Labor party leader Ehud Barak was elected Prime Minister of Israel in 1999. Shortly thereafter the idea of convening a Camp David style summit meeting between Barak and Palestinian Authority Chairman Arafat under President Clinton’s auspices began to take shape. At the negotiations, which convened at Camp David in July 2000, Ehud Barak offered the Palestinians 90-91 percent of the West Bank territories, an offer unprecedented in its generosity. However, two main stumbling blocks, the fate of Jerusalem, particularly that of Temple Mount and the right of return for Palestinian refugees proved too difficult to resolve. Arafat demanded that Israel agree unconditionally to the right of return of every refugee who so desired and rejected any compromise on Jerusalem. After 14 days of intensive talks Clinton concluded with regret that the sides were not able to reach and agreement, and sided publicly with Barak. He praised the Israeli Prime Minister for his flexibility and chided Arafat for his lack of it.



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26 Apr 2015 / 7 Iyar 5775 0