Road map for peace
The Roadmap for peace or road map for peace was a plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict proposed by the Quartet on the Middle East: the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations. The principles of the plan, originally drafted by U.S. Foreign Service Officer Donald Blome, were first outlined by U.S. President George W. Bush in a speech on 24 June 2002, in which he called for an independent Palestinian state living side by side with Israel in peace. A draft version from the Bush administration was published as early as 14 November 2002. The final text was released on 30 April 2003. The process reached a deadlock early in phase I and the plan was never implemented.
Development of the plan 
|Part of a series on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict
and Arab–Israeli conflict
Major projects, groups and NGOs
The road map is based on a speech of U.S. President George W. Bush on 24 June 2002. A first EU-draft, proposed in September 2002, was put aside in favour of a US-draft. The draft version from the Bush administration was published as early as 14 November 2002. The EU pushed the Quartet to present the final text on 20 December 2002, but failed, due to Israeli opposition. Sharon pledged support for the road map, provided the Palestinian state was restricted to 42% of the West Bank and 70% of the Gaza strip; and under full Israeli control. Israel ruled out the division of Jerusalem and the Palestinian right of return and requested more than 100 changes to the road map. Only after Sharon's re-election, the end of the war against Iraq, the nomination of a Palestinian prime minister and the installation of a new Palestinian government the plan was finally published on 30 April 2003. In a statement, Bush made clear that the plan was developed by the United States, not by the Quartet.
The plan 
Described as a "performance-based and goal-driven roadmap", the Roadmap is built on goals without going into details. It may be summarized as: end the violence; halt settlement activity; reform Palestinian institutions; accept Israel’s right to exist; establish a viable, sovereign Palestinian state; and reach a final settlement on all issues by 2005. However, as a performance-based plan, progress will require and depend upon the good faith efforts of the parties, and their compliance with each of the obligations the Quartet put into the plan.
The Roadmap is composed of three phases: I. Satisfy the preconditions for a Palestinian state; II. Creating an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders; III. Negotiations on a permanent status agreement, recognition of a Palestinian state with permanent borders and end of conflict.
- Phase I (finished as early as May 2003): Mutual recognition; end to Palestinian violence and terrorism; Palestinian political-institutional reform; Palestinian elections; Israeli withdraw to the positions of 28 September 2000 (begin of Second Intifada; the plan does not speak of any further withdraw). Israeli refrain from deportations, attacks on civilians, demolition and destruction, etc.; reopen Palestinian institutions in East Jerusalem; improve humanitarian situation, full implementaton Bertini report, easing movement; freeze on settlement expansion and dismantling of settlement outposts built since 2001.
- Phase II (June–December 2003): International Conference to support Palestinian economic recovery and launch a process, leading to establishment of an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders; revival of multilateral engagement on issues including regional water resources, environment, economic development, refugees, and arms control issues; Arab states restore pre-intifada links to Israel (trade offices, etc.).
- Phase III (2004–2005): second international conference; permanent status agreement and end of conflict; agreement on final borders, clarification of the highly controversial question of the fate of Jerusalem, refugees and settlements; Arab state to agree to peace deals with Israel.
NB: A provisional state in Phase II would thus include all existing settlements and exclude East-Jerusalem. Although the plan was presented with considerable delay, the original timetable was not adapted.
Sharon's rejection of a settlement freeze 
On May 12, 2003 it was reported that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had stated that a settlement freeze would be "impossible" due to the need for settlers to build new houses and start families. Ariel Sharon asked then US Secretary of State Colin Powell "What do you want, for a pregnant woman to have an abortion just because she is a settler?".
Israel's conditions 
While the Palestinians accepted the road map, the Israeli government with its right wing ministers opposed. Sharon could only accept the plan with "some artful language", thus the Government accepted "the steps set out in the road map", rather than the road map itself.
On 25 May 2003, the Prime Minister's Cabinet approved the road map with 14 reservations.  These included:
- The Palestinians will dismantle the (PA's) security organizations and reform the structures;
- The Palestinians must cease violence and incitement and educate for peace;
- The Palestinians must complete the dismantling of Hamas and other militant groups and their infrastructure, and collect and destroy all illegal weapons;
- No progress to Phase II before all above-mentioned conditions are fullfilled;
- (unlike the Palestinians) Israel is not obliged to cease violence and incitement against the other party, pursuant to the road map.
