Towards Final Status
Final Status Negotiations
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1 - Final Status in the Oslo Accords
2 - Rationale for Two-Phased Plan
3 - The Situation Today
4 - Proposals

2 - Rationale for a Two-Phased Plan

The two-phase framework of the DOP was patterned after the September 1978 Camp David Accords. In the "Framework for Peace in the Middle East," Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat committed to a blueprint for staged autonomy for the Palestinians, including a self-governing authority and a confidence-building interim period before the determination of final status issues. The framework negotiated at Oslo, however, goes beyond Camp David in both scope and detail. Most notably, the Camp David agreement lists only "the location of boundaries and the nature of the security arrangements," as well as "the recognition of the rights of the Palestinian people and their just requirements," as the issues for final status negotiations, while the DOP specifically includes refugees, settlements and Jerusalem as issues to be determined.

The rationale behind the two-phased framework was simply to save the most difficult issues for last. The most obvious issue of agreement, Israeli redeployment from Gaza and West Bank population centers, could be resolved early on in the negotiations and with the support of the majority of Israelis and Palestinians. However, the negotiators understood that no such consensus exists among Israelis and Palestinians regarding an agreement over final borders, settlements, refugees and, most formidably, Jerusalem. Thus, the negotiators, following the Camp David example, instituted the two-phased plan, whereby the interim period's incremental Israeli redeployment from the territories, the establishment of a Palestinian self-government and Palestinian guarantees of security for Israelis would create an environment of confidence between the two sides. While no one believed that resolving the final status issues would be easy, it was maintained that following two years of confidence-building measures and a growing environment of cooperation, Israel and the Palestinians would be able to approach these most contentious issues in a more conciliatory manner.

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