Palestinians and Middle East Peace: Issues for the United States [April 9, 2002]   [open pdf - 97KB]

"The United States began contacts with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in December 1988, after the PLO accepted Israel's right to exist, accepted U.N. Resolutions 242 and 338 that call for an exchange of land for peace, and renounced terrorism. The United States continues its contacts with the PLO and the Palestinian Authority elected in January 1996, and is an active broker in the continuing Middle East peace process. Congress gave the President the authority to waive previously passed legislation prohibiting U.S. contributions to the United Nations from funding any PLO activities, threatening to withdraw U.S. membership from international organizations that recognize the PLO, prohibiting U.S. government employees from negotiating with the PLO, and labeling the PLO a terrorist organization. The waiver authority was extended in P.L. 104-107 (February 12, 1996), but expired August 12, 1997. […] The Interim Agreement signed on September 28, 1995 (also called Oslo II or the Taba Agreement), provided for elections for the 88-seat Palestinian Assembly, the release of Israeli-held prisoners, Israeli withdrawal from six West Bank cities, and other issues. The Israelis withdrew from the West Bank cities by the end of 1995, and the Palestinian Assembly was elected on January 20, 1996, and sworn in on March 7, 1996. Israel and the Palestinians agreed to an Israeli withdrawal from Hebron in January 1997, and on October 23, 1998 signed the Wye agreement to meet previous commitments. The peace talks stalled at Camp David in July 2000, and remain suspended since the Palestinian uprising began in September.Some 600 Palestinians and 150 Israelis have died in the continuing confrontation. Also see CRS [Congressional Research Service] Issue Brief IB91137, The Middle East Peace Talks."

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CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB92052
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