Extraordinary Arab Summit
Resolution on the Palestine Question
Cairo, 21-23 June 1996
Adhering to their national responsibility, the Arab leaders assert that the establishment of a comprehensive and just peace in the Middle East requires Israel's complete withdrawal from all occupied Palestinian territories, including Arab Jerusalem, and enabling the Palestinian people to exercise their righto self-determination and to establish an independent state with Arab Jerusalem as its capital. This is because the Palestinian issue is the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The Arab leaders also call for Israel's complete withdrawal from the Syrian Golan Heights to the 4 June 1967 line and for Israel's full and unconditional withdrawal from southern Lebanon and the western Biqa' to the internationally recognized borders, in implementation of Security Council Resolutions 242, 338, and 425 and the principle of land for peace. On these bases, they call for the resumption of talks on all tracks.
The Arab countries’ commitment to continue the peace process to achieve a just and comprehensive peace under the aegis of international legitimacy is a goal and a strategic option. This commitment requires similar serious and unequivocal commitment on the part of Israel, which must work to complete the peace process in a way that will restore the rights and occupied territories and ensure balanced and equal security for all the states of the region, in accordance with the principles agreed upon at the Madrid conference, especially the land-for peace principles, and the assurances given to the parties.
The Arab leaders affirm that any violation [ikhlal] by Israel of these principles and bases on which the peace process is founded, any retraction on the commitments, pledges, and agreements reached within the framework of this process, or any vacillation in implementing them will set back the peace process and will entail dangers and consequences that will plunge the region back into a spiral of tension and will compel all the Arab countries to reconsider the steps they have taken toward Israel within the framework of the peace process. The Israeli government alone will be fully responsible for these consequences.
The Arab leaders stress their adherence to the UN resolutions, which do not accept or recognize any situation resulting from Israeli settlement activity in the occupied Arab territories. They consider this settlement activity illegal, unlawful, and nonbinding. They consider the building of settlements and bringing settlers to them a violation of the Geneva Conventions and the Madrid framework and an obstruction of the peace process. They call for a halt to all settlement activity in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights and the occupied Palestinian territories, particularly Jerusalem, and for the dismantling of these settlements. They also reject any change to the character and legal status of Arab Jerusalem. They emphasize that a comprehensive and just peace in the Middle East cannot be achieved unless a solution is found for the issue of Jerusalem and for the problem of Palestinian refugees, who have the right to return in accordance with international legitimacy and the UN resolutions.
In light of this, and in order to help the peace process on the Syrian, Lebanese, and Palestinian track succeed, the Arab leaders call on the cosponsors of the peace process, the European Union, Japan, the nonaligned states, the other concerned countries, the United Nations, and other international organizations and institutions to work to ensure that Israel does not upset the bases of the peace process and fulfills its commitments regarding both the interim-stage agreements and the issues of the final-status negotiations because the Palestine question is the essence of the Arab-Israeli conflict. They also call for continued provision of the necessary political and economic support for the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority. In this respect, the leaders stress the need for ending the Israeli blockade against the Palestinian people.
The Arab leaders stress the need for Israel to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and to subject all their nuclear facilities to the inspection regime of the International Atomic Energy Agency. They also renew their call for establishing a zone free from weapons of mass destruction, especially nuclear weapons, in the Middle East. This should include all states of the region, including Israel. They stress their determination to take the necessary steps to protect the region from the dangers of these weapons and to spare it an arms race that would increase tension and waste the region's resources and energies. The Arab leaders emphasize that the achievement of a just and comprehensive peace is the real guarantee for the security of all states of the Middle East.
Source: Journal of Palestine Studies, vol xxvi, no. 1, pp. 142-144.