The Man and the Issues
Prospects for Peace
(CNN) -- Before a breakdown in peace talks early last year, Israel and
the Palestinians had been moving slowly toward peaceful
They had signed accords to lay the groundwork for peace, and
Israeli troops had begun withdrawing from the West Bank,
allowing Palestinians a measure of self-rule.
But 1997 saw a reversal in direction, as Jewish settlement
construction in the West Bank and Palestinian suicide
bombings moved the parties away from reconciliation.
The United States has been trying to get the stalled peace
process back on track, with U.S.-mediated talks and pointed
President Clinton, meeting separately in January with Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority
President Yasser Arafat, proposed that Israeli troop
withdrawals from the West Bank continue in stages, with each
step matched by a new Palestinian action to improve security.
Subsequent meetings have sought to address the scope of
further redeployment and timing, with no evidence of
significant progress as Israel and the Palestinians hold out
for their demands.
Although Israel has withdrawn from about 30 percent of the
West Bank, the Palestinians want another substantial Israeli
troop withdrawal before interim peace deals go any further.
Palestinians have said they want Israel to pull back from at
least another 30 percent of the West Bank