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At a November 1999 ceremony in Oslo, Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and United States president Bill Clinton vowed to finish the job of making Middle East peace begun by slain Israeli premier Yitzhak Rabin. Barak and Arafat hope to make progress on a timetable for reaching a final peace settlement within the next 10 months. This section provides news and background on the accord, the conflict and the long quest for a permanent peace.
The search for peace in the Middle East dates back to the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, a war following the invasion of the Jewish state by Arab countries, and the subsequent displacement of many Palestinian Arabs. The breakthrough for peace came in 1993 when Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat agreed to a framework for Palestinian autonomy in the West Bank and Gaza in the Oslo accords.
After Rabin's assassination in 1995, the peace process faltered. Relations between Israelis and Palestinians turned sour as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's slowed down diplomatic momentum after Oslo largely because of security concerns. His successor, Prime Minister Ehud Barak, swiftly improved relations with the Palestinians after his recent election and promised to speed the peace process toward a final agreement by September 2000.
Follow the links below for an overview of the peace process since the Oslo accords.
Individuals involved in the recent Israeli-Palestinian conflicts
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