This Day In History: Israel-Palestine Peace Accord Signed
On this day, 30 years ago, Israel and Palestine signed a peace accord on the White House’s South Lawn. Palestinians and Israelis had been fighting for decades before this agreement was signed.
The “Declaration of Principles” was the first agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians towards ending their conflict. The fighting was over the land between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea, that both claimed to be their homelands.
Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and PLO foreign policy official Mahmoud Abbas signed the Declaration of Principles.
The accord called for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank town of Jericho and the establishment of a Palestinian government that would eventually be granted authority over much of the West Bank.
Rabin, a former top-ranking Israeli army general, told the crowd: “We the soldiers who have returned from the battle stained with blood; we who have seen our relatives and friends killed before our eyes; we who have fought against you, the Palestinians; we say to you today in a loud and clear voice: Enough of blood and tears. Enough!”
And Arafat, the guerrilla leader who for decades was targeted for assassination by Israeli agents, declared that “The battle for peace is the most difficult battle of our lives. It deserves our utmost efforts because the land of peace yearns for a just and comprehensive peace.”