2. No progress to the next phase before complete cessation of terror, violence and incitement. No timelines for carryout the Roadmap.
3. Replacement and reform of the current leadership in the Palestinian Authority (including Yasser Arafat). Otherwise no progress to Phase II.
4. The process will be monitored by America (not the Quartet).
5. The character of the provisional Palestinian state will be determined through negotiations. The provisional state will be demilitarized, with provisional borders and "certain aspects of sovereignty", and subjected to Israeli control of the entry and exit of all persons and cargo, plus its airspace and electromagnetic spectrum (radio, television, internet, radar, etc.).
6. Declaration of Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, as well as the waiver of any right of return of refugees to Israel.
9. Prior to the final settlement talks (that is in the permanent status negotiations, Phase III), no discussions about settlements, Jerusalem and borders. Only about a settlement freeze and illegal outposts.
10. No reference other than the key provisions of U.N. Resolution 242 and 338. No reference to other peace initiatives (it is unclear if the Oslo-accords are included).
12. Withdrawal to the September 2000 lines will be conditional.
13. Israel is not bound to the Bertini Report in respect to improve Palestinian humanitarian issues.
Validity of the reservations 
The road map was offered for acceptance "as it is", without room for adaptions. The Government statement of 25 May 2003, however, made clear that Israel regarded its reservations part of the road map:
"The Government of Israel affirms the Prime Minister's announcement, and resolves that all of Israel's comments, as addressed in the Administration's statement, will be implemented in full during the implementation phase of the Roadmap."
Furthermore the Government definitely ruled out the right of return:
"The Government of Israel further clarifies that, both during and subsequent to the political process, the resolution of the issue of the refugees will not include their entry into or settlement within the State of Israel."
A US official, however, said that US commitment did not mean, that all of Israel's demands would be met. The Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas called the Israeli reservations to the map "not part of the map and ... not relevant to its implementation, and ... not acceptable to the Palestinians."
Hostilities after publication 
From 1–17 May, 43 Palestinian civilians were killed; from 5–17 May, 4 Israeli civilians. After a suicide attack on 18 May, which killed 6 Israeli's, the hostilities went on with more deaths. In May, the army carried out 35 punitive demolitions of Palestinian homes.
President Bush visited the Middle East from June 2–4, 2003 for two summits in an attempt to push the road map as part of a seven-day overseas trip through Europe and Russia. On June 2, Israel freed about 100 Palestinian prisoners before the first summit in Egypt as a sign of goodwill. The list consisted largely of administrative detainees who were due to be released. Subsequent prisoner releases involved members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, but the government insisted that those slated for release did not have Israeli "blood on their hands." In Egypt on June 3, President Bush met with the leaders of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Bahrain, and with Prime Minister Abbas. The Arab leaders announced their support for the road map and promised to work on cutting off funding to terrorist groups. On June 4, Bush headed to Jordan to meet directly with Ariel Sharon and Mahmoud Abbas.
Start and deadlock 
The first step on the road map was the appointment of the first-ever Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas (also known as Abu Mazen,) by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. The United States and Israel demanded that Arafat be neutralized or sidelined in the road map process, claiming that he had not done enough to stop Palestinian attacks against Israelis while in charge. The United States refused to release the road map until a Palestinian prime minister was in place. Abbas was appointed on 19 March 2003, clearing the way for the release of the road map's details on 30 April 2003.
On 27 May 2003, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon stated that the "occupation" of Palestinian territories was "a terrible thing for Israel and for the Palestinians" and "can't continue endlessly." Sharon's phraseology prompted shock from many in Israel, leading to a clarification that by "occupation," Sharon meant control of millions of Palestinian lives rather than actual physical occupation of land.
