Sept. 13, 1993
Players: PLO negotiator Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres signed the document for their respective sides at a ceremony on the White House lawn, witnessed by President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Warren Christopher, Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev, Israel's Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat.
Agenda: Negotiated in secret between Israel and the PLO, the Oslo Accords envisaged a withdrawal of Israeli forces from parts of the Gaza Strip and West Bank, and their replacement by a Palestinian National Authority (hereafter PA). The PA would rule over the major Palestinian population centers in the West Bank and Gaza for a five-year interim period, during which further transfers of land to the PA would occur. The idea of a phased transition to Palestinian rule was intended to build mutual trust for negotiating a final-status agreement the most difficult issues, namely Jerusalem, refugees, Israeli settlements, security, water rights and borders were purposefully left to the end in the hope that a successful interim period would make people on both sides more amenable to compromise.
Outcome: After the successful implementation of the first phase, the Oslo 2 agreement of September 1995 advanced agreements on security issues, Palestinian elections, transfer of land, transfer of civil power from Israel to the PA, trade conditions and release of Palestinian prisoners. The final-status talks, broached at Camp David in 2000 and subsequently at Taba, were never concluded.
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