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Basically, I am trying to find if there was ever any effort from the Palestinian side to propose or counter offer a peaceful end to the conflict that they would accept.

  • There has been proposals for partitionning Palestina land put forth by Egypt and Israel or by the USA and Israel, that were rejected by the Palestinian/Arab side.

  • Assuming they were not satisfied or unhappy with these, did Palestinians leaders propose any counter offers (even if not very generous) that they would accept?

  • Is there any co-existence proposal put forth by them or counter offer that they said they would accept?

Contextual Notes from comments:

  • The period considered is from the creation of Israel in 1948 until today.

  • rephrasing the question : Have the Palestinian Arab side proposed any offers that allowed co existence with Israel in a two states solution that would make them come to peace ? Even if some other conditions were unacceptable to Israel ?

Notes on how to articulate and present your answers (from comments):

Please make easily outlined structured points in bullets rather than complex back and forth prose. My approach to begin to comprehend how much one side wants and is willing to give to the other is to break it down into a "bulleted outline" to some degree.

Lets not mix things (from different proposals) into prose but break them down in bullet points, per proposal and per issue (e.g. territories, sovereignty, religious sites, Jerusalem, rights of refugees, prisoneers, compensations, etc) that are addressed in each of them.

We can then add details & references for further research.

The objective here is not to judge but to get an outline that can stand as a jump off point towards deeper enquiries in new questions about each proposal and negotiation.

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    Which faction? One problem in your question is that not all Palestinian factions agree with each other. (Nor do, for that matter, the Israeli ones.) When Yasser Arafat agreed to coexist with Israel at one point but the bilateral agreement ended up collapsing. Jun 7, 2019 at 11:21
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    The Camp David talks in 2000 and Taba talks in 2001 essentially were about the details of a two-state solution; they failed (Jerusalem and the rights of 1948 refugee families were particularly difficult) but seem to have been the closest they came to the possibility of agreement. It seems that in 2002 both the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli Government accepted United Nations Security Council Resolution 1397, including its less detailed "vision of a region where two States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side within secure and recognized borders".
    – Henry
    Jun 7, 2019 at 11:51
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    Israel is not one single side. Labour and Likud have had different view of the peace processus, with Israeli Arabs, Ultraorthodox Jews and, more recently, Russian Israeli nationalists having different interests too. Palestinians have probably been even more divided in the last decades, between politicians and religious leaders, Gaza and the West Bank, Fatah and Hamas, people condemning or endorcing violence, accepting or not Israel's existence, receiving help from Lebanon or Egypt or Saudi, etc. In both case, the proposal of one 'side' have often be rebutted by opponents from the same 'side'.
    – Evargalo
    Jun 7, 2019 at 13:52
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    What research have you done? Why is "Arab Palestinian" qualified?
    – MCW
    Jun 7, 2019 at 20:14
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    Voting to close as opinion based. I just don't see an answerable history question here. A lot of random thoughts but no evidence of research.
    – Brian Z
    Feb 20 at 22:59

4 Answers 4

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In 2002, the leader of the Palestinian Authority Yasser Arafat said he would accept the Taba agreement in the terms put forward by President Bill Clinton 18 months earlier.

Back in January 2001, the Taba summit had reached an impasse when both (Israeli and Palestinian) negociation teams still had reservations while Clinton had to quit the White House and Barak was facing imminent elections and a strong rejection by the Israeli opinion which considered he was making too much concessions.

In 2002, Israel's new prime minister Ariel Sharon was not interested in renewing the negociations lead by his predecessor.


Earlier, in Camp David in July 2000, the initial proposals by both camps were only oral, and not officially documented. However, various sources (Palestinian, Israeli and American) help framing what the Palestinian offer was, notably:

Territory

they wanted full Palestinian sovereignty over the entire West Bank and the Gaza Strip, although they would consider a one-to-one land swap with Israel.

Jerusalem

"All of East Jerusalem should be returned to Palestinian sovereignty. The Jewish Quarter and Western Wall should be placed under Israeli authority, not Israeli sovereignty. An open city and cooperation on municipal services."

Refugees

They demanded that Israel recognize the right of all refugees who so wished to settle in Israel, but to address Israel's demographic concerns, they promised that the right of return would be implemented via a mechanism agreed upon by both sides, which would try to channel a majority of refugees away from the option of returning to Israel. According to U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, some of the Palestinian negotiators were willing to privately discuss a limit on the number of refugees who would be allowed to return to Israel. Palestinians who chose to return to Israel would do so gradually, with Israel absorbing 150,000 refugees every year.

This offer differed too much from the Israeli one, and in spite of some progress been achieved, the Summit ended without a settlement of the difficult Israel-Palestine question.


Later in 2014, the leader of Palestinian Authority, Mahmud Abbas, proposed a 9-months peace talks process, which would start by his recognition of Israel within its 1967 borders in exchange for a freezing of colozination and the effective liberation of prisoneers previously agreed upon. The talks would then address possible land swaps, implementation of the right of return of the refugees, the status of Jerusalem, the fate of colons' settlements, security and water issues.

Abbas was not talking from a position a strength and both the USA and Israel rejected his offer which didn't match at all Netanyahu's policy of further colonization and denigrating the Palestinian Authority.


The first originally Palestinian (not Egyptian or Jordanian) proposition for Palestine might have been the PLO's Ten Point Program proclaimed in 1974. It was a one-state proposal.

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  • Ps: PLO one state proposal wouldn’t amount to coexistence with Jews/ Israel, would they? I’ll have to read more detail on the main answer you’ve proposed; appreciate that.
    – Alex S
    Jun 8, 2019 at 9:52
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    @AlexS the 1974 one state proposal was supposed to be multi-ethnic and multi-religious, so it would have meant coexistence with Jews but not with Israel.
    – Evargalo
    Jun 8, 2019 at 13:24
  • And that would be Palestine only? How would Jews have self determination or their own nation, exactly what Palestine seems to be fighting for
    – Alex S
    Jun 8, 2019 at 13:26
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    @AlexS you can read the linked wiki if we want to avoid an off-topic discussion in comments. Jews and Muslims (and others) would have had the same rights in a single democratic country. Since at that time there were much more Arabs than Jews in Palestine, the implications were scarier for the later, I imagine. Anyway, the proposal has never been seriously considered in Israel.
    – Evargalo
    Jun 8, 2019 at 13:32
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    No discussion needed. Having the same rights & freedomsi in life, in an Islamic majority ruled region is an eyewash; evidence globally indicates the same. Let’s not debate this. Thanks 🙏
    – Alex S
    Jun 12, 2019 at 1:01
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The Beilin–Abu Mazen agreement may come closest to the mark so far.

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    From your link and zero writting answer. "Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) denied ever signing the agreement, but confirmed that there had been a dialog concerning the final status negotiations and the existence of some text.[1] Abbas later disavowed the proposal, leading some to call it the "Beilin–Abu Beilin agreements."[5]"
    – Alex S
    Sep 17, 2022 at 17:41
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The Oslo Agreements are a prominent example. The first agreement, Oslo I Accords were signed in 1993. The Oslo II Accords were signed in Taba, Egypt in 1995. These agreements were opposed by Edward Said, a member of the Palestinian National Council at the time as he said that it merely amounted to a capitulation of Israeli agenda and the negotiations were not taken under good faith by the USA, who, although portraying themselves as an 'honest broker' between the two opposing camps, he felt this was far from the case.

Major issues, such as Palestinian concerns over Israeli settlements in the West Bank, the status of Jerusalem, security concerns over terrorism, safe borders, incitements, violence and the right of return of Palestinian refugees living in the Palestinian diaspora were left unresolved as 'final status issues', to be resolved at some later undetermined date. Given the progressive fragmentation of the West Bank into 'Bantustans', the incarceration of Gazans into the worlds largest open-air prison, and the lack of any meaningful movement on these 'final status issues' it seems that he was correct in his assessment of what the Oslo Accords would amount to.

