Israeli-Arab Negotiations: Background, Conflicts, and U.S. Policy [Updated June 6, 2008]   [open pdf - 1MB]

"On April 30, 2003, the United States, the U.N., European Union, and Russia (known as the 'Quartet') presented a 'Road Map' to Palestinian statehood. It has not been implemented. [...] The victory of Hamas, which Israel and the United States consider a terrorist group, in the January 2006 Palestinian parliamentary elections complicated prospects for peace because the United States, Israel, and the Quartet would not deal with a Hamas-led government until it disavowed violence, recognized Israel, and accepted prior Israeli-Palestinian accords. The June 2007 Hamas military takeover of the Gaza Strip and President Abbas's dissolution of the Hamas-led government resulted in resumed international contacts with the PA. On November 27, President Bush convened an international conference in Annapolis, MD, and read a Joint Understanding reached by Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in which they agreed to simultaneously resume bilateral negotiations on core issues and implement the Road Map. Congress is interested in issues related to Middle East peace because of its oversight role in the conduct of U.S. foreign policy, its support for Israel, and keen constituent interest. It is especially concerned about U.S. financial and other commitments to the parties, and the 110th Congress is engaged in these matters. Congress also has endorsed Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel, although U.S. Administrations have consistently maintained that the fate of the city is the subject of final status negotiations. This CRS report will be updated as developments warrant."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL33530
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