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"As is" reference - not a United Nations document

Source: Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly
7 November 1996

      RESOLUTION 1103 (1996)[1]

      on the situation in the Middle East:
      the Israeli-Palestinian peace process

1. The Assembly deplores the recent violence in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. It extends its warmest sympathy to the bereaved and the injured.

2. The Assembly considers that the deeper cause for the incidents lies in the stagnation of the peace process. The main responsibility in this respect lies with the Israeli Government. It is essential that previous agreements be implemented. Moreover, negotiations must be continued on the basis of the Madrid Conference framework and the declaration of principles. Meanwhile, the parties should refrain from any action affecting the status quo of the Holy Places in Jerusalem.

3. The Assembly firmly supports the French President's initiative aimed at giving Europe a stronger political role in the peace process. It welcomes the appointment of a special European Union envoy to the Middle East.

4. The Assembly, in this context, recalls:

5. The Assembly further recalls that, in accordance with the declaration of principles signed in Washington on 13 September 1993, the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (Washington, 28 September 1995) marked an important step towards the establishment of a Palestinian Interim Self-Government Authority, for a transitional period of five years, with a view to a permanent settlement based on United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338:
6. The interim agreement is a great achievement. Both parties must fully respect and build upon the commitments which they have freely entered into under the agreement.

7. The Assembly calls for the timetables of the interim agreement to be respected, and for negotiations to be pursued on "permanent status" issues.

8. The Assembly vigorously condemns the acts of terrorism perpetrated against Israel which have left many victims and created a climate of indignation and anxiety among the Israeli population. While understanding the security concerns which weigh heavily upon it, the Israeli Government must continue to redeploy its forces, in accordance with the agreements concluded, including withdrawal from the Hebron area. This area is becoming a major symbolic issue for Palestinians and Israelis and must be dealt with urgently to avoid further violence. Such redeployments must be based on an objective assessment of security concerns, and must take place in the light of experience gained in co-operation with the Palestinian Interim Self-Government Authority.

9. The Assembly calls on the Palestinian Authority to stand firm by taking appropriate measures against terrorism and expresses its conviction that winning the battle against terrorists will lead to the opening of borders and to free movement of persons and goods, will confer greater stability on the Palestinian Authority, and will pave the way for urgent and much-needed economic development.

10. Border closures are gravely damaging - economically, psychologically and politically. They seriously weaken the trust of the Palestinian population in the benefits of the peace process, and they undermine the credit of the Palestinian Authority. Both sides should pursue policies for closures to be brought to an end and for borders to remain open in the future.

11. Safe passage of persons and transportation between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip is essential. In particular, there must be no restrictions on free movement of members of the Palestinian Council. The democratic basis and legitimacy of the Palestinian Interim Self-Government Authority must be fully respected.

12. Expansion of Jewish settlements on Palestinian territories critically undermines the atmosphere required for constructive negotiations. It endangers the progress of the peace process. It should therefore be discontinued.

13. Furthermore, the Assembly welcomes the already close co-operation among international donors of the countries in the region as regards the allocation of resources, and hopes that it can be further intensified.

14. The Assembly seeks to enhance Europe's contribution to the building of confidence between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples, as well as to the improvement of the living conditions of the Palestinian people. To this end, the Assembly notes, on the basis of the work of five of its committees:

15. The Assembly resolves:

[1] Text adopted by the Standing Committee, acting on behalf of the Assembly, on 7 November 1996.

See Doc. 7700, report of the Political Affairs Committee, rapporteur: Mr de Puig; Doc. 7641, contribution from the Committee on Economic Affairs and Development, rapporteur: Mr Blaauw; Doc. 7656, contribution from the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, rapporteur: Mr NĂ©meth; Doc. 7658, contribution from the Committee on the Environment, Regional Planning and Local Authorities, rapporteur: Mr Staes; and Doc. 7660, contribution from the Committee on Culture and Education, rapporteur: Mrs Fleetwood.

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