What was the Gaza and Jericho Agreement of 1994?
At a ceremony in Cairo on May 4, 1994, Israel and the Palestinians signed the Gaza-Jericho Agreement, sometimes called the Cairo Agreement. The accord led to the establishment of the Palestinian Authority (PA) shortly thereafter. Each side to this agreement undertook numerous obligations, chief among them Israel’s commitment to turn territory over to the PA, and the Palestinian commitment to combat terror and prevent violence, the famous “land for peace” bargain.
In the following years, Israel generally lived up to the agreement and continued to participate in the Oslo Peace Process by signing additional pacts with the Palestinians. The Israelis thought that peace was a genuine possibility and the political climate in Israel was supportive of making the necessary concessions to get there. Israeli forces withdrew from Jericho and most of the Gaza Strip in May 1994. After additional agreements, Israeli withdrawals resulted in more than 95% of Palestinians in Judea, Samaria and Gaza being under Palestinian administration by 1997. Even though they participated in the negotiations, reached verbal agreement and signed the documents giving written agreement, the Palestinians did not comply with their obligations under the agreements. There was systematic Palestinian non-compliance with their main obligations under the accords. Various Palestinian commitments contained in the May 1994 Gaza-Jericho Agreement were recycled in the September 1995 Oslo 2 Accord and reaffirmed in the January 1997 Hebron Accord, yet went unfulfilled. The primary reason for the multiple agreements over the course of years was that the timetables were never met leading to the requirement to renegotiate. The timetables were not met because Palistinian failure to meet Israels security requirements, even in basic steps negotiated in the accords, led to Israel's refusal to "redeploy" forces, especially when initial Israeli withdrawals did not lead to Palestinian compliance. "Land for Peace" was in reality, "Land for Nothing". Among the many items that were not complied with, the PLO once again agreed to change the provisions of the Palestinian National Covenant that deny Israel's right to exist and call for Israel's destruction. Once again there was no action taken and, in fact, the PLO Charter was never revised as agreed.