to the funding.  

[General Principle: All financial contributions should be based on responsibility.]

International fund shall be established to enable the IM to fulfill its mission.

Israel will make a fixed financial contribution to the fund (level of their contribution remains unclear), together with contributions from international stakeholders.


(Plenary/ SE-TB)


UNGAR 194 does not represent all of refugee rights.

Israel does not recognize Resolution 194.


(Plenary / Security)

International force

Agree to international presence with multiple responsibilities: protect borders; supervise crossings; build capacity; monitor and assist with implementation of agreement, including dispute resolution, and perform any other functions in place of Israel.

Inconsistent: MoD rejects any international presence on the grounds it is “useless”. Livni has shown more flexibility, suggesting that certain types of international presence may be acceptable, but not an international force or a presence with military functions.


(Plenary / Security)

Limitation on military capacity

Palestine will agree to arms limitations (“State with limited and appropriate arms”) based on definition of responsibilities: internal and defensive security policy, with the understanding that there is agreement on full Israeli withdrawal, no Israeli residual presence, and an effective third party presence to meet Palestinian security needs

Do not need an army but need more than police to carry out responsibilities. However, agreement on this is contingent on Israeli agreement to withdraw fully from Palestinian territory, airspace and territorial waters.

As per standard practice in arms limitations (as opposed to arrangements in demilitarized zones) any discussion regarding weapons and equipment should be to agree to prohibited items, not a list of allowed items.

[Note that Israel has not yet made a comprehensive presentation of all its security demands, or its security concept for the two state scenario, despite repeated Palestinian requests.]

Blanket demand for “Demilitarized state”.

No substance on what this means other than restriction of security capability to internal police function, and insistence on Palestine not having an “army”. Israel has not yet specified what it considers an “army” and whether that is different from gendarmerie, military police or border guard units.

General indication of restrictions sought by Israel (although these were not systematically presented):

Limits on weapons and equipments in the form of a list of allowed items; mandatory service; reserves; military industrial complex; limits on certain industries; limits on size, training, purposes of the security forces.

Security (Plenary / Security)

Israeli presence / control

No presence of Israelis or control by Israel over borders, airspace, or territorial waters, border crossings, and electromagnetic sphere.

Legitimate security concerns met by third party presence.

[Note: Israel has not yet made a comprehensive presentation of all its demands. ]

  •  Military presence (specifically in the Jordan Valley / along the borders
  •  early warning stations
  •  Right to deploy in “emergencies”
  •  Control over airspace (civil aviation)
  •  use of airspace for military operations; controls over EMS (unspecified)
  •  controls over territorial water
  •  border crossings
  •  arrangements for “strategic sites” / “special zones” (unspecified) …

State to State

(State to State)


The state to state relations between the parties shall be governed by international law, treaties, customary international law, conventions, regulations and standards, including, inter alia the instruments regulating the work of international institutions and organizations such as the World Tourism Organization, the World Health Organization and UNESCO.


Any relations that are not covered by international and/or regional instruments will be developed and agreed bilaterally between the parties.

The required details shall be agreed in the Treaty.


The Agreement will include an agreement in principle that the two states will cooperate and coordinate on state-to-state matters and that the details will be agreed at a later date in treaties/agreements between relevant ministries so as to replace the "existing arrangements".

State to State

(State to State)


  1.  Archaeological sites and archaeological artifacts shall be treated without discrimination on religious, ethnic, national or cultural grounds.

  1.  In accordance with international law, all artifacts excavated or looted subsequent to June 4, 1967 shall be returned to the State in which their original archaeological sites are located, along with all documentation related to their excavation.

  1.  The modalities for repatriation shall be agreed in the Treaty. After resolution of any repatriation issues, all archaeological artifacts are the sole responsibility of the sovereign state in which they reside.

Archaeology encompasses holy sites and is considered a territorial issue and the Israeli side is not authorized to discuss it in the State-to-State committee.

