The signature of the Palestinian-Israeli declaration of principles in mid-September, and the Arab and international acclaim for this pact, constitutes a breakthrough in Middle East political dynamics. This agreement provides the opportunity for the other Arab parties to reach similar agreements with Israel without any obstacles or hindrances. It also paves the way on the Palestinian level for the PLO, its institutions and its army, to play a greater role in the formulation and development of the recognized Palestinian entity. All of this will also permit the resolution of many of the Palestinian-Arab problems.

In the economic sphere, the agreement determines the basis for a volume of bilateral agreements with Israel, or regional agree¬ments with the Arab states in the areas of water, energy, tourism, industry, credit, and others. Hence it creates the opportunity for the economic factor to complement the political factor in determining the stability of the area and preserving the continuity of peace. Despite the positive implications of the above-mentioned reference to economic cooperation, the agreement does not detail nor does it specify the extent of this cooperation. Furthermore, the reference is to cooperation and not economic merging. There is no clear reference in the agreement to complicated issues such as that of currency control or the borders of trade exchange and its dimensions. The agreement does not make any reference either to the issue of mobility of Palestinian laborers who work in Israel, or the exchange of goods particularly agricultural produce with Israel. I point out these omissions, only as examples, not to minimize the importance of this agreement in its general outline, but to point out the more difficult tasks in filling in the details, especially in the more disputed issues.
In this context, I must stress two basic points:
The first is that the peace process and the current agreement do not put an end to the Israeli¬-Palestinian conflict, because the most difficult issues have been postponed to the second stage. This means that the stability of the region, and the stability of the agreement itself, will remain uncertain as long as issues of the land, sovereignty and borders remain unresolved. In concrete terms, the implementation and the delineation of the features and degree of cooperation depend in great measure on the progress of the negotiations in the second stage.
The second point is that most aspects of this accord are strongly linked to the Jordanian position on most of these issues. The Occupied Territories have two primary outlets, Israel and Jordan, and it is inconceivable that a detailed agreement be outlined with one without the other, especially taking into consideration that the Palestinian option is mainly an Arab one, connected to Jordan. Therefore, I believe that it is premature to discuss the details of the relationship that links the Palestinian interim government with Israel before this issue is discussed in detail with our brothers in Jordan.
In any case, a number of priorities remain on the Palestinian agenda that need to be addressed relevant to the planning and implementation of this agreement, and to prepare the groundwork for the interim period beginning in the first few months of the coming year. These can be summarized as follows:

1. The establishment of an emergency relief fund to support large national institutions that have faced financial collapse during recent months. By these institutions I mean universities, hospitals, and charitable societies. This fund will contribute toward raising the standards of living and alleviating financial burdens of the residents during the next four to six months.

2. The training of Palestinian personnel, who will plan and implement the agreement and operate the interim authority in all fields. This requires a quick international and Arab campaign.

3. Launching the Palestinian-¬Jordanian and Palestinian-Israeli committees that will detail the bilateral and multilateral economic relations during the interim period on principles of mutual interest, equality, and respect.
4. Establishing the main institutions that will serve the economic sectors, including the Palestinian Bureau of Statistics, the Palestinian Development Bank, the Center for Encouraging Exports, and others.

5. Launching the work of legal committees, which will modify
rules and regulations concerning economic activity, and open the way for Palestinian and Arab investors and the private sector, to invest in the occupied territories under positive conditions that guarantee a return competitive with investment in other geographical areas.

6. Completing the task of preparing the Palestinian development plan and its funding in cooperation with concerned parties, especially in the field of the infrastructure, and the relationship with the World Bank in particular, and to prepare the required visibility studies to support this task in the first year at least.
The tasks detailed above do not exclude other priorities, but they are the most significant during the next six months to prepare the setting for constructing and maintaining a solid agreement. They will also ensure Arab and international guarantees for its continuity and its transformation into a final and comprehensive plan that would end the long historical conflict between the Arab nations and Israel.

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