In fact Noam Chomsky points out that a peace initiative on the two-state solution and based on the UN resolution 242 was first clearly articulated in 1976 at the Security Council of the UN by the major Arab states, but which was vetoed by the US and again in 1980. With the Security Council stalled by the US veto, the same or similar plan came up almost annually in the General Assembly, under pressure from the third world and the non-aligned movement, but with Europe also going along. The votes were usually something like 150-3 (US, Israel, sometimes a client state). He also points out that in 1988, the Palestinian Council formally backed this plan having tacitly accepted since the mid 1970s. So the Arab states and Palestine have been putting forward peace initiatives based on the international consensus for quite some time but have generally been foiled by Israeli and US intransigence whilst they 'created facts on the ground.'

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  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – MCW
    Sep 17, 2022 at 20:02
  • @MCW: So you couldn't find three sentences in my post that was merely opinion? So why were you criticising me about my post being merely opinion? I notice that you're a moderator, Mark, so I expect higher standards of rigour. Sep 19, 2022 at 22:16
  • @MCW: I remember perfectly well your accusation - amd you are a moderator - not merely 'people'. So I'm asking you. Are you saying you didn't make that accusation? Sep 19, 2022 at 22:24
  • @MCW: My post itself is focused on the OPs question but in these comments I'm focused on the questions you asked me after my post was "flagged" by someone who suggested the post was "plaigarised from Wikipedia". And that you later suggested was just "opinion". Were you doing 'due diligence' that the flagger wasn't just a mischievous trouble-maker? Especially, as is plain to see, it dod not meet any of the critieria of "plaigarism" or mere "opinion". Sep 19, 2022 at 22:35
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    "The relevant facts" need links that are missing in this post! Therefore it's all too easy to contest your narrative, eg about 'Prussian land' as an eg viable option at the time, was as important/realistic as you depict it, or how the parties involved reached decisions etc. I know that such an idea existed. Neither its importance, other factors nor simple contingencies play a role here in A? That makes this not just unref'd but also smacking a bit, of judgemental presentism, one-sided agenda narration, & the already mentioned anti-things. And I advise you to try to avoid that. Sep 20, 2022 at 11:13
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Yes, there were numerous such offers for peace, human dignity and coexistence, all of them reflexively rejected by the right wing nationalists who usually rule Israel.

I'll get to the other offers in a minute, but before that it's important to remember that besides all other peace initiatives, there is also UN resolution 242 which has been in place for decades and which the Palestinians fully accept and are willing to implement at any minute, a resolution which is renewed (voted on) almost every year at the UN, with support of 99% of members, and opposed by only two countries in this entire planet — Israel and USA (the only two countries on the planet who feel that international law does not apply to them, that they are above the law, because they have a special "manifest destiny" and are above the rest of humanity), using USA's veto power to block any possibility of peace, human dignity and justice to prevail in the region (the profoundly undemocratic and unrepresentative nature of the security council — which gives five imperialist countries enormous power over humanity — is a huge subject in its own right which is beyond the scope of this reply)

In addition to resolution 242 which has been on offer for decades and which the Israeli government continuously rejects, there is also the globaly-supported Arab league initiative from the Beirut summit 2002 (which of course includes and is fully supported by the Palestinian authority), that was again extended to Israel in 2007, and once again 2017. In all cases the far right Israeli nationalists responded in a knee-jerk immediate rejection and complete lack of interest. The unprecedented initiative offered (and still offers) 'a peaceful coexistence', full recognition and full normalization of relations between Israel and the entire muslim world, from Indonesia to the Magreb and everything in between, in return for the zionists giving back the land they took away from its local inhabitants which was illegally occupied since 1967, and cessation of hostilities and attempts at dispossession against the local population. The zionists' response was not only complete disinterest, arrogant indifference and rejection of any peaceful coexistence, but was actually much worse — their response was to massively increase and extend the building of supremacist 'for Jews only' settlements and roads on the stolen land!

Exclusionary settlements and roads on stolen land (reserved only for the superior 'chosen ones') which are used as a weapon and strategically placed, so as to intentionally destroy any Palestinian territorial continuity, in order to insure that there would never be any possibility of Palestinian dignity and sovereignty in the West Bank, and to insure that no coexistence would ever be possible (as if the Zionist ideology ever even had the slightest interest in coexistence with the natives of the land that they arrived at. As if they were't trying to push them off the land and take it over for their own exclusive use right from the very first moment when the first zionists arrived in Palestine from Europe).