State to State

(State to State)


The Parties will cooperate in the areas of health and medicine and shall negotiate with a view to the conclusion of an agreement that is in accordance with internationally accepted standards, taking into account the International Health Regulations of the World Health Organization among other regulation that would be of interest to the parties.

The Parties shall maintain independent public health systems and shall conduct their relations in the field of public health in accordance with internationally accepted standards, taking into account the International Health Regulations of the WHO, and in a manner that does not endanger the public health of the other side.  In this context, they shall immediately notify each other of potential health risks within their jurisdiction which could affect the other side.

The Parties shall facilitate and encourage cooperation and coordination in the fields of health and medicine including in the prevention and management of public health risks or emergencies, epidemics and contagious diseases; the promotion  of quality health care, medical equipment, technology and medicines; the exchange of information and mutual assistance; the exchange of specialists and professional training; the prevention of the import and export of counterfeit or unauthorized pharmaceutical products; as well as the facilitation of direct contact between health and medical institutions in their respective jurisdictions.

State to State

(State to State)


The nature of the tourism regime between Palestine and Israel -- whether it will be a restricted or open  regime --  will depend on the status and borders of Jerusalem.

Movement of tourists between the two states is a key issue to be arranged due to the integration of essential types of tourism in Palestine and Israel.

The Israeli side shared their position with the Palestine side as follows:

  1.  Israel and Palestine will cooperate in the development and marketing of joint tourism in Palestine and Israel.
  2.  A joint tourism committee will be established to follow up on bilateral tourism issues.
  3.  The parties will implement special movement arrangements on crossings.
  4.  Each state will determine its entry policy (visa).
  5.  Israeli and Palestinian tour guides will operate in their respective areas.
  6.  The Parties agree to negotiate an agreement to facilitate tourism.



Economic Relations Agreement

Trade Agreement based on an FTA model:

  •  General Principles and Trade in Goods: Agreement will be based on an FTA model and compatible with established rules and principles of global trade including those of the WTO.  Must include asymmetrical preferential treatment for Palestinian products until existing gap remedied.
  •  Trade in Agricultural Produce: Free trade in agricultural produce.
  •  Labor: Free movement of Palestinian Labor to Israeli market according to an agreed quota which will include professional labor.  
  •  General and Security Exceptions: Based on defined criteria's compatible with WTO standards.
  •  Border Crossings: Each side will have full control over its side of the border crossings. Border Crossings must allow for efficient and free movement of goods, labor and vehicles.
  •  Fiscal Policy: Each side will have its independent fiscal policy.
  •  Services: General agreement to be followed by a detailed agreement in a later stage.
  •  Dispute settlement: binding arbitration.
  •  Implementation and miscellaneous.

Trade agreement based on FTA model:

  •  General Principles & Trade in Goods: agreement will be based on an FTA model and WTO principles.
  •  Border Crossings: Each side will have control over its side of the border crossings. Trade and movement between the two sides will be only through the agreed crossings.
  •  Fiscal Policy: Each side will have its independent fiscal policy. In this section we don't deal with monetary affairs. There needs to be an agreement on taxation issues given the proximity between the two sides including VAT and Purchase Tax and not only Income tax.
  •  Agriculture: there is no definite position but trade in agricultural products will be restricted according to agreed quotas.
  •  Services: General agreement to be followed by a detailed agreement in a later stage.
  •  Labor: no definite position but is considering the option of restricted movement according to an agreed quota and a levy system that will insure that Palestinian labor will not compete with Israeli labor.
  •  Dispute Settlement: possible agreement on a binding dispute settlement mechanism.

Culture of Peace

(Culture of Peace)


In agreement and for the period after the agreement, dealing with negative aspects and fostering a culture of peace.

1. Education

2. Incitement

3. Implementation  

4. International fund


Mention API in the agreement.

In agreement and for the period after the agreement, dealing with negative aspects and fostering a culture of peace.

