Background Basics on West Bank/Gaza
- Middle East Investment Initiative Overview
- Background Basics | Nov 24, 2009
The Middle East Investment Initiative (MEII), a partner organization of Middle East Progress, is an independent, non-profit organization founded by the Aspen Institute in 2005 to strengthen the economies of the Palestinian territories and other countries in the region, recognizing that a strong economic base is critical for social and political stability. Working in partnership with the Palestine Investment Fund (PIF), the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and CHF International, MEII uses innovative
- A Guide to the Final Status Issues
- Background Basics | Oct 20, 2009
Four core issues are central to an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement: borders, Jerusalem, refugees and security. Israelis and Palestinians started discussing these issues officially in late 1999 and throughout 2000, including at the Camp David summit in July 2000. Negotiations over these issues were renewed at the Annapolis summit in November 2007. Although progress was made at that time, and further progress has been made since, these questions remain at the heart of resolving the conflict.
- Obama Administration Efforts Towards Arab-Israeli Peace
- Background Basics | Sep 22, 2009
On his first day in office, January 21, President Obama spoke to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Jordanian King Abdullah II and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, promising them “active engagement” towards Arab-Israeli peace from the beginning of his presidency. He also pledged to help consolidate the Israel-Hamas ceasefire following the fighting in Gaza. The next day the Obama administration appointed former U.S. Senator George Mitchell as special envoy
- Recent Russian Middle East Diplomacy
- Background Basics | Aug 4, 2009
February 5, 2009: Russia’s state nuclear corporation announced that Russia would complete Iran’s first nuclear power plant in the city of Bushehr by the end of 2009. Russia launched the estimated $1 billion project in 1995 and began supplying the plant with enriched nuclear fuel in December 2007. The fuel deliveries were completed in January 2008.
February 13, 2009: During a four-day visit to Russia, Turkish President Abdullah Gul signed a joint declaration with Russian President
- Surveying Gaza’s Economy
- Background Basics | Jul 28, 2009
* Smuggling through tunnels between Egypt and Gaza forms part of an informal economy that is difficult to quantify
- Obstacles to Movement and Access in the West Bank
- Background Basics | Jul 14, 2009
In response to the second intifada, Israel began constructing a system of internal checkpoints in the West Bank and Gaza; and in 2002, the country began construction of a separation barrier. The checkpoints and barrier, along with a system of roadblocks, were put in place to curb the number of attacks in Israel.
On June 24, the UN Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs (OCHA) placed the total number of these internal
- Old City Sketchbook
- Background Basics | Jun 23, 2009
The Old City, a historical area within the modern city of Jerusalem about one-fourth the size of New York’s Central Park, is divided into four quarters—Armenian, Christian, Jewish and Muslim. The city is home to some of the holiest sites in Christianity, Islam and Judaism.
Area in dunams: (1 dunam = ~0.25 acres)
Total Area - 900
Muslim Quarter - 461
Christian Quarter - 192
Armenian Quarter - 126
Jewish Quarter – 122
- Palestinian Security Sector Development
- Background Basics | Apr 7, 2009
At the end of 2005, Lieutenant General Keith W. Dayton was named United States Security Coordinator (USSC) for the Palestinian Authority and posted in Jerusalem. His mission is “the transformation and professionalization of the Palestinian security forces,” the enhancement of law and order and the improvement of security for Palestinians and Israelis. After Hamas took control of Gaza in June 2007, the focus of Dayton’s mission shifted to assisting the Palestinian Authority’s efforts to rebuild its forces in
- The E1 Corridor
- Background Basics | Mar 24, 2009
• East 1, or E1, is a 4.6 square mile area of land between Jerusalem and the built up areas of Maale Adumim, a settlement that is an eastern suburb of Jerusalem.
• Israel considers E1 part of the official municipal boundaries of Maale Adumim. Maale Adumim’s boundaries are larger than Tel Aviv’s, despite the city having less than 10 percent of Tel Aviv’s population, and its built-up areas comprise around 15
- Recent Gulf Engagement in the Arab-Israeli Conflict: Summits
- Background Basics | Mar 19, 2009
In February 2007, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia hosted Fatah and Hamas leaders in an emergency two-day summit in Mecca focused on halting the violence between the groups and lifting the international embargo of the Palestinian Authority (PA). At the summit, PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshal signed an accord to form a national unity government, marking the first time the two parties agreed to share power. The new government did