Towards Final Status
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Resolving the issue of Borders
1 - Borders Under Oslo
2 - The Israeli Position
3 - The Palestinian Position
4 - During the Interim Period
5 - Proposals

4 - During the Interim Period

During the interim phase there have been a number of successive Israeli troop redeployments from areas of the West Bank and Gaza. The first redeployment was in May 1994 from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank city of Jericho, in accord with the Gaza Jericho Agreement. The second phase was the redeployment from six major Palestinian population centers in the West Bank. This phase was concluded over a two-month period in November and December 1996, in accord with the Interim Agreement. The third, and most contentious, redeployment was from the city of Hebron in January 1997.

As previously mentioned, the Interim Agreement also mandates three further Israeli redeployments from parts of Area C. This would leave the Palestinian Authority responsible for areas of the West Bank with the exception of Israeli settlements and the Israeli-designated military areas. The scope of these "Israeli-designated military areas" has been the center of continued controversy. The main question is whether the size of these "areas" is to be determined by Israel alone, or in coordination with the Palestinian Authority.

In accordance with the Interim Agreement and the letter from Warren Christopher attached to the Hebron Agreement, in March 1997 Prime Minister Netanyahu presented Israel's proposed schedule for the first of three "further redeployments" from the West Bank. According to this proposal, Israel would withdraw from 9 percent of the West Bank -- 7 percent from Areas A and B, and 2 percent from Area C (the specific area from which the further redeployments are required). The Palestinians immediately rejected this plan as insufficient, claiming that the first redeployment should include at least 30 percent of the West Bank. Given this wide gap of opinion, controversy over the further redeployment schedule is likely to continue.

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