1. Education

2. Incitement

3. Implementation  

4. International fund

Unwilling to agree on API.



Agenda for committee

1. Release of all prisoners imprisoned as a result of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict upon signing of agreement on permanent status issues.

2. Coordinated and continued release of prisoners until signing in support of the peace process and in order to signal that we are moving towards an atmosphere of peace.

3. Improving conditions of the prisoners. The need to open a direct chancel and convene an experts committee from relevant authorities to discuss and agree systematically  issues and plan for improvement.  

Agreed to discuss all three issues in the committee.

Agreed to submit Israeli position on release of prisoners upon and following signing of agreement, after consultation with internal authorities and political level.

Wants to link No. 2 (release of prisoners until agreement) to performance of PA on the ground or other conditions.

Working on #3 (improvement of conditions) with internal authorities now.  




Presentation of list of decidable issues (11 substantive and 1 administrative).

Provide list of 8 agenda items in response to Palestinian list of decidable issues.    Have provided Palestinians with draft language, but have prevented the Palestinian experts from Gaza in any meaningful participation which would allow the Palestinian team to organize.




International Environmental Law, Principles and Best Practices shall form general framework for negotiating position.

International Multilateral Agreement?s are not helpful in negotiations. Negotiate bilateral arrangement on a subject by subject basis.

Israel has been unwilling to provide permits to Palestinian experts in Gaza who are required for review of draft Israeli language and organize Palestinian positions.



Water Right

Fundamental to achieve equitable allocation of shared water resources (West Bank and Coastal Aquifers, and Jordan River Basin, Wadi Gaza, West Bank Wadis)

Palestinians invited Israelis to discuss Israeli water rights and interests after which Israelis responded that discussing Palestinian water rights is not interesting.

Day to day issues, like increasing the amount of available water, dealt with through PWA.

Pragmatic approach to start with Oslo II and provide for additional Palestinian needs.  Israelis have not responded in meetings and refuse to commit to Committee agenda.

Accurate depiction of positions.  GoI wants to start with “defining the problem” i.e.. the shortage of water. Want Palestinians to acknowledge the diminished water in the region as the basis for ongoing negotiations.  Need to create alternatives, including desalinization.   

Initially, the Israelis suggested the interim agreement should be the basis of the future agreement, updated to reflect Palestinian needs.



Jordan River

Access essential to Jordan River as a source of water and adjacent valley for a viable Palestinian State.  Moreover, the Palestinians assert their rightful share to Jordan River Basin waters (approx. 1400 MCM/year).

Initially, Israel refused to discuss the Jordan River as they identified it must first be addressed in the territory and security committees. Subsequently, Israel has agreed to discuss the Jordan River in the water committee albeit limiting discussion to only the Lower Jordan River instead of the whole Jordan Basin. This implicitly would limit the possible share to the 75MCM/year in the lower Jordan without reference to remaining Basin flows unilaterally diverted and utilized by the other riparians.

Have lots of aspirations in JV.

Water (Water)

Experts Subcommittee

Necessary to establish expert subcommittee to create data baseline on natural sources, including aquifers and surface water.  Subsequently, the expert subcommittee composed of experts in groundwater, surface water, wastewater and utilization was convened in September 2008.

Initially, the Israelis wanted to establish the subcommittee without inclusion of surface water experts.  Next, the Expert subcommittee shall begin with a review of aquifers, but then the parties can discuss Jordan River.

Could also look at sewage systems as a water source, which has implications on public health etc.



List of Decidable issues

Palestine shall have full jurisdiction over its territory and all legal and natural persons present or operating therein.   

