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An Insight into the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process

From the Madrid Conference to the Kerry Initiative - By Jonathan Heuberger

This essay provides a historical overview of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and peace process. The term “Israeli-Palestinian peace process” as used hereafter describes negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians in relation to the ongoing conflict over part of the territory designated as “The Mandate of Palestine” (also known as “Mandatory Palestine”) by the League of Nations in 1922. This essay does not discuss the Israeli-Egyptian or Israeli-Jordanian peace agreements even though these developments foster a more comprehensive understanding of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is multifaceted and complex. Israelis and Palestinians have distinct historical narratives. Thus, many of the events discussed here might offer multiple interpretations. The main objective of this essay is to provide an impartial and multi-angled introduction to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Part I of this essay provides a historical overview of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Part II summarizes the stages of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations and agreements in chronological order from the Madrid Conference of 1991 until the breakdown of the final status negotiations led by the United States (“U.S.”) from 2013–2014. Part III identifies what the parties have designated as the core issues of final status negotiations: borders, security arrangements, settlements, refugees and Jerusalem. This part also examines Israel’s claim to be recognized by the Palestinians as Jewish State. Part IV presents pragmatic proposals to overcome the current deadlock in the peace process.

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