Final Version of “Road Map” Released

The final version of “A Performance-Based Road Map to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” is formally presented to Israel and the PA.  The road map consists of three phases. In Phase 1 (to take place before May 2003, a deadline already indicated in the 15 October 2002 draft), Palestinians end “terror” and violence and build institutions, while Israel improves the humanitarian situation and freezes all settlement activity (including natural growth). In Phase 2 (June-December 2003), a Palestinian state with provisional borders is to be established. In Phase 3 (2004-2005), a permanent status agreement is to be reached.A plan introduced by the Middle East Quartet (US, Russia, EU and UN), based on a document prepared by the US Department of State, whose final text was published on 30 April 2003. The purpose of the plan, which was based on US President George Bush‘s 2002 Vision for Peace, was to establish clearly-defined benchmarks and goals for progress in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, with the aim of reaching a comprehensive settlement by 2005. The plan was divided into three phases, with its “performance-based” character meaning that the rate of progress from each phase to the next would depend on both sides’ compliance with their obligations. The purpose of Phase I was to end violence associated with the Second Intifada, a return to the pre-Intifada territorial status quo, a rebuilding of Palestinian institutions and a freeze on Israeli settlement activity. Phase II was to include the establishment of a Palestinian state with provisional borders in the context of an international conference to support it, while Phase III was to be devoted to permanent status negotiations. While the Road Map was accepted in principle by PNA President Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his government offered 14 reservations to the plan, including a rejection of settlement freeze and of the suggested timelines, and conditioning progress on a complete cessation of Palestinian violence. Despite the work of the 2003 Sharm el-Sheikh Summit and an attempted ceasefire (hudna), the Road Map eventually failed to stop the violence, and its implementation was discontinued.