The list of decidable issues:


A. Mutual legal assistance

  1.  Civil and commercial matters
    •  Definition of matters that require mutual legal assistance
    •  Service of judicial documents
    •  Taking of evidence
    •  Recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters
    •  International child abduction
  2.  Criminal matters
  •  Definition of matters that require mutual legal assistance
  •  Mutual legal assistance in criminal matters other than extradition
  •  Extradition
  •  Cooperation in combating cross border offences

B. Diplomatic and consular immunities

C. Legal issues related to Jerusalem

D. Claims against a State in another State (State immunity)

E. Jurisdiction issues related to Safe Passage (as opposed to Territorial Link which shall be under Palestinian sovereignty)

F. Dispute resolution mechanism

G. Compensation for occupation

H. Family unification between Palestinian and Israeli citizens

  1.  Private property rights in the “swapped areas”
  2.  Truth and reconciliation

K. End of conflict and finality of claims


  1.  Civil and commercial matters
  2.  Criminal matters
  3.  Transfer of records
  4.  Civil and criminal jurisdiction in the transitional period
  5.  Legal issues related to outstanding claims against PA/PLO and PA Money held by Israel  

Previously raised 4 exceptions to applicability of Palestinian jurisdiction over Israelis, and note that in order to determine the system for legal aid, the past agreements should be evaluated to establish their relevance to the PSA.

The agreed agenda items so far comprise of the following subject matters:

  •  Mutual legal assistance and cooperation;
  •  State immunity and claims against one state in the courts of the other state;
  •  End of claims, including implicitly those pertaining to occupation;
  •  Transitional arrangements related to the above listed issues and other legal issues

In relation to other issues presented by the Palestinian side, the Israeli side took the view that those issues should not be discussed in the Legal Committee but rather in other committees or by the political level.  

According to the Israeli view, the political leadership would discuss:

  •  Legal issues related to Jerusalem;
  •  Dispute resolution mechanism;
  •  Jurisdiction issues related to Safe Passage/Territorial Link as may be relevant;
  •  Family unification between Palestinian and Israeli citizens;
  •  End of conflict

Other committees would discuss:

  •  Diplomatic and consular immunities- possibly in the State-to-State Committee
  •  Private property rights in the “swapped areas ? possibly in the Territorial Committee
  •  Truth and reconciliation ? possibly in the Culture of Peace Committee.




1967 Border


  •  1967 is only basis for two-state solution and defines sovereign Palestinian area.
  •  Accept US formula, which includes EJ but keeps NML unresolved.
  •  Discuss baseline in entirety (cannot delay Jerusalem).

  •  1967 is only “symbolic”.
  •  Accept US formula, which includes EJ but keeps NML unresolved.
  •  Discuss baseline piecemeal, delay Jerusalem for now.

East Jerusalem

  •  Included in baseline (as per US formula).
  •  Defined as 1967 municipal boundary (i.e., 6 km2).
  •  Part of whole border; cannot be delayed.
  •  Borders determined same as rest of WB (1967 border, with possible agreed 1:1 swaps, etc.).
  •  Sovereignty and modalities/arrangements are two different issues.

  •  Included in baseline (as per US formula).
  •  Defined as Israeli municipal boundary (+).
  •  Unwilling/unable to comment on areas inside Israeli-defined municipal Jerusalem at this time.
  •  Issue of Holy Basin/Old City should be postponed.

No Mans Land

  •  Part and parcel of 1967 and is occupied territory.
  •  Have proposed to split evenly.

  •  Not up for discussion; “not occupied from anyone”
  •  Have proposed to split evenly.

Jordan Valley

  •  Not up for discussion, as it?s part of West Bank and Pal. border w/Jordan.

  •  Should be discussed, but only after security arrangements are agreed.






  •  Must be 1:1 in both size and value.
  •  Any modification to 1967 is a Palestinian concession.
  •  Willing to discuss swaps, but not necessarily 1:1.
  •  Palestinians do not have ?rights? to the land; Israel not under any obligation to ?return? land.


  •  Contiguity, viability, Jerusalem, security, water, etc.
  •  No Palestinians from either side of 1967 to be swapped.
  •  Palestinian interests outweigh Israeli or settlers? interests as per legal rights; also Israeli state already existing and viable.

