The Government of Israel (GOI) and the Palestinian Authority (PA)
must act swiftly and decisively to halt the violence. Their
immediate objectives then should be to rebuild confidence and
resume negotiations. What we are asking is not easy. Palestinians
and Israelis - not just their leaders, but two publics at large -
have lost confidence in one another. We are asking political
leaders to do, for the sake of their people, the politically
difficult: to lead without knowing how many will follow.
During this mission our aim has been to fulfill the mandate agreed
upon at Sharm el-Sheikh. We value the support given our work by the
participants at the summit, and we commend the parties for their
cooperation. Our principal recommendation is that they commit
themselves to the Sharm el-Sheikh spirit, and that they implement
the decisions made there in 1999 and 2000. We believe that the
summit will support bold action by the parties to achieve these
End the Violence
• The GOI and the PA should reaffirm their commitment to
existing agreements and undertakings and should immediately
implement an unconditional cessation of violence.
• The GOI and the PA should immediately resume security
Effective bilateral cooperation aimed at preventing violence will
encourage the resumption of negotiations. We are particularly
concerned that, absent effective, transparent security cooperation,
terrorism and other acts of violence will continue and may be seen
as officially sanctioned whether they are or not. The parties
should consider widening the scope of security cooperation to
reflect the priorities of both communities and to seek acceptance
for these efforts from those communities.
We acknowledge the PA's position that security cooperation presents
a political difficulty absent suitable political context, i.e., the
relaxation of stringent Israeli security measures combined with
ongoing, fruitful negotiations. We also acknowledge the PA's fear
that, with security cooperation in hand, the GOI may not be
disposed to deal forthrightly with Palestinian political concerns.
We believe that security cooperation cannot long be sustained if
meaningful negotiations are unreasonable deferred, if security
measures "on the ground" are seen as hostile, or if steps are taken
that are perceived as provocative or as prejudicing the outcome of
• The PA and GOI should work together to establish a
meaningful "cooling off period" and implement additional
confidence-building measures, some of which were proposed in the
October 2000 Sharm el-Sheikh Statement and some of which were
offered by the U.S. on January 7, 2001, in Cairo.
• The PA and GOI should resume their efforts to identify,
condemn and discourage incitement in all its forms.
• The PA should make clear through concrete action to
Palestinians and Israelis alike that terrorism is reprehensible and
unacceptable, and that the PA will make a 100-percent effort to
prevent terrorist operations and to punish perpetrators. This
effort should include immediate steps to apprehend and incarcerate
terrorists operating within the PA's jurisdiction.
• The GOI should freeze all settlement activity, including
the "natural growth" of existing settlements.
The kind of security cooperation desired by the GOI cannot for long
coexist with settlement activity described very recently by the
European Union as causing "great concern" and by the U.S. as
a. The GOI should give careful consideration to whether settlements
which are focal points for substantial friction are valuable
bargaining chips for future negotiations or provocations likely to
preclude the onset of productive talks.
b. The GOI may wish to make it clear to the PA that a future peace
would pose no threat to the territorial contiguity of a Palestinian
state to be established in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
• The IDF should consider withdrawing to positions held
before September 28, 2000 which will reduce the number of friction
points and the potential for violent confrontations.
• The GOI should ensure that the IDF adopt and enforce
policies and procedures encouraging non-lethal responses to unarmed
demonstrators, with a view to minimizing casualties and friction
between the two communities. The IDF should:
a. Re-institute, as a matter of course, military police
investigations into Palestinian deaths resulting from IDF actions
in the Palestinian territories in incidents not involving
terrorism. The IDF should abandon the blanket characterization of
the current uprising as "an armed conflict short of war," which
fails to discriminate between terrorism and protest.
b. Adopt tactics of crowd-control that minimize the potential for
deaths and casualties, including the withdrawal of metal-cored
rubber rounds from general use.
c. Ensure that experienced, seasoned personnel are present for duty
at all times at known friction points.
d. Ensure that the stated values and standard operating procedures
of the IDF effectively instill the duty of caring for Palestinians
in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as well as Israelis living
there, consistent with The Ethical Code of the IDF.
• The GOI should lift closures, transfer to the PA all tax
revenues owed, and permit Palestinians who had been employed in
Israel to return to their jobs; and should ensure that security
forces and settlers refrain from the destruction of homes and
roads, as well as trees and other agricultural property in
Palestinian areas. We acknowledge the GOI's position that actions
of this nature have been taken for security reasons. Nevertheless,
their economic effects will persist for years.
• The PA should renew cooperation with Israeli security
agencies to ensure, to the maximum extent possible, that
Palestinian workers employed within Israel are fully vetted and
free of connections to organizations and individuals engaged in
• The PA should prevent gunmen from using Palestinian
populated areas to fire upon Israeli populated areas and IDF
positions. This tactic places civilians on both sides at
• The GOI and IDF should adopt and enforce policies and
procedures designed to ensure that the response to any gunfire
emanating from Palestinian populated areas minimizes the danger to
the lives and property of Palestinian civilians, bearing in mind
that it is probably the objective of gunmen to elicit an excessive
• The GOI should take all necessary steps to prevent acts of
violence by settlers.
• The parties should abide by the provisions of the Wye River
Agreement prohibiting illegal weapons.
• The PA should take all necessary steps to establish a clear
and unchallenged chain of command for armed personnel operating
under its authority.
• The PA should institute and enforce effective standards of
conduct accountability, both within the uniformed ranks and between
the police and the civilian political leadership to which it
• The PA and GOI should consider a joint undertaking to
preserve and protect holy places sacred to the traditions of
Muslims, Jews and Christians. An initiative of this nature might
help to reverse a disturbing trend: the increasing use of religious
themes to encourage and justify violence.
• The GOI and the PA should jointly endorse and support the
work of Palestinian and Israeli non-governmental organizations
(NGOs) involved in cross-community initiatives linking the two
peoples. It is important that these activities, including the
provision of humanitarian aid to Palestinian villages by Israeli
NGOs, receive the full backing of both parties.
• We reiterate our belief that a 100-percent effort to stop
the violence, an immediate resumption of security cooperation and
an exchange of confidence-building measures are all important for
the resumption of negotiations. Yet none of these steps will long
be sustained absent a return to serious negotiations.
It is not within our mandate to prescribe the venue, the basis or
the agenda of negotiations. However, in order to provide an
effective political context for practical cooperation between the
parties, negotiations must not be unreasonably deferred and they
must, in our view, manifest a spirit of compromise, reconciliation
and partnership, notwithstanding the events of the past seven
• In the spirit of the Sharm el-Sheikh agreements and
understandings of 1999 and 2000, we recommend that the parties meet
to reaffirm their commitment to signed agreements and mutual
understandings, and take corresponding action. This should be the
basis for resuming full and meaningful negotiations.
The parties are at a crossroads. If they do not return to the
negotiating table, they face the prospect of fighting it out for
years on end, with many of their citizens leaving for distant
shores to live their lives and raise their children. We pray they
make the right choice. That means stopping the violence now.
Israelis and Palestinians have to live, work, and prosper together.
History and geography have destined them to be neighbors. That
cannot be changed. Only when their actions are guided by this
awareness will they be able to develop the vision and reality of
peace and shared prosperity.
9th President of the Republic of Turkey
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway
George J. Mitchell, Chairman
Former Member and Majority Leader of the United States Senate
Warren B. Rudman
Former Member of the United States Senate
High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy,