23 October 1998

Israel and the Palestinian Authority sign the Wye River Memorandum.

The Wye River Memorandum, also known as the Wye River Agreement, was an important interim agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority that aimed to address various outstanding issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The memorandum was signed on October 23, 1998, at the Wye River Conference Center in Maryland, USA. The signing ceremony was attended by then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then-Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat, with U.S. President Bill Clinton serving as a witness and mediator.

The Wye River Memorandum built upon earlier agreements, such as the Oslo Accords, and was seen as a step toward implementing the “land for peace” framework.

Security Provisions: The memorandum included detailed security arrangements that both parties agreed to follow to combat terrorism and reduce violence. It established a series of steps for the gradual redeployment of Israeli forces from parts of the West Bank, allowing for greater Palestinian self-rule.

Territorial Issues: The agreement addressed issues related to the transfer of additional land to Palestinian control and set the stage for further withdrawals of Israeli forces from parts of the West Bank.

Palestinian Commitments: The Palestinian Authority committed to taking measures to combat terrorism and incitement to violence. It was also required to amend the Palestinian National Covenant to remove clauses calling for the destruction of Israel.

Final Status Negotiations: The Wye River Memorandum reaffirmed the commitment of both parties to negotiate final status issues, such as the borders, refugees, and Jerusalem.

U.S. Commitment: The United States played a significant role in brokering the agreement and committed to providing assistance and monitoring the implementation of the agreement.

The implementation of the Wye River Memorandum faced many challenges and setbacks, including disputes, violence, and delays. Despite the agreement, the larger issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were not fully resolved. The memorandum was seen as a confidence-building measure that aimed to move the peace process forward, but it did not lead to a final peace agreement.