Expressing its continuing concern with the grave situation in the Middle East,
Noting that no further progress has been made on achieving the just and lasting peace required by Resolution 242,
Affirming that the principles set out in Resolution 242 must guide any current and future efforts to achieve that peace,
Recommends that the following proposal be adopted as a road map towards a peaceful and accepted settlement of the situation in the Middle East, in accordance with the necessities set out in Resolution 242 and the principles of the United Nations Charter.
”The Kissinger Peace Plan” wrote:
This draft plan is presented and designed in accordance with the required principles of UNSC #242. It is based on elements of the previously-proposed Israeli Allon Plan, the American Rogers Plan, and the United Nations’ Jarring Mission draft proposals. Implementation is to be through the United Nations, with oversight of the drafting of treaties and resolution carried out through the Jarring Mission’s committee.
- “Inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war.”
- “A just and lasting peace in which every State in the area can live in security”
- “Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict”
- “Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force”
- “Guaranteeing freedom of navigation through international waterways in the area”
- “A just settlement of the refugee problem”
- “Guaranteeing the territorial inviolability and political independence of every State in the area, through measures including the establishment of demilitarized zones.”
In addition, the ceasefire agreements of 1948-49 regarding the Green Line - the de facto pre-war ‘border’ - contain the following text, at Arab insistence: "the Armistice Demarcation Line is not to be construed in any sense as a political or territorial boundary, and is delineated without prejudice to rights, claims and positions of either Party to the Armistice as regards ultimate settlement of the Palestine question." As a result, the Green Line cannot be diplomatically considered ‘a secure and recognised boundary free from threats or acts of force’, nor as a political border for any practical purpose, given the problems it caused leading to the conflict of June 1967. As stated in the report on the minimum defensible borders of Israel prepared by the Joint Chiefs of Staff for President Johnson after the conflict of June 1967, which was presented to the Security Council during the drafting of UNSC #242:
“From a strictly military point of view, Israel would require the retention of some captured Arab territory in order to provide militarily defensible borders. Determination of territory to be retained should be based on accepted tactical principles such as control of commanding terrain, use of natural obstacles, elimination of enemy-held salients, and provision of in-depth defence for important facilities and installations, military and civilian.”
In affirming the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war, the annexation of the West Bank by Jordan cannot to be considered to give the Kingdom of Jordan a legitimate claim of sovereignty over that territory that overrides the need to seek a peace in the region that is reasonable and fair to all parties. However, similarly, the military occupation of territories by Israeli forces is not to be considered the source of legitimacy, claims, or the acquisition of territories, but all transfers are to take place peacefully through negotiations and United Nations resolution, in order to prevent further conflict and in accordance with the principles of UNSC #242. Neither the conflict nor the military occupation is the legal source of acquisition in any of the mentioned cases.
As general principles: we believe that no present inhabitants of any territory should be forced to leave that territory in any concluded treaty, and that a right of return should exist for persons displaced as a result of the conflict. We also believe that an independent State of Palestine should be established, in order to create a secure home for the Palestinian people and an area to which Palestinian refugees may legally return. We do also believe, however, that if the Kingdom of Jordan is willing and there is popular support for the idea, then a plebiscite may be held under United Nations supervision, to determine if the State of Palestine wishes to unify with the Kingdom of Jordan, under the Jordanian ‘United Arab Kingdom’ proposal, under which Palestine would become a federal district in a newly federated kingdom. However, this idea does not appear to enjoy popular support either among Israelis or Palestinians.
The initial section will outline the proposal. The following sections will deal with specific regional proposals.
All states in the area must make peace with one another and recognise one another, and affirm each other's right to exist within secure boundaries, in accordance with UNSC #242.
There will be established an independent State of Palestine, which will contain as its major cities Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron, Gaza and Khan Yunis. The primary, contiguous territory will be connected to the Gaza Strip by a free-access linking road and railway. Jerusalem will be the capital of both Israel and Palestine, undivided, under a condominium between the two states and ruled by a secular governing assembly elected by the population of the city. The State of Palestine will be demilitarised and an officially neutral country, with full self-determination otherwise, though it will possess state security forces to maintain order, supported by peacekeeping units from the United Nations - for as long as is deemed necessary by the Security Council - to ensure the stability and security of the new state. All Israeli armed forces will withdraw from the State of Palestine and will have no automatic right of access to the demilitarised zone. The Palestinian Liberation Organisation may play a role in the new state or form the new government, and be recognised by the United Nations, but it would have to repudiate violence and terrorism, and recognise the right of the State of Israel and its people to exist, in the same manner as Arab nations.
The State of Palestine will enjoy a shared economic arrangement with the State of Israel, with a free trade area and freedom of employment, in order to prevent economic disparities and allow for shared growth and deeper ties between the two nations, and in order to promote peace through mutual prosperity. Israel will be required provide economic development assistance and reconstruction aid for the State of Palestine and its people, and we hope that this commitment will be matched by aid and assistance from the United Nations.
