October 23, 1998
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat and U.S. President Bill Clinton sign a memorandum recommitting to the Oslo II agreement of September 1995 after nine days of negotiations at the Wye River Plantation in eastern Maryland.
Clinton convened the summit in response to increasingly bellicose rhetoric and mistrust on both sides as implementation of Oslo II lapsed after the election of Netanyahu as prime minister in May 1996.
The memorandum reflects the interest of Palestinian and Israeli leaders to have the United States play a larger role in the Oslo process, especially regarding infrastructure, security and movement across boundaries. The memorandum also engages the CIA in Palestinian-Israeli security efforts.
Within two months, Israel redeploys out of some Palestinian territories as promised and releases prisoners, though not the political prisoners the PA wants freed.
Through the Wye River pact, the Likud party accepts the principle of ceding control of territory within the Land of Israel to non-Israeli control. Netanyahu faces a firestorm of criticism back home from his core supporters, who call him a traitor, and he loses the 1999 election to a coalition led by Labor leader Ehud Barak.
Photo by Avo Ohavon/GPO.