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The Nusseibeh-Ayalon Agreement: Final Draft
Ami Ayalon, Israel, and Sari Nusseibeh, Palestine
September 3, 2002
The Palestinian people and the Jewish people each recognize the other's historic rights with respect to the same land.
The Jewish people has for generations wanted to establish the Jewish State in all the Land of Israel, while the Palestinian people has similarly wanted to establish a state in all of Palestine.
The two sides hereby agree to accept a historic compromise based on the principle of two sovereign and viable states existing side by side. The following Statement of Intentions is an expression of the will of the majority of the people. Both sides believe that through this initiative they can influence their leaders and thereby open a new chapter in the region's history. This new chapter will be realized by calling on the international community to guarantee security in the region and to help in rehabilitating and developing the region's economy.
The People Vote—Statement of Intentions
1. Two states for two peoples: Both sides will declare that Palestine is the only state of the Palestinian people and Israel is the only state of the Jewish people.
2. Borders: Permanent borders between the two states will be agreed on the basis of the June 4, 1967 lines, UN resolutions and the Arab peace initiative (known as the Saudi initiative).
* Border modifications will be based on an equal territorial exchange (1:1) in accordance with the vital needs of both sides, including security, territorial contiguity, and demographic considerations.
* The Palestinian State will have a connection between its two geographic areas, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
* After the establishment of agreed borders, no settlers will remain in the Palestinian state.
3. Jerusalem: Jerusalem will be an open city, the capitol of two states. Freedom of religion and full access to holy sites will be guaranteed by all.
* Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem will come under Palestinian sovereignty; Jewish neighborhoods under Israeli sovereignty.
* Neither side will exercise sovereignty over the holy places. The State of Palestine will be designated Guardian of the Temple Mount for the benefit of Muslims. Israel will be the Guardian of the Western Wall for the benefit of the Jewish people. The status quo on Christian holy sites will be maintained. No excavation will take place underneath the holy sites.
4. Right of return: Recognizing the suffering and plight of the Palestinian refugees, the international community, Israel, and the Palestinian State will initiate and contribute to an international fund to compensate them.
* Palestinian refugees will return only to the State of Palestine; Jews will return only to the State of Israel.
5. The Palestinian State will be demilitarized and the international community will guarantee its security and independence.
6. End of conflict: Upon the full implementation of these principles, all claims on both sides and the Israel-Palestinian conflict will end.
Ami Ayalon is a former head of the Shin Bet; Sari Nusseibeh is the Palestinian Authority representative in East Jerusalem.
The Nusseibeh-Ayalon Agreement, published in
Ha'aretz, September 3, 2002, is a new platform from which the Israeli peace movement, the American Jewish peace movement, and Israeli and Palestinian leaders committed to a two-state solution can work.