In order to guarantee secure boundaries, free from threats and acts of force, parts of the Golan Heights, Sinai (including the uninhabited island of Tiran) and Jordan Valley - are to be transferred to Israel. The Sinai region to the east of the Suez Canal is to be declared a demilitarised zone. Freedom of navigation for any nation through the Suez Canal, Straits of Tiran, and other international waterways in the region is to be guaranteed by treaty.
The Golan Heights
Proposal: The eastern territories of the Golan Heights from a line drawn between Mount Hermon and the source of the Ruqqad River - with the exception of the city of Quneitra and its municipal area, to the west of this line, which will also be returned to Syria - are to be restored to the Syrian Arab Republic. The territories to the west of this line, including the six villages, except for the salient of the city of Quneitra and its municipal area, are to be transferred to Israel. The Jordan Valley Unified Water Plan will be made mandatory by United Nations resolution and monitored by the international community, in order to ensure an equitable distribution of water throughout the regions that draw from the Jordan river and prevent Israel gaining any water-resource advantage.
Explanation: The Golan Heights region is a commanding position of hills which controls the water supply for much of Israel’s territory and covers the rise between the higher Syrian hills and the lower plains of the Jordan Valley. It is the only defensible position in the region, with a largely clear run to the Mediterranean and the greater plains of the Levant for any attacking army coming from the direction of Syria. The military defensibility of the Golan Heights position is essential for Israel to have a secure border, as any military forces moving through there are a direct existential threat to Israel. Due to the rougher terrain as one moves inland from the Heights, and the continent ahead, it does not offer the same offensive advantages to a nation which holds it from the seaward side.
The Heights have also been used as a means of attacking Israeli civilians and aiming to make the country unviable. Between 1948-1967, Syrian artillery positions on the Golan Heights were used to shell Israeli villages, causing civilian casualties, including the destruction of Israel’s water treatment facilities at the Daughters of Jacob in 1953. The Jordan Valley Unified Water Plan was set up by the United Nations in 1953, and was agreed to by Israel and Jordan, but other Arab states failed to ratify it. In 1964, the Arab League in its summit declared that:
“The establishment of Israel is the basic threat that the Arab nation in its entirety has agreed to forestall. And Since the existence of Israel is a danger that threatens the Arab nation, the diversion of the Jordan waters by it multiplies the dangers to Arab existence. Accordingly, the Arab states have to prepare the plans necessary for dealing with the political, economic and social aspects, so that if necessary results are not achieved, collective Arab military preparations, when they are not completed, will constitute the ultimate practical means for the final liquidation of Israel.”
Accordingly, the extermination of Israel through thirst and cutting off the water supply is a declared aim of the Arab League, and this must be considered unacceptable by the United Nations. In 1967, efforts were made by the Syrian government to divert the water supply, which was one of the contributing factors to the conflict of June 1967 given the threat that both this and the massing of Arab military forces in preparation for invasion posed. These are the reason why control of a large portion of the sparsely-populated Golan Heights region must be retained by Israel, but the majority of the population, in Quneitra, should return to Syria. We would support a proposal of UN observers in the Golan Heights in order to prevent border clashes between Israel and Syria.
The West Bank and Gaza
Proposal: The Jordan Valley on the west bank of the Jordan River, to a width of between 15 and 25km, will be transferred to Israel down to the Dead Sea, as will the Jewish-majority areas of of Gush Erzion, Har Adan, and the desert west of the Dead Sea. The remaining territories, comprising the vast majority of the Palestinian population, are to be transferred to the newly-created State of Palestine. The Palestinians remaining in the Jewish majority areas that are to be transferred to Israel are to be offered Israeli citizenship. The State of Palestine is to be demilitarised and neutral. The remaining approximately one thousand Jewish settlers in what will henceforth become Palestinian territory must either leave and be housed in Israel by the State of Israel, or accept the citizenship, authority and laws of the State of Palestine.
The Gaza Strip is to be transferred in its entirety to the new State of Palestine. It will be joined to the main territory of Palestine through a road and railway link, with construction to be funded by the State of Israel and/or the United Nations, that will provide unrestricted access between the two portions of Palestine’s territory. The present few hundred Jewish settlers in southern Gaza must either leave and be housed in Israel by the State of Israel, or accept the citizenship, authority and laws of the State of Palestine.
Explanation: This proposal is intended to meet two aims. Firstly, to create a Palestinian state under total Palestinian control, with those territories that contain the vast majority of the Palestinian population, towns, cities and infrastructure being transferred to the State of Palestine, and with suitable borders against the Greater Jerusalem condominium area to ensure equal access to the city. Unlike in the Israeli Government’s favoured Allon Plan, Jerusalem is not surrounded entirely by Israeli territory, nor is a link road required to travel between north and south, though the link road and railway between Gaza and Hebron is to be retained in the proposal. The geographically smaller Jewish-majority areas are transferred to Israel, in order to minimise the number of Jews in the new Palestinian territory.
