Israeli Prime Minister Yithak Rabin (left), US President Bill Clinton (center), and Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat (right) at the signing of the Declaration of Principles on the White House lawn, Sep. 13, 1993
The Declaration of Principles from the 1993 Oslo Accords opened with the following statements:
"Declaration of Principles On Interim Self-Government Arrangements
The Government of the State of Israel and the P.L.O. team (in the Jordanian-Palestinian delegation to the Middle East Peace Conference) (the "Palestinian Delegation"), representing the Palestinian people, agree that it is time to put an end to decades of confrontation and conflict, recognize their mutual legitimate and political rights, and strive to live in peaceful coexistence and mutual dignity and security and achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement and historic reconciliation through the agreed political process. Accordingly, the, two sides agree to the following principles:
AIM OF THE NEGOTIATIONS
The aim of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations within the current Middle East peace process is, among other things, to establish a Palestinian Interim Self-Government Authority, the elected Council (the "Council"), for the Palestinian people in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, for a transitional period not exceeding five years, leading to a permanent settlement based on Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338.
It is understood that the interim arrangements are an integral part of the whole peace process and that the negotiations on the permanent status will lead to the implementation of Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338."
Ian J. Bickerton, PhD, Professor of Middle Eastern History at the University of New South Wales, and Carla L. Klausner, PhD, Professor of the Modern Middle East at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, in their 2002 fourth edition of A Concise History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict wrote:
"On Monday, September 13, 1993…on the White House lawn in Washington, the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government for the Palestinians was signed by Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and PLO representative Mahmoud Abbas, with Warren Christopher and Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kosyrev adding their signatures as witnesses, while President Clinton, Yasser Arafat, and Yitzhak Rabin looked on.
The Declaration of Principles envisaged a ten-month timetable leading to elections for a Palestinian council to run the West Bank and Gaza Strip for an interim period of five years, during which time Israel and the Palestinians would negotiate a permanent peace settlement [based upon U.N. Resolutions 242 and 338]. After signing the accord, Israel and the Palestinians were, within one month, to begin negotiating the details of the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip and Jericho. This agreement was expected to be reached by December 13, 1993, with the Israelis immediately beginning their withdrawal, to be completed by April 13, 1994, and with the Palestinians taking control of all their internal affairs, including taxation and police functions.
The principle of 'early empowerment' would apply to the rest of the West Bank, where authority would be transferred from the Israeli military government and civil administration to 'authorized Palestinians' who would take control of health, education and culture, welfare, tourism, and direct taxation. An interim agreement would specify the structure and powers of the Palestinian council that would replace the Israeli administration, and elections for the council were to be held no later than July 13, 1994. Israeli military forces would be redeployed outside populated areas of the West Bank by the eve of the elections but would continue to protect Jewish settlements. Moreover, Israel would retain control of the border crossing from Gaza to Egypt and of the Allenby Bridge linking the West Bank and Jordan. The status of Jerusalem and other outstanding issues would be left to negotiations on the permanent arrangements for the occupied territories. Talks on the final status of the territories would begin no later than December 1995, with permanent settlement to take effect by December 1998."