The far-right Israeli government's response to the peace offer was a de-facto annexation of the stolen land (of course they cannot officially and legally declare they annexed the occupied land and dispossessed its people and have no intention of ever giving it back — because that constitutes a completely illegal theft and it spits in the face of and denies the most basic human rights of millions of human beings), so they can't declare it officially, but de-facto that is what they have done in response to the hand extended to them for peace and dignity.

Here is what Henry Siegman, executive director of the American Jewish Congress, wrote in the Financial Times on April 26, 2007:

"The Arab League meeting in Cairo yesterday was historical and unprecedented in its overture to Israel, giving Israel all that it ever asked for, and offering to meet Israeli representatives to clarify the peace initiative that the League re-endorsed at its meeting in Riyadh on March 28. The two events underscore the complete reversal of the paradigm that for so long has defined the Israeli-Arab conflict…
The Israeli response to this TECTONIC CHANGE in Arab psychology and politics was absolutely catastrophic and worse than rejection: it was complete indifference, as if this 180-degree turnaround in Arab thinking had no meaning for Israel and for the future the region and the world. Tragically, the Israeli prime minister and government have reflexively rejected every Arab peace offer, whether from Saudi Arabia, Syria, the Arab League or Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president. The Israeli governments' policies this past decade have shaped a new paradigm in which Israel is now clearly the rejectionist party. The Arabs' three No's of Khartoum from 40 years ago have now been replaced by the Three Nos of Israel: no negotiations with Syria, no acceptance of the Arab initiative and, above all, no peace with the Palestinians"

And the UN secretary general said:

"The historical Arab Peace Initiative is one of the strongest pillars of the peace process. It sends a clear signal that the Arab world craves peace. The Arabs' hand is outstretched to Israel for a peace, peace that guarantees everyone's safety, dignity and rights. I strongly urge my Israeli friends to not miss this historical opportunity"

The Israeli government ignored him and the rest of humanity and outright rejected the peace initiative.

On March 26, 2012, Israeli Haaretz's journalist Akiva Eldar wrote that Israel's rejection the Arab proposal for peace was the country's "worst mistake and missed opportunity in its entire history "

As an Israeli, I am also intimately aware that the Zionists see the occupied land as land given to them by their sectarian nationalist "God", a god whom they are sure chose them and loves them more than anyone else, and which they think gives them the "divine right" to dispossess others from their home, brutally suppress the desire for freedom dignity and self-sovereignty by non-Jews, and to take ownership over the land, because "that is what God wants" apparently…

My personal experience as an Israeli shows me that ultimately the issue is that the vast majority of Israelis don't see Palestinians as equal human beings, but rather as inferior to us and as less important than us.

It is hammered into our head in a thousand different ways from a very young age, that we, our life and our desires, are more important than anyone else (definitely more than the lowly sub-human Palestinians) because we were born with a certain religious/national label that differentiates us and gives us certain rights and claims over the land, because we're supposedly God's chosen and "God gave us this land"…

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    This answer would be greatly improved if you toned down the language a little and just focused on the question. I'm not saying you're right, I'm not saying you're wrong but, as it stands, this sounds more like a rant than a considered answer. Sep 21, 2022 at 13:23
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    With Lars here. There's what looks like some good factual info buried in here. An editing run through it to remove the personal opinions and present day analysis (and not so incidentally shorten it down to a more manageable read) would do this answer a world of good. We also expect references for non-trivial assertions. For example, if you say "the far right" did something, I'd hope to see a link there to an article about acknowledged far right political figures doing that thing.
    – T.E.D.
    Sep 21, 2022 at 14:15
  • @Lars Bosteen: This is not a rant. There's plenty of historically informed factual commentrary interplayed wirh the interpretative commentary. If I had said f*** o** Israel - you would have been right to pin it down as a rant. As I didn't, you are completely wrong. Sep 21, 2022 at 20:16
  • @T.E.D.: See above. Sep 21, 2022 at 20:16
  • @TED: I've quoted from references. You can check those quotes if you like. Sep 21, 2022 at 21:52

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