After the summits 
After Bush left the region violence resumed, threatening to derail the road map plan. Palestinians carried out suicide bomb attacks. The Israeli army shot and killed Palestinian civilians, attacked ambulances, demolished Palestinian houses and continued its targeted killing of Hamas leaders with new helicopter attacks. In June, the army carried out 13 punitive house demolitions
On 29 June 2003, a tentative unilateral cease-fire ("hudna" in Arabic) was declared by the Palestinian Authority and four major Palestinian groups. Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas announced a joint three-month cease-fire, while Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction declared a six-month truce. The cease-fire was later joined by the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine. One condition of maintaining the truce was a demand for the release of prisoners from Israeli jails, which was not part of the road map process. Israel held some 5480 prisoners (not held on criminal counts), a substantial part of them illegally deported to prisons in Israel. Despite this, Israel withdrew troops from the northern Gaza Strip and was discussing the transfer of territory to Palestinian control. This coincided with a visit to the region by United States National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice.
On 1 July 2003, in Jerusalem, Sharon and Abbas held a first-ever ceremonial opening to peace talks, televised live in both Arabic and Hebrew. Both leaders said the violence had gone on too long and that they were committed to the U.S.-led road map for peace. On 2 July, Israeli troops pulled out of Bethlehem and transferred control to Palestinian security forces. The plan required that Palestinian police take over from withdrawing Israeli forces and stop any anti-Israeli militant attacks. At the same time, the U.S. announced a $30 million aid package to the Palestinian Authority to help rebuild infrastructure destroyed by Israeli incursions.
The hudna quickly collapsed. On 3 July, the IDF killed 2 civilians. In an IDF operation to arrest Hamas members, gunfight broke out in which an Israeli soldier and two alleged Hamas militants were killed. A new cycle of violence happened. Hamas responded with a suicide bombing on 12 August, killing one Israeli civilian. Fatah claimed responsibility for a second suicide bombing on 12 August, killing another Israeli citizen. Despite this de facto violation of the hudna, Hamas stated that the cease-fire would continue.
Hostilities then escalated. The Israeli army killed Islamic Jihad's Muhammad Seeder on August 14; the Jerusalem bus 2 massacre by Hamas and Islamic Jihad on 19 August, killed 23 and wounded 136 people. Israel reacted with havoc on Palestinian population centres with large-scale destruction and oppressing measures. On 21 August followed the liquidation of Hamas' political leader Ismail Abu Shanab, who supported a two-state solution, strongly opposed suicide bombings and tried to uphold the hudna. Along with Shanab, three other civilians (his two bodyguards and a 74 year-old man) were killed. The following days it continued with a range of further Israeli killing-attacks. Hamas eventually called off the hudna. Israel was Internationally widely criticised for being unwilling to respect the truce.
In November 2003, the United Nations Security Council endorsed the road map in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1515 which called for an end to all violence including "terrorism, provocation, incitement and destruction". By the end of 2003, the Palestinian Authority had not prevented Palestinian terrorism, and Israel had neither withdrawn from Palestinian areas occupied since 28 September 2000, nor frozen settlement expansion. Thus the requirements of Phase I of the road map were not fulfilled, and the road map has not continued further. It eventually reached deadlock.
Shifting US-position 
On 14 April 2004, President George W. Bush wrote a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon seeming to herald two significant changes or increased specifications to longstanding but ambiguous U.S. policy which had most recently been embodied in the road map. For the first time during the road map process, Bush indicated his expectations as to the outcome of the final status negotiations. The letter was widely seen as a triumph for Sharon, since Bush's expectations seemed to favor Israel on two highly contentious issues. Regarding final borders, the letter stated: "In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli population centers, it is unrealistic that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, and all previous efforts to negotiate a two-state solution have reached the same conclusion. It is realistic to expect that any final status agreement will only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities...". Second, regarding the Palestinian refugees' right of return, Bush also stated: "It seems clear that an agreed, just, fair and realistic framework for a solution to the Palestinian refugee issue as part of any final status agreement will need to be found through the establishment of a Palestinian state and the settling of Palestinian refugees there rather than Israel." 
After 2003 
In November 2004, Yasser Arafat died at age 75 in a French hospital. Arafat's powers were divided among his officials, with Mahmoud Abbas elected head of the Palestine Liberation Organization and Rawhi Fattuh sworn in as acting president of the Palestinian Authority. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said the death could be a turning point for peace if the Palestinians "ceased terrorism" and waged a "war on terror". The White House simply described the death as a "significant moment in Palestinian history", and offered condolences.