  •  Primarily “facts on the ground”, minimizing number of settlers evacuated, “security needs” and contiguity of settlements with Israel.
  •  No West Bank Palestinians to be annexed (but want to consider swapping Pal. areas inside Israel).


  •  Settlements to be considered on an individual basis (i.e., built-up areas).
  •  Cannot include Ariel, Ma?ale Adumim, Giv?at Zeev “blocs”, or Efrat and Har Homa settlements in swap.
  •  Substantial majority of settler population can remain under Israeli sovereignty (62% under Pal. proposal).
  •  Want to annex all major “blocs” (esp. Etzion, Adumim, Modi?in, Ariel/Shomron) and other settlements “close to the line” (not specified).
  •  Keep 80% of Israeli settlers (i.e., 89% with EJ & NML)
  •  May have additional claims in Hebron/Qiryat Arba? and Jordan Valley, depending on security arrangements.




Territorial Link

  •  Necessary for a viable state.
  •  Permanent land corridor, under Pal. sovereignty, control, and jurisdiction; sufficient width to allow for multiple lanes, rail connection and utilities/water infrastructure.
  •  Agree to “safe passage”/link in principle (but no clear position stated as to nature or sovereignty of link).
  •  Proposed link under full Palestinian control but under Israeli sovereignty (cannot be confirmed).





  •  Maritime boundaries should be agreed as part of Territory negotiations.
  •  Palestine will have full share of maritime zones to which it is entitled as coastal state under international law (including UN Convention on Law of the Sea).  

  •  No need for bilateral agreement, as the issue is governed by international law.





  •  Presented proposal to swap 1.9% of total WBGS area (3 May 08).
  •  Proposed swaps on both sides of 1967 line.
  •  Presented Olmert?s proposal to AM of “7.3%” of WB (i.e., 9.2% of WB with EJ & NML), in exchange for equivalent of 5% from Israel (7 Apr. 2008).
  •  Unwilling to present Olmert?s proposal to AM of “6.8%” (31 Aug. 08) to technical committee.
  •  In exchange for equivalent of 5.5% from Israel (in Bisan and areas adjacent to Hebron and Gaza);
  •  Issue of Holy Basin/Old City (comprising 0.04% or 2.2 km2 of WB) to be postponed;
  •  Part of “package” deal on all PS issues.  
  •  Technical team not allowed to present GoI position on specific areas in Israel to be swapped.
  •  Maps presented are similar to the Wall.




Mandate should cover all infrastructure issues in Palestine, infrastructure connecting the West Bank and Gaza, and that connecting Palestine to Israel.

Many of the subject matters cannot be constructively discussed without knowing the final borders and the status of Jerusalem.  Nonetheless, the Palestinian side presented its vision for infrastructure components as part of a Palestinian state on the 1967 line, without settlements, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and with a territorial link between the West Bank and Gaza Strip.  This vision includes sovereignty and control over Palestinian air space, the electromagnetic sphere, maritime boundaries and all of its territory (surface, air, and subterranean).   [Details listed in the subheadings below]

Subject matters include:

1. Transportation

a. Aviation and airports

b. Navigation and seaports

c. Roads

d. Rail ways

2. Telecommunications

3. Energy

a. Electricity

b. Gas

c. Fuels

d. Renewables

5. Settlements? infrastructure including:

a. housing units

b. factories

c. green houses

d. public buildings

e. infrastructure networks and equipments

6. Crossings infrastructure

7. Regional infrastructure projects

a. Red Sea Dead Sea Canal

b. West Ghor canal

8. Wastewater Infrastructure

With regard to discussing the agenda of the infrastructure committee, the Palestinian position is that the Infrastructure committee is to discuss all the issues on the agenda, and not to pick and chose among them since all issues are equally important. Moreover, if there is any issue on the agenda that any side may think  is relevant to other committees in terms of decision making, the appropriate people from other committees are invited to join the infrastructure committee to participate in the discussion and the decision making, or alternatively the infrastructure committee members would join the relevant committees tasked with resolving that issue. It is not acceptable that the infrastructure issues be discussed or decided by other committees without the participation of the infrastructure committee.

