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U.S. Department of State
97/01/14 Statement: Israel-Palestinian Agreement on Hebron 
Office of the Spokesman 



Statement by Secretary of State Warren Christopher 


 
                Israel-Palestinian Agreement on Hebron 


 
I want to congratulate Prime Minister Netanyahu and Chairman Arafat on 
reaching an historic agreement on Hebron redeployment.  It has been an 
arduous task.  But they have given the world an auspicious gift for the 
beginning of a new year and reaffirmed their commitment to the Israeli-
Palestinian process of peacemaking begun at Madrid and continued at 
Oslo. 
 
Both Israelis and Palestinians have gained much.  What they have agreed 
upon today is more than a protocol on Hebron redeployment.  It is in 
essence a roadmap for the future, to facilitate implementation of the 
Interim Agreement and to help create a greater degree of trust and 
confidence between the parties.  This agreement demonstrates once again 
that negotiations work and that only through a process of give and take 
can difficult challenges be overcome. 
 
I also want to acknowledge the critical role played by King Hussein 
during this process.  His leadership and commitment to peace provided 
momentum at a crucial moment.  I would also like to extend my 
appreciation to President Mubarak of Egypt for his important 
contributions. 
 
Although the credit for the agreement belongs mainly to the parties, the 
role of the United States was essential in helping Israelis and 
Palestinians achieve their goals.  President Clinton's willingness to 
bring the parties to the Washington Summit meeting on October 2 rescued 
the peace process at a critical moment, and his continuing efforts -- 
including over the past weekend -- have been vital.  And over the past 
several months, Ambassador Dennis Ross, Ambassador Martin Indyk, Consul 
General Ed Abington and our State Department peace team -- separated 
from their families and at great personal sacrifice -- worked tirelessly 
to help the parties hammer out the details of this thorny agreement. 
 
Reaching an agreement on Hebron redeployment is an important step in 
pursuit of Israeli-Palestinian peace and in our search for a 
comprehensive peace in the region.  Many challenges remain to be 
overcome.  Nonetheless, working with the parties, the United States will 
continue to make Arab-Israeli peace a top priority.  And with 
determination and good will on the part of all the parties, we will 
continue to work to realize the kind of just and lasting peace that 
Arabs and Israelis have for too long been denied.
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