On 8 February 2005, the leaders of Israel, Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority came together for a Sharm el-Sheikh Summit of 2005 meeting at which they declared their continuing support for the road map.
In his 26 May 2005 joint press conference with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in the White House Rose Garden, President Bush said:
Any final status agreement must be reached between the two parties, and changes to the 1949 Armistice lines must be mutually agreed to. A viable two-state solution must ensure contiguity of the West Bank, and a state of scattered territories will not work. There must also be meaningful linkages between the West Bank and Gaza. This is the position of the United States today, it will be the position of the United States at the time of final status negotiations.
This statement was widely seen as a triumph for Abbas, as many commentators view it as contradictory to his April 14, 2004 letter. The Bush administration has made no attempts to clarify any perceived discrepancies between the two statements.
In August 2005, the Israelis started the Israel unilateral disengagement plan in the Gaza Strip, removing all of its settlements from this area and from a portion of the West Bank. This was widely endorsed around the world and the process, although unilateral on Israel's part, was co-ordinated with the Palestinian Authority.
In early January 2006, Sharon suffered a major stroke and did not awake from an induced coma. With Sharon in a serious condition in hospital, his powers were transferred to his deputy, Finance Minister Ehud Olmert. On March 28, Knesset elections were held, and Olmert's party, Kadima, won the most seats. On April 14, 2006 Sharon was declared permanently incapacitated, and Olmert was named interim Prime Minister, becoming Prime Minister on May 4.
On 4 June, Ehud Olmert announced he would meet Mahmoud Abbas to resume talks on the Road map. Olmert and Abbas joined breakfast with King Abdullah II of Jordan on 22 June 2006 in Petra. They pledged to meet again in coming weeks.
On 22 June, Hamas accepted parts of the prisoners' document, which called for an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders and the creation of a Palestinian state. On 27 June 2006 Hamas and Fatah both accepted the document fully.
In October, it was revealed in a Haaretz expose that rampant construction of settlements was ongoing in the West Bank, contrary to Israeli promises to the United States to halt settlement construction. According to the report, many of these settlements were built on private Palestinian property, including properties previously guaranteed by Israel. The report was allegedly kept secret in order to avoid a political crisis with the US. In 2009, data were revealed by Haaretz.
Hamas and Hezbollah 
In January 2006, the Islamic militant group Hamas won a surprise victory in the Palestinian parliamentary elections. The preliminary results gave Hamas 76 of the 132 seats in the chamber, with the ruling Fatah party trailing with 43.
Both Israel and the U.S. announced that they would not deal with Hamas. In Israel, Interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stated, "Israel will not conduct any negotiation with a Palestinian government if it includes any members of an armed terror organization that calls for Israel's destruction." Bush said the U.S would not deal with Hamas until it renounced its call to destroy Israel. But Hamas co-founder Mahmoud Zahhar refused to renounce violence. "We are not playing terrorism or violence. We are under occupation," he told BBC World TV.
In mid-2006, the 2006 Israel-Gaza conflict started between Hamas and the Israeli Defense Forces in the Gaza strip. Not long after, clashes with Hezbollah in Lebanon precipitated the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war. This conflict had a profound impact on the Middle-East crisis surrounding Israel. Controversial armament shipments from the USA were "rushed" to Israel, inducing Arab resentment.
The crisis caused many analysts to declare the road map dead, or at least severely strained.
As of mid-June 2007, a Fatah–Hamas conflict was unfolding, as Hamas had taken control of the Gaza Strip from the Fatah-led forces while Fatah controlled most of the West Bank.
In June 2008, Hamas and Israel agreed to a cease-fire which somewhat held until November 2008.
On 27 December 2008, the Gaza War began. On 21 January 2009, Israeli troops completed their pullout from the Gaza Strip.
