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Palestine Core Issues


The PLO has accepted that Israel’s 1967 Pre-Occupation borders (the “Green Line”) shall serve as the international border between the states of Palestine and Israel. In other words, Palestinians have recognized Israel on 78% of historic Palestine while accepting to create a state on the remaining 22%.

The PLO’s position is consistent with international law which forbids Israel from acquiring territory by force.


Israeli colonies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are not only illegal but also threaten the viability of a two-state solution. As part of a viable two-state solution, all Israeli colonies must be evacuated, including those located in Occupied East Jerusalem.  One way to achieve a peaceful evacuation of the colonies would be for the government of Israel to remove all economic and other incentives luring Israelis into Occupied Territory while simultaneously providing similar incentives for current settlers to move back to Israel.


Israel has no legal right to any part of East Jerusalem since East Jerusalem was part of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967. East Jerusalem is part of the territory over which the indigenous Palestinian population shall exercise sovereignty upon Israeli withdrawal.

In conformity with international law and as stated in the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, all of Jerusalem (and not merely East Jerusalem) is the subject of permanent status negotiations.

Jerusalem should be an open city. Within Jerusalem, irrespective of the resolution of the question of sovereignty, there should be no physical partition that would prevent the free circulation of persons within it.

Palestine and Israel shall be committed to guaranteeing freedom of worship at and access to religious sites within Jerusalem.  Both states will take all possible measures to protect such sites and preserve their dignity.

Refugees and the Right of Return

Palestinian refugees must be given the option to exercise their right of return (as well as receive compensation for their losses arising from their dispossession and displacement) though refugees may prefer other options such as: (i) resettlement in third countries, (ii) resettlement in a newly independent Palestine (even though they originate from that part of Palestine which became Israel) or (iii) normalization of their legal status in the host country where they currently reside.  What is important is that individual refugees decide for themselves which option they prefer – a decision must not be imposed upon them.


The Palestinians accept international law and how it governs the allocation of freshwater resources shared by Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.  Under the law of international watercourses, as reflected in the related 1997 United Nations Convention, the State of Palestine is entitled to an equitable and reasonable allocation of shared freshwater resources, including those in the four main aquifers and the Jordan River.   The fair allocation of water rights is a critical element for future political stability in the region as a whole. Finally, under international law, Israel must pay compensation for the past and ongoing illegal use of Palestinian water resources.

Economic Relations

Palestinians are dedicated to establishing Palestine as an open, progressive economy capable of attracting foreign investment.  Accordingly, Palestinians seek full control over their economic borders and policies, including import and export policies.

Palestine will pursue an open trade policy that is transparent and based on World Trade Organization agreements. In addition, when mutually beneficial, Palestine will pursue free trade agreements like the ones the Palestinian Authority currently enjoys with the USA, EU and Canada.  Palestine shall pursue a free trade agreement with Israel based on a free flow of Israeli goods into the Palestinian market if there is a balancing free flow of Palestinian labor into the Israeli market.

To protect Palestinian interests, the PLO seeks a neutral arbiter of all Palestinian complaints of Israeli violations of economic agreements, as well as provision for damages from such actions.

Compensation to the Palestinian People and Government

Israel owes financial compensation to Palestinians for Palestinian property stolen or destroyed by Israel. Conservative estimates of the current value of such property run well into the billions of dollars, though estimates vary based on whether non-material losses are included.

In addition, Israel is obligated to compensate the Palestinian government for material and non-material losses in connection, with inter alia, (i) destruction and/or confiscation of property and other losses in maintaining the military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, (ii) use and depletion of Palestinian natural resources and (iii) breaches of human rights.


The Palestinians seek to structure security relations between the states of Palestine and Israel in ways that will:

1) Provide effective responses to specific threats.

Each of Palestine and Israel would be a state of law and order and would deal effectively and promptly with any threat, internally and externally, which would undermine the state, its population and/or neighboring states.

2) Create mechanisms for ongoing cooperation.

Palestine and Israel shall cooperate on security matters including the sharing of security related information.

3) Respect international human rights.

Palestine and Israel will (i) respect the rights of individuals as set forth in universal declarations and (ii) uphold international human rights charters.

4) Promote regional and international peace and security.

Palestine shall develop relations with all its bordering states in order to promote peace, security and stability in the region and internationally.


*For additional information on issues related to Palestinian-Israeli negotiations, please visit:  http://www.nad-plo.org/ .