On October 14, 1994 Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, and PLO leader Yasser Arafat received the Nobel Peace Prize after a series of negotiations that led to the 1993 Oslo Accords. Mediated by President Bill Clinton, the negotiated settlement granted self-rule to Palestinians in parts of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and Israel agreed that it would remove its forces from these areas once elections had occurred. Peace efforts failed, however, when Arafat rejected a series of proposals at the Camp David Summit in 2000 that would insure greater security for Israel and territorial sovereignty for a Palestinian state. In a coordinated plan that coincided with then opposition leader Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount, Palestinians orchestrated violence against Israeli forces, giving way to a second Palestinian Intifada that resulted in the deaths of thousands of people on both sides of the conflict.
Today, the conflict remains all but solved, especially as politics have become more radicalized in Palestinian territories with Hamas in control of parliament. In November, a Peace Summit lead by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Annapolis, Maryland will seek to ameliorate this preceding fall-out from the Camp David Summit and outline a course for a two state solution.
On her flight from Russia, Rice said she did not believe her visit would produce the joint Israel-Palestinian statement or bring it to a point where invitations for the conference could be issued.
“I don’t expect out of these meetings that there will be any particular outcome in the sense of breakthroughs on the document,” she told reporters on her plane.
At the same time, she urged Israel not to do anything that could threaten the conference. The warning came after Israel’s renewal of a road plan that Palestinians fear is intended to tighten Israeli control over strategic West Bank areas near Jerusalem.
Israel says the project is not imminent and is meant to ease Palestinian movement. But those assertions did little to ease concerns.
“We have to be very careful as we are trying to move toward the establishment of a Palestinian state of actions and statements that erode confidence in the parties’ commitment to a two-state solution,” Rice said.
As long as she seeks to tie the hands of Israel for retaliation against its aggressors to meet this objective, it will only allow its enemies to exploit the peace for the prolonged political objective of violent jihad.
Iran sees the conference as an attempt to rescue the failing Zionist regime.
Meanwhile, Syria will be boycotting the summit.
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