Israeli elections 
In January 2009, prior to the February 2009 Israeli elections, the then election front-runner and leader of Israel's right-wing Likud party, Benjamin Netanyahu, informed Middle East envoy Tony Blair that he would continue the policy of the Israeli governments of Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert by allowing "natural" growth of settlements in the West Bank, in contravention of the Road Map, but not building new ones
Debate on settlement freeze 
In June 2009 Netanyahu announced Israel's acceptance of the Road Map while simultaneously rejecting a settlement freeze which is a main Israeli requirement under the Road Map  In rejecting President Obama's call for a settlement freeze Netanyahu also claimed that settlement expansion, so called "natural growth", was needed to allow settlers to raise families by moving to new larger houses rather than move to existing houses either elsewhere in the Occupied Territories or in Israel itself. In June 2009 the construction of 300 new houses in the West Bank was announced by Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Most of these "new" houses were already built or in the process of completion. The Defense Minister's permit for construction was just another layer on top of those already given earlier. In November 2009 Netanyahu announced a 10-month settlement freeze that excluded East Jerusalem, public buildings and projects already under way. In September 2010 Netanyahu confirmed that this partial settlement freeze would not be extended beyond September 26 and Israel would resume its previous stance of rejecting its settlement freeze Road Map obligation. Netanyau "vowed to ensure" that the Palestinians would comply with their respective Road Map commitments and refrain from acts of violence such as firing missiles at Israel.[clarification needed]
Statistical background 
Although the Oslo accords stipulate no settlement ban, Israel refrained from building any new settlements but continued building in existing settlements at a pace which fell far short of the Shamir government's 1991-92 level. Construction of Housing Units Before Oslo: 1991-92 14,320 units. After Oslo: 1994-95 3,850 units; 1996-1997 3,570 units  In area C, administered by Israel, Palestinians built without permit, according to Peace Now due to the extreme difficulty they face in obtaining building permits (under the 1993 Oslo Accords 59% of the West Bank was allocated to Israeli control and denoted as Area C) Only 91 of 1,624 Palestinian requests permits were approved by Israeli authorities in 2001-2008. Peace Now also said the army demolished 33 percent of the 4,993 cases of illegal Palestinian construction against which it issued demolition orders. By contrast, 7 percent of the 2,900 cases of illegal settler construction that drew demolition orders were torn down, the group said.[not in citation given] Further in other areas such as East Jerusalem the UN in May 2009 noted that "only 13 percent of East Jerusalem land is currently zoned by the Israeli authorities for Palestinian construction, and much of that is already built up"  While the settlers constitute 17% of the residents of the West Bank (300,000 out of a total population of 1.8 million), the built up areas in the settlements occupy just 1.7% of the West Bank; and if they continue to build solely at the rate of their natural growth (9,000 births per year), they will consume over the next decade a total of just one-half of one per cent in an area already delineated as their "municipal boundaries". The amount of land allocated to Israeli settlements will exceed this figure if the current level of immigration is maintained in addition to "natural growth". Settler immigration to the West Bank accounted for between a third and half of the population growth in each year between 1999 and 2007, save 2005, when numbers were skewed by Israel's withdrawal of 8,500 settlers from the Gaza Strip. However, the total population increase has been 9,000 per year, including immigration, while construction is confined within the municipal boundaries of the settlements.
Further Israel is enclosing some main Israeli settlements with a West Bank Barrier. According to the current route, 8.5 percent of the West Bank territory and 27,520 Palestinians are on the "Israeli" side of the barrier. Another 3.4 percent of the area (with 247,800 inhabitants) is completely or partially surrounded by the barrier
In addition Amnesty International argue that in addition to the stated area of West Bank settlements there is a further impact on the Palestinian population as "bypass roads and related infrastructure and discriminatory allocation of other vital resources, including water, have had a devastating impact on the fundamental rights of the local Palestinian population, including their rights to an adequate standard of living, housing, health, education, and work, and freedom of movement within the Occupied Territories." 
Total population in the settlements of the West Bank (excluding East Jerusalem):
- 1993: 110,000
- 2005: 258,988
- 2006: 268,400
- 2007: 276,462
- 2008: 285,800
- 2010: 310,000
See also 
- Roadmap For Peace in the Middle East:Israeli/Palestinian Reciprocal Action, Quartet Support'U.S.Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs,16/7/2003
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