Palestinian views of the peace process refer to the views of Palestinians in the ongoing peace talks with Israel. While some Palestinian leaders say that the peace process is intended to achieve a permanent peace with the State of Israel, others maintain that their goal is to destroy Israel.[1][2]


After the Israeli War of Independence, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) defined as a Palestine refugee any person who lived in Palestine under the British Mandate for at least two years prior to the Israeli victory and "who lost both their homes and means of livelihood as a result of [it]".[3] The attitude of Palestinians toward the concept of "land for peace" depends largely on their individual social and economic status. Their social circumstances are largely affected by their inability to become citizens of the states in which they reside.[4]

The most recent draft of the Palestinian constitution by the National Committee expresses a desire to adhere to international law as set out by the United Nations and to give all people within its borders human and civil rights. Many Palestinian refugees would like to return to their original homes (see right to return), often regardless of what state they would then find themselves in.[5]

Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad

The stated goal of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad is to conquer Israel and replace it with an Islamist state.[6] Hamas undertook a ceasefire with Israel in August 2004. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad was unhappy with the ceasefire.[7][8] In September 2005, Hamas was criticized by Islamic Jihad for calling off rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza. Because the very identity of Hamas depends on its militancy and rejection of any form of Jewish life in the Middle East, Hamas has shown no interest in cooperating with the United States on any sort of peace negotiation.[9]

Yasser Arafat

Acceptance of Israel's right to exist in peace was the first of the PLO's obligations in the Oslo accords. In Yasser Arafat's September 9, 1993 letter to Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, as part of the first Oslo accord, Arafat stated that "The PLO recognizes the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security."[10] Electronic Intifada stated that Arafat has made several calls for an end to violence and lasting peace.[11] Arafat had to deal with unfavourable views held by many Israelis, who saw him as merely using the peace process to extract short-term concessions. Arafat was also accused of viewing the peace process as a stepping stone on the road to the complete destruction of the state of Israel.

Prominent Palestinians

When Sari Nusseibeh was the representative of the Palestinian Authority in Jerusalem (circa 2000), he called for historic compromises by both Palestinians and Israelis, in order to secure a permanent and lasting peace. For example, he stated that Palestinians must give up their claim of a right of return. With this concession, he argued, a true and lasting peace could emerge.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said on August 5, 2000, "Palestinians are no strangers to compromise. In the 1993 Oslo Accords, we agreed to recognize Israeli sovereignty over 78 percent of historic Palestine and to establish a Palestinian state on only 22 percent." Rashid Abu Shbak, a senior PA security official declared, "The light which has shone over Gaza and Jericho [when the PA assumed control over those areas] will also reach the Negev and the Galilee [which constitute a large portion of pre-1967 Israel]."[12]

The PA's Voice of Palestine radio station broadcast a Friday prayer sermon by Yusuf Abu Sneineh, official preacher at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque, over the radio. In it, he asserted, "The struggle we are waging is an ideological struggle and the question is: where has the Islamic land of Palestine gone? Where [are] Haifa and Jaffa, Lod and Ramle, Acre, Safed and Tiberias? Where is Hebron and Jerusalem?"[13][14]

PA cabinet minister Abdul Aziz Shaheen told the official PA newspaper, Al-Havat Al-Jadida, on January 4, 1998, "The Oslo accord was a preface for the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian Authority will be a preface for the Palestinian state which, in its turn, will be a preface for the liberation of the entire Palestinian land."

Faisal Husseini, former Palestinian Authority Minister for Jerusalem, compared the al-Aqsa intifada following the Oslo peace process to the tactic of coming out of the Trojan Horse used by the Greeks in the myth of the Trojan War.[15]

Maps and textbooks

A number of Palestinian maps label all of the State of Israel, as well as the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as "Palestine".[16] Such maps appear on PA Television, in the offices of PA officials, in textbooks used in PA schools, and on the shoulder patches of PA police officers.[16] In 1988, when the PLO applied for admission to the World Health Organization, it used the map of all of Israel in its application papers.

See also

Israeli views of the peace process in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict


  1. Lewis, Bernard. The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror. New York: The Modern Library, 2003. p. 150.
  2. Breger, Marshall J. and Steven L. Spiegel. "Why Likud Needs the Peace Process." Middle East Forum. February 1999. 20 July 2009. "Likud worries that—no matter what the Palestine Liberation Organization says to Israelis and Westerners and whatever treaties it signs—it does not accept the permanent existence of a Jewish state in the Middle East but uses diplomacy as part of a 'strategy of phases' to destroy Israel."
  3. "Who is a Palestine refugee?". Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  4. Bard, Mitchell. "The Palestinian Refugees". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  5. Sharp, Heather (2004-04-15). "Right of return: Palestinian dream". BBC News. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  6. "Hamas Covenant". The Avalon Project at Yale Law School.. 1988-08-18. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  7. Benhorin, Yitzhak. "Hamas: Ceasefire for return to 1967 border". Yedioth Group.,7340,L-3207845,00.html. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  8. Toameh, Khaled (2005-09-26). "Jihad ’unhappy’ with Hamas ceasefire". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  9. Pollock, David. "Rejectionists Readying to Counter U.S. Peace Push." Washington Institute for Near East Policy. 1 September 2009. 5 September 2009.
  10. Arafat, Yasser; Yitzhak Rabin (1993-09-09). "Israel-PLO Recognition: Exchange of Letters Between PM Rabin and Chairman Arafat". US Department of State. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  11. Abunimah, Ali; Ibish, Hussein (04-14), Debunking 6 common Israeli myths,, retrieved 2008-07-01 
  12. Yediot Ahronot, May 29, 1994
  13. Voice of Palestine, May 23, 1997
  14. "SENIOR PALESTINIAN OFFICIALS CONTINUE TO INCITE AGAINST ISRAEL." Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 29 May 1997. 1 July 2009.
  15. Yaalon, Moshe (2007-01-22). "The Changing Paradigm of Israeli-Palestinian Relations in the Shadow of Iran and the War against Hizballah". Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 "Palestinian Maps Omitting Israel." Jewish Virtual Library. 24 May 2009.

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