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National Contexts and the Road Map on Middle East Settlement

Abstract

Highly explosive potential of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, moved aside from top priorities of the regional agenda by new challenges, may add substantially to escalation of the wave of violence which sweeps over the Middle East. Any break-through in the Palestinian-Israeli settlement since ages has been unthinkable without the global political hardliners and regional actors. However the basic precondition for achieving any agreements remains the same: readiness to mutual compromises of the parties to the conflict, which through their actions may both provide premises for dialogue or block any possibility for progress in the visible future. Hence, in order to properly evaluate the current status of peace process and clearly see its perspectives it is important not to forget the lessons learnt in the course of the implementation of the latest peace plan – the Road Map. This is the only plan for peaceful settlement which, let along Israeli reservations, was accepted by the two sides of the conflict and proclaimed establishment of an independent Palestinian State as one of the goals of the final status agreement. The author evaluates “the political stock” which sides of the conflict possessed before adoption of the Road Map and examines achievements of the implementation of the very plan. The author examines the actions of the parties to the conflict on implementation of the Road Map and internal political processes that influenced them. The study reveals the relevance of some results of the period the Road Map implementation to forming the up-to-date positions of the parties involved, such as the collapse of a phase-based approach to the settlement; different vision of the future Palestinian state, which has become an integral part of the agenda; unilateralism which is becoming the dominating line of conduct of the parties to the conflict. The author notes self-reproduction of the policy of unilateralism at a new level.

Keywords:

Palestinian-Israeli conflict; Road Map; Plan of Unilateral Disengagement; Convergence Plan; Policy of Unilateral Measures; Intifada; Palestinian National Authority; HAMAS; Gaza Strip; West Bank; Middle East Quartet.


Authors: Igor Leshchenya

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