JERUSALEM – The "road map" peace plan, conditionally approved by the Israeli Cabinet on Sunday, was formally presented to Israeli and Palestinian leaders on May 1 by diplomats from the "Quartet" of Mideast negotiators -- the United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia. A key innovation of the three-phase, three-year blueprint is the option of a provisional Palestinian state before all issues are settled.
Phase One: Begins with statements by both sides renouncing violence and affirming the right of the other side to a state. Palestinians "undertake an immediate cessation of violence," make efforts to disarm violent cells, restructure security services, reform their administration in preparation for statehood. Israel and the Palestinians resume security coordination. Israel stops offensive operations against Palestinians, takes steps to normalize Palestinian life, withdraws forces from Palestinian cities and towns back to pre-violence lines "as security performance and cooperation progress." Israel freezes settlement construction in the West Bank (search) and Gaza.
Phase Two: Begins when the Quartet judges that the two sides have fulfilled commitments in Phase One. Includes option of Palestinian state (search) with "provisional borders and attributes of sovereignty." Conditional on a new Palestinian constitution and elections. International conference oversees economic assistance and negotiations to set up provisional state with "maximum territorial contiguity."
Phase Three: International conference oversees negotiations on final issues: borders -- Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees (search) and Jewish settlements (search) -- with a peace treaty by 2005 leading to comprehensive peace between Israel and the Arab world.