In regards to the sequencing of the decision making and the linkage between the infrastructure issues and the core issues, the Palestinian side suggested discussing all the issues and where there is no agreement, disputed issues would be referred to political level. Such discussion could be fed to the leadership level as information, recommendation, scenarios, etc that would facilitate the decision making on the core issues. Simply it would be a bottom- up approach rather than a top-bottom approach.

The Israeli side agreed to discuss the subject matters proposed by the Palestinian side with the exception of settlement infrastructure, East Jerusalem infrastructure, the Wall and compensation. The only addition that Israel made to the list of issues is a fifth sub issue to the energy component and that is called “liquid propane gas”.  The Israeli side stated that:

  1.  the issue of settlements? infrastructure is not within the mandate of the infrastructure committee and that if they would be mandated to tackle it, it will be discussed only after the fate of the settlements is decided on the political level;
  2.  all issues relevant to East Jerusalem can not be tackled before a political decision is made on Jerusalem.

Although the Israeli side included the West Ghor Canal in their agenda for discussion, they retreated in the ninth infrastructure meeting, where they proposed deferring the issue of the West Ghor Canal to the Water Committee.  

The Israeli side committed to respond to the Palestinian vision regarding all infrastructure issues at the tenth infrastructure meeting, but when the time came for the meeting itself they instead requested a meeting for the Transportation Subcommittee. However, in a previous meeting, the Israeli side insisted on placing conditions on the order of the discussions by deferring aviation, navigation and telecommunications until these matters are first dealt with as security issues. The security committee has not dealt with these issues to date.

The Israeli side suggests making progress on the issues that are not conditional to decisions by the other committees including the security and the plenary committees. The issues that Israel is ready to discuss immediately include all issues on energy and the issues of roads and railways under the transportation file.

If the Palestinian side decides to freeze the discussion until the all political and security decisions are made, the Israeli side has indicated that they will  respect this decision and would agree to freeze infrastructure discussions until all issues on the agenda can be discussed.


(Infrastructure, Border Crossings Subcommittee)

Border Crossings

The Crossings committee is a subcommittee to the Infrastructure committee.

The main issues for the crossings subcommittee discussion include:

  •  the location of the crossings
  •  the number of the crossings
  •  the use of the crossings for goods, people, vehicles, services and transit
  •  infrastructure on the crossings
  •  procedures for the crossings

Agreement is needed on the location of the border and the nature of the trade and economic regime between the Parties before we can engage in meaningful negotiations on the crossings.  

The crossing subcommittee will be working on a detailed mandate and agenda for the passages negotiations.

The main principles for the crossings discussions are:

  1.  The border crossings shall be located on the agreed border between the two sides. (The existing check points will not be considered.)

  1.  Border crossings between Palestine and its other neighbors (Egypt and Jordan) will be discussed bilaterally between the PLO and Egypt and the PLO and Jordan. Israel has nothing to do with these crossings.

  1.  Ports and airports in Palestine are a sovereign right for Palestine that is not an issue for the Crossings Subcommittee to discuss.

  1.  The border crossings must be operated as efficient commercial crossings allowing for free and secured movement of vehicles, goods services and people (and not security checkpoints allowing for restricted movement of vehicles, goods, services and people).

The crossing committee is a separate committee from the infrastructure committee in the Israeli committee structure for the permanent status negations.

The first step on the crossings discussions is to finalize the mandate and the agenda of the crossings committee discussions.

The crossings committee will be addressing all kinds of crossings including goods, vehicles, and people and services crossings.

The Israeli side considers the crossings between Israel and the state of Palestine as the priority topic for the crossings committee discussions.