Secondly, through the Jewish-majority western bank of the Jordan River down to the Dead Sea being transferred to Israel, a secure boundary, free from threats and acts of force, is created, using the natural demarcation of the Jordan River as the border between the State of Israel and the Kingdom of Jordan. In this manner, neither nation is afforded any military advantage over the other, with a formidable natural water obstacle dividing the two, and nor can an invasion of Jordan by another power be used in order to immediately threaten the State of Israel with ‘liquidation’ through military force, without natural barriers in between the invading force and the heartland of Israel. The river is also an indisputable and obvious boundary which physically exists, thus minimising the possibility of territorial disputes between the nations.
Proposal: Jerusalem shall be a single, undivided city, under a condominium between the State of Israel and the State of Palestine. Neither state shall claim sole ownership or sovereignty over the city. It shall be the official capital of both nations, and demilitarised, with policing carried out by a neutral Jerusalem Police run by the Jerusalem governing authority, and limited rights of pursuit and protection held by the police forces of Israel and Palestine. The city will be governed by a secular council elected by both the Israeli and Palestinian populations. Israeli residents will be able to elect representatives to the Knesset representing Jerusalem, and Palestinian residents will be able to elect representatives likewise to the (to be established) independent Palestinian legislature.
Explanation: Both Palestine and Israel claim Jerusalem as their capital, and previous United Nations resolutions prohibit both Israel and Palestine claiming it as their sole territory, nor changing the territorial status of the city by dividing it. An internationally-observed condominium arrangement, whereby the undivided city would be the capital of both Israel and Palestine, with the inhabitants retaining their citizenship in either or both nations, and with governance of the city falling to a secular council elected by the residents, would solve the Jerusalem dispute while remaining in accordance with the United Nations’ requirements and the Rogers Plan.
This secular, United Nations-monitored council would provide for freedom of worship for all religions who consider Jerusalem sacred. In cases where different religious groups dispute access to or possession of significant holy sites, a system of assigning days of the week for religious worship could be implemented; for example only, two days for Judaism, two days for Islam, two days for Christianity and one day for other faiths and secular visitors, with rules in place ensuring no visitor can behave in a manner that would profane the sacred site for any of the recognised faiths.
Proposal: The Sinai region will be restored to Egypt and all Israeli armed forces will withdraw. The Sinai region east of the Suez Canal is to be demilitarised, as per the necessity for secure boundaries, free from threats and acts of force, for both Israel and Egypt, and in accordance with the Rogers Plan. A portion of the Sinai Desert of around 3,500km² along the southern Green Line is to be transferred to Israel to create a buffer zone, ensure that the port of Eilat is secure from immediate cross-border attacks, and allow for an autonomous Bedouin region to be formed.
Explanation: The demilitarisation of the Sinai is to guarantee the military security of both Israel and Egypt, by preventing either side from massing forces on the border with the other’s heartland and avoiding any possibility of military border clashes as have occurred in recent years along the Suez Canal. If either party breaches the agreement, it will be immediately noticed and the other will have more than adequate time to prepare a defence, thus preventing either side making a surprise attack upon the other.
Straits of Tiran & International Waterways
Proposal: Freedom of navigation for any nation through the Straits of Tiran is to be guaranteed by international treaty and international law, in accordance with the Maritime Conventions of the United Nations. The uninhabited island of Tiran, which is unclaimed by any nation as sovereign territory, but has off late been under Egyptian and then Israeli military control, is to be retained as the military preserve, though not the sovereign territory, of the State of Israel, in order to prevent its seizure by a power hostile to Israel and prevent the island being used to once again block lawful access the Straits. The unclaimed and uninhabited island of Sanafir may be awarded to either the Kingdom of Jordan or the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in accordance with the decision of the United Nations, for the same reasons.
Freedom of navigation for any nation through the Suez Canal is also to be guaranteed by international treaty and international law, in accordance with the Maritime Conventions of the United Nations. The Canal’s closure and blockage by Egyptian forces since 1967 has caused significant harmful effects upon the global economy, and more than doubled the distance that merchant ships have to travel between Asia and Europe. International waterways cannot be permitted to become the pawn of power politics in this modern, interconnected age.
Explanation: With the Egyptian military having expelled the United Nations forces in May 1967, and using their positions to fire upon Israel and block its shipping through the Straits of Tiran, it is clear that the previous solution - peacekeepers - is not a viable one to guarantee the security of Israel. Similarly, however, the continual occupation of Egyptian mainland territory in the Sinai, as proposed by the Rogers Plan, is clearly unpalatable to Egypt. The solution lies with the island of Tiran, which is uninhabited other than military forces and is not claimed as sovereign territory by any nation. By making the Israeli garrison on the island secure, the island cannot be seized by hostile forces seeking to close the Strait and deny Israeli vessels free passage, while also not impinging on Egyptian territory or presenting a threat of invasion to Egypt. In order to prevent an Israeli monopoly on access to the Straits of Tiran, the uninhabited island of Sanafir should be controlled by an Arab power - either Jordan or Saudi Arabia - so that no one party can close the Straits alone without invading foreign territorial waters to do so.
It is hoped that, through the combination of previous peace proposals, and a consideration of both the requirements of the Palestinian people and the security needs of all concerned States in the region, that this proposal may be viewed as a possible road-map for peace and a resolution to the seemingly-intractable conflict which has negatively affected and wasted so many lives since 1948.