September 9, 1993
After nine months of secret contacts mediated by Norwegian diplomats, the PLO and Israel recognize each other’s existence. In the agreement, the PLO agreed to renounce terror and Israel agreed to recognize the PLO as the sole representative of the Palestinian people. The documents were signed in Jerusalem the following day and were a prelude to the Palestinian self-rule agreement they would sign four days later at the White House (shown in the photo, with Itzhak Rabin shaking Yasser Arafat’s hand in front of President Bill Clinton).
Yasser Arafat’s letter to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin:
Mr. Prime Minister,
The signing of the Declaration of Principles marks a new era in the history of the Middle East. In firm conviction thereof, I would like to confirm the following PLO commitments:
The PLO recognizes the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security.
The PLO accepts United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338.
The PLO commits itself to the Middle East peace process, and to a peaceful resolution of the conflict between the two sides and declares that all outstanding issues relating to permanent status will be resolved through negotiations.
The PLO considers that the signing of the Declaration of Principles constitutes a historic event, inaugurating a new epoch of peaceful coexistence, free from violence and all other acts which endanger peace and stability. Accordingly, the PLO renounces the use of terrorism and other acts of violence and will assume responsibility over all PLO elements and personnel in order to assure their compliance, prevent violations and discipline violators.
In view of the promise of a new era and the signing of the Declaration of Principles and based on Palestinian acceptance of Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, the PLO affirms that those articles of the Palestinian Covenant which deny Israel’s right to exist, and the provisions of the Covenant which are inconsistent with the commitments of this letter are now inoperative and no longer valid. Consequently, the PLO undertakes to submit to the Palestinian National Council for formal approval the necessary changes in regard to the Palestinian Covenant.
Yasser Arafat Chairman
The Palestine Liberation Organization