After the security committee is done with the issues relevant to the crossings between the state of Palestine and third states including the ports and airports and land crossings with neighboring countries, the crossings committee will discuss the issues relevant to thos crossings if there are any issues to be discussed.

The crossings committee will discuss and agree to the principles governing the establishment and operation of the crossings and then will move to the detailed procedures relevant to operating the crossings.



Transportation subcommittee)

Aviation, navigation, roads and railways

Transportation issues were discussed in all the infrastructure committee meetings. and the tenth meeting for the infrastructure committee was dedicated to the Transportation Subcommittee discussions.

Transportation is one integral issue that can not be divided since all issues of transportation are linked to each other and are equally important.

The Palestinian side presented the Palestinian vision and main positions with regards to all transportation issues relevant to aviation, navigation, roads and rail ways as follows:


  •  For informed negotiations, data and maps that concern, inter alia the aeronautical routes for the airports in Palestine and Israel need to be shared.

  •  Palestine will have separate Air Traffic Controls (ATC) that will operate in accordance with the Chicago Convention and ICAO rules and regulations that govern the relations between countries including the use of the airspace, cooperation and coordination measures, an air corridor between the West Bank and Gaza Strip (if necessary), and the use of the other party?s airspace to allow for civil use of airplanes maneuvering to land at airports.

  •  The two main airports that Palestine is considering are Gaza International Airport and Qalandia (Jerusalem) Airport and airport in Jericho for cargo.  


  •  Sharing information such as data and maps regarding the road network in the West Bank including Jerusalem and the settlements is needed for the negotiations to be effective.

  •  Palestinians and Israelis need to agree on international road connections between the State of Palestine and the State of Israel (which needs to be coordinated with the border crossings discussions and the discussions on the actual border).

  •  The parties need to agree on the recognition of licensing of persons and vehicles (commercial and private) to enable driving in the other party?s jurisdiction

  •  The parties need to agree on the insurance policies that would provide coverage for drivers and vehicles while driving or transiting in the other party?s jurisdiction.

As a response to the Israeli presentation and showing of current and projected regional roads, the Palestinian side emphasized that the Israeli maps and presentation of issues is not acceptable since the maps shown do not even mention the West Bank and Gaza and illustrate an Israeli planning of roads that does not reflect Palestinian interests or needs. Accordingly the discussion over Palestinian-Israeli relations on roads would be considered only after the Israeli side presents revised maps in the next meeting which show the West Bank and Gaza Strip as well as the projected regional roads that could connect the two states in the future.

Sovereign Territorial link:

  •  An infrastructure link between the West Bank and Gaza is necessary to protect the integration of the two administrative areas of the State of Palestine and to determine the interconnection for electricity, gas, transportation, telecommunications, etc.

  •  The route and the type (whether a sunken road link, a surface road link, etc) of the territorial link are important details that need to be determined before discussing the infrastructure. USAID and the World Bank, among other institutions, have been involved in the development of various scenarios for the territorial link in terms of its type and route and relevant infrastructure. Such efforts were developed in the year 2005, and may be helpful in our discussions. We are open to discussing all options.  

  •  On speculation that there are some security dimensions to the issues, security experts are invited to attend the infrastructure meetings.

  •  From an infrastructure perspective, coordination is required for the type and the route of the territorial link based on the following considerations:
  •  electricity
  •  fuel pipelines
  •  water pipelines
  •  roads
  •  railways
  •  telecommunications (fixed and mobile)
  •  fiber optics
  •  site plans
  •  use of radio frequencies


  •  The parties need to agree on the maritime motorways between the State of Palestine and the State of Israel.

  •  Palestine will have a commercial port in Gaza.


  •  Railway routes between the State of Palestine and the State of Israel (and including within Jerusalem) need to be agreed between the parties.

The security committee should discuss the general security principles for the peace agreement between Palestine and Israel. After they finish the security principles they will discuss the security aspect of aviation, navigation and the territorial link. Afterwards the issues of infrastructure relevant to these issues will be addressed by the infrastructure committee.


