Geneva Accord (2003)

The Geneva Accord (see the text below), initialled in Jordan on 12 October 2003, was the result of more than two years of negotiations between moderate Israeli and Palestinians. The negotiations were supported by Swiss government.

The document provides an alternative to the current negotiating strategy, the Road Map. Nevertheless, both strategies lie on different principles. Whereas the Road Map aims to create secure conditions for facilitate a settlement agreement, the Geneva Agreement, establishes first a settlement agreement aimed to lead to peace.

The Israeli negotiating team was leaded by the former Labour Minister, Tossi Beilin, and was formed, amongst others, by Amram Mitzna, Amos Oz, Yuli Tamir and Lieutenant General Amnon Lipkin-Shahak. The Palestinian side was leaded by former minister Yasser Abed Rabo.

The document has no legal worth as the governments of Israel and Palestinian Authority didn’t participate in its making. Its authors hope that the ideas contained in the proposal will be adopted by the current or future governments. Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, dismissed the document for its lack of legitimacy. The Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, is said to have been kept informed (though his level of support is not clear).

The basic framework of the agreement is the following:

  • Palestinian recognition of Israel,
  • Israeli withdrawal to its 1967 borders (one or two land transfers would be agreed),
  • Palestinian relinquish the right of return of refugees (upon Israeli agreement, some of them could return),
  • Administrative division of Jerusalem (no physical division),
  • Palestinian sovereignty of the Temple Mount (an international force would guarantee the access for visitors) and Israeli sovereignity of the Wailing Wall,
  • Israel keeping of some settlements -notably around Jerusalem- (the large settlement of Ariel -West Bank- would fall under Palestinian area),
  • Demilitarisation of the Palestinian state.