The Arab-Israeli conflict has been a persistent source of tension for decades, for example, but it has taken on new dimensions in the aftermath of the failed Oslo process and the recent explosion of violence that shows no signs of abating. These traditional issues have been joined by several more recent problems that defy easy solutions. Weapons of mass destruction (WMD) continue to spread throughout the region, despite international non-proliferation efforts. Terrorists recruited and trained in the Middle East are now carrying out attacks far beyond their own borders, creating strong global interests in countering the sources of this phenomenon (Litvak, 1993).
The declaration of principles between Israel and the PLO was designed to undertake direct discussions leading to the establishment of Palestinian self-rule, beginning with Gaza and Jericho. These two agreements were assumed to be the result both of the domestic pressure faced by the new Israeli government caused by their perceived failure to move the process along as initially promised and of Arafat's perception that his lack of concrete gains was enhancing the strength of his opponents within the Palestinian movement (Meir, 1993).
Thereafter, trusted emissaries of these two principals met in secret negotiations facilitated by the late Johan Holst, then Norway's foreign minister. ...Show more