  •  The Israeli side considers the Qalandia Airport as a territorial issue for the Jerusalem discussion and as a security and environmental issue. In general, the Israeli side does not see a venue for Palestinian use of the Qalandia Airport


  •  In the Dr. Erekat ? Mr. Dekel meeting on September 11, 2008, Mr. Dekel noted that from a security point of view there should be no airport in the West Bank, esp not near Jerusalem. Moreover, Mr. Dekel noted that the first step is to agree that the airspace would be unified.  Then Palestinians and Israelis have to discuss whether there should be one FIR (Flight Information Region) or two


  •  The roads and railways? maps that were shown1 to the Palestinian side are maps that were prepared by the Israeli Ministry of Transportation and reflect only the Israeli planning with respect to all of mandate Palestine, without any political consideration, and were clearly not prepared for the purpose of permanent status negotiations or with a two state solution in mind.

Territorial link:

  •  The Israeli side is pending authorization to discuss this issue at the Infrastructure Committee or another committee only after the Plenary level addresses the political aspects of the territorial link.

  •  The territorial link is not in the interest of Israel. Accordingly the Palestinians side should not expect to see any projection for the territorial link on the Israeli maps.


  •  The coordination and cooperation between the Palestinians and the Israeli on the roads and rail way networks are the kink of cooperation and coordination that is needed for the peace negotiations on these issues.




For constructive negotiations, data and maps showing the electricity network in the West Bank are needed from the Israeli side. The data and maps needed include the grid networks, the substations with their specifications and locations, and the connection points along with their locations and specifications.

Supply of electricity to Palestine from Israel is a commercial issue. If Palestine is offered a competitive deal for the supply of electricity, it will be interested in continuing buying electricity from Israel, especially given that the current integration in the electricity networks between Palestine and Israel.

Israel would like to continue providing commercial electricity to the Palestinian market and requires information on the amount needed and the length of the contract to purchase electricity for Israeli planning purposes.

Israel needs to know if Palestine will continue to buy electricity supplies from Israel in order to consider it in its capacity planning.

Palestine should not only look at the price in its decision making for the supply of electricity to Palestine.




Information from Israel is required concerning the capacity of the fuel pumps in Israel which are adjacent to the 1967 borders and the fuel distribution pipeline network.


Supply of fuel to Palestine is a commercial issue that depends on the volume and capacity of supplies, price, quality and how easy it can be supplied. If Israel puts forward a competitive offer for fuel supply, Palestine will consider it especially that Palestine would be interested in benefiting from its Arab depth where Arab countries would be interested in supplying Palestine with crude oil as support to the Palestinian State.

Palestine is planning to have its own refinery in the state of Palestine. It is also considering contracting refinery facilities in Israeli; however this issue is a commercial one and would be relevant only for commercial deals.

Response pending. Israel is interested in building storage areas for its liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in Palestine.



Telecom and the Electromagnetic Sphere

Information from the Israeli side is needed on the telecom infrastructure in the West Bank and Gaza (including settlements and East Jerusalem) for fiber optic networks, switches, towers, current use of spectrum and location of the fiber optic links between the West Bank and Gaza.

Palestine may need to agree with Israel upon a defined period for the continuation of specific telecom services to the Palestinian State through commercial operators.

The two sides need to agree on the transitional arrangements for the provision of telecom services to the settlements and the military areas until they are fully evacuated.

Palestine and Israel need an agreement on microwave links to connect the West Bank with the Gaza Strip (telecom issues for fixed and mobile communications relevant to the territorial link will be defined in the discussion on the specifications of the territorial link).

On the day after Palestinian sovereignty, the State of Palestine will accede to the ITU as full state members and will need to develop arrangements to fully implement ITU regulations concerning such issues as spectrum interference (especially in close populated areas).

Response pending.