Informal talks in Taba (Egypt) in January 2001, came too late to have an effect. The focus of American political initiatives towards Israel and the Palestinians shifted to conflict management. In April 2003, the so-called Quartet (United States, European Union, Russian Federation, and the United Nations) launched the Road Map to Peace in the Middle East, a three-phased plan. In phase I, the Palestinians would end all acts of violence and disarm groups involved in it. Israel would freeze the construction in the Jewish settlements in the West Bank and in Gaza. During phase II an international conference would be organized and a Palestinian state ‘with provisional borders’ would be created. In phase III, the negotiations over final status issues (borders, Jerusalem, settlements, refugees) would start. These negotiations should be concluded before the end of 2005.
Nothing came of it, all the more since from September 2000 another Intifada raged through the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, leading to an escalation of violence. This Second Intifada, also known as the Aqsa Intifada, erupted after a provocative visit by Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon to the Haram al-Sharif (called the Temple Mount by Jews) in Jerusalem, one of the holy places of Islam. This visit was followed by furious Palestinian demonstrations near the Aqsa Mosque, in which four young Palestinians were killed by Israeli security forces and dozens of demonstrators were wounded. Eventually, about 4,700 Palestinians (more than half of them civilians) and 1,000 Israelis (two-third of them civilians) lost their lives in this renewed uprising.
We would like to ask you something …
Fanack is an independent media organisation, not funded by any state or any interest group, that distributes in the Middle East and the wider world unbiased analysis and background information, based on facts, about the Middle East and North Africa.
The website grew rapidly in breadth and depth and today forms a rich and valuable source of information on 21 countries, from Morocco to Oman and from Iran to Yemen, both in Arabic and English. We currently reach six million readers annually and growing fast.
In order to guarantee the impartiality of information on the Chronicle, articles are published without by-lines. This also allows correspondents to write more freely about sensitive or controversial issues in their country. All articles are fact-checked before publication to ensure that content is accurate, current and unbiased.