Page last updated at 16:12 GMT, Tuesday, 6 May 2008 17:12 UK

1993 Oslo agreement


The Prime Minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin, and the PLO leader, Yasser Arafat, agree a peace deal at the White House

The intifada had rallied the Palestinian people but the PLO also realised that both this method of opposing the Israelis and its own armed struggle would not be enough to bring political benefits.


The Palestinian National Council (a government-in-exile) had in 1988 accepted the two-state solution, as envisaged by the UN resolution 181 in 1947. It renounced terrorism and started to seek a negotiated settlement based on Resolution 242, which called for Israel to withdraw from territory captured in the 1967 war, and Resolution 338.

Secret talks encouraged by the Norwegian government took place and these resulted in a Declaration of Principles. This said they had agreed it was "time to put an end to decades of confrontation and conflict, recognise their mutual legitimate and political rights, and strive to live in peaceful coexistence and mutual dignity and security and achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement".

It called for a five-year transitional period in which Israeli forces would withdraw from occupied territories and a Palestinian Authority would be set up, leading to a permanent settlement. It was signed on the White House lawn in September 1993 in the presence of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat. It was followed by a peace treaty with Jordan in 1994.

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