"On December 23, it was reported that Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and the Speaker of the Palestinian parliament Ahmed Qurei had drafted a peace plan. A Palestinian official said that their agenda called for a cease-fire, implementing Mitchell/Tenet, Israeli recognition of a Palestinian state, final status talks on Jerusalem, refugees, borders, and water to last 9 to 12 months, international supervision of talks, and troops after an agreement. Whether a Palestinian state would be declared before or after the talks remains undecided. Sharon said that the plan 'has no effect or weight' but added that Peres could continue talks to end terrorism and reach a cease-fire. The Israeli military has reported a sharp decrease in violence since Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Yasir Arafat's December 16 call for a cessation of attacks. U.S. envoy General Anthony Zinni will return to the region on January 3 for four days. Ben Eliezer said that Israel would be willing to resume talks with Syria if it agreed to rein in Hizballah. Syrian President Bashar al Asad reportedly was skeptical."
CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB91137
U.S. Dept. of State, Foreign Press Centers: http://fpc.state.gov/