Individual Term paper on Israel-Palestinian Negotiations - The Bilateral Negotiations Background: The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is the ongoing civil war between Israelis and Palestinians, an enduring and explosive conflict. The conflict is wide-ranging and it forms part of the wider, and generally earlier, Arab–Israeli conflict. The remaining key issues are: mutual recognition, borders, security, water rights, control of Jerusalem, Israeli settlements, Palestinian freedom of movement and legalities concerning refugees. The violence resulting from the conflict has prompted international actions, as well as other security and human rights concerns, both within and between both sides, and internationally. A hallmark of the conflict has been the level of violence witnessed for virtually its entire duration. Fighting has been conducted by regular armies, paramilitary groups, terror cells and individuals. Casualties have not been restricted to the military, with a large number of fatalities in civilian population on both sides. There are prominent international actors involved in the conflict. The two parties engaged in direct negotiation are the Israeli government, currently led by Benjamin Netanyahu, and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), currently headed by Mahmoud Abbas. The official negotiations are mediated by an international contingent known as the Quartet on the Middle East (the Quartet) represented by a special envoy that consists of the United States, Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations. The Arab League is another important actor, which has proposed an alternative peace plan. Egypt, a founding member of the Arab League, has historically been a key participant. Periods of the conflict On the historical timeline, the Israeli–Palestinian conflict has had six distinct phases: Late 19th century-1917: The period of the Ottoman Empire rule in Palestine in which the Palestinians saw themselves as part of the overall Arab territories which were under the rule of
the Ottoman Empire. During that period, the disputes were on the basis of religious background and not on national background. 1917-1948: The period of the British Mandate of Palestine, in which both parties were under British rule and under a single political entity - called Palestine in English. During this period the term "The Israeli–Palestinian conflict" was not used and instead the conflict was referred to as "the Jewish-Arab conflict over the Land of Palestine" 1948-1967: The period between the declaration of the State of Israel and the Six-Day War in which the parties resided in three separate political entities: The State of Israel, the Gaza Strip (which was controlled by Egypt) and the West Bank (which was annexed to Jordan). 1967-1993: The period between the Six-Day War and the Oslo Accords, in which the conflicted parties reside in the areas addressed by the UN Partition Plan that were under the control of the State of Israel. 1993-2000: The period between the Oslo Accords and the Second Intifada, in which Israel exists alongside the semi-sovereign political entity - the Palestinian Authority. 2000–present: The period between the beginning of the Second Intifada up until today, in which Israel returned to perform arresting operations in Area A zones in the West Bank and Gaza and later on retreated from the Gaza Strip in 2005. Israel's unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip inadvertently led to the strengthening of Hamas, which in 2007 took control over the Gaza Strip.
Core issues There are numerous issues to resolve before a lasting peace can be reached, including the following:
1. Jerusalem The border of Jerusalem is a particularly delicate issue, with each side asserting claims over this city. The three largest Abrahamic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—include Jerusalem as an important setting for their religious and historical narratives. Israel asserts that the city should not be divided and should...