The Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States of America
The White House
April 14, 2004
Dear Mr. President,
The vision that you articulated in your 24 June 2002 address constitutes one
of the most significant contributions toward ensuring a bright future for
the Middle East. Accordingly, the State of Israel has accepted the Roadmap,
as adopted by our government. For the first time, a practical and just
formula was presented for the achievement of peace, opening a genuine window
of opportunity for progress toward a settlement between Israel and the
Palestinians, involving two states living side-by-side in peace and
This formula sets forth the correct sequence and principles for the
attainment of peace. Its full implementation represents the sole means to
make genuine progress. As you have stated, a Palestinian state will never
be created by terror, and Palestinians must engage in a sustained fight
against the terrorists and dismantle their infrastructure. Moreover, there
must be serious efforts to institute true reform and real democracy and
liberty, including new leaders not compromised by terror. We are committed
to this formula as the only avenue through which an agreement can be
reached. We believe that this formula is the only viable one.
The Palestinian Authority under its current leadership has taken no action
to meet its responsibilities under the Roadmap. Terror has not ceased,
reform of the Palestinian security services has not taken place. The State
of Israel continues to pay the heavy cost of constant terror. Israel must
preserve its capability to protect itself and deter its enemies, and we thus
retain out right to defend ourselves against terrorism and to take actions
against terrorist organizations.
Having reached the conclusion that, for the time being, there exists no
Palestinian partner with whom to advance peacefully toward a settlement and
since the current impasse is unhelpful to the achievement of our shared
goals, I have decided to initiate a process of gradual disengagement with
the hope of reducing friction between Israelis and Palestinians. The
Disengagement Plan is designed to improve security for Israel and stabilize
our political and economic situation. It will enable us to deploy our
forces more effectively until such time that conditions in the Palestinian
Authority allow for the full implementation of the Roadmap to resume.
I attach, for your review, the main principles of the Disengagement Plan.
This initiative, which we are not undertaking under the roadmap, represents
an independent Israeli plan, yet is not inconsistent with the roadmap.
According to this plan, the State of Israel intends to relocate military
installations and all Israeli villages and towns in the Gaza Strip, as well
as other military installations and a small number of villages in Samaria.
In this context, we also plan to accelerate construction of the Security
Fence, whose completion is essential in order to ensure the security of the
citizens of Israel. The fence is a security rather than political barrier,
temporary rather than permanent, and therefore will not prejudice any final
status issues including final borders. The route of the fence, as approve
by our Government's decisions, will take into account, consistent with
security needs, it impact on Palestinians not engaged in terrorist
Upon my return from Washington, I expect to submit this Plan for the
approval of the Cabinet and the Knesset, and I firmly believe that it will
win such approval.
The Disengagement Plan will create a new and better reality for the State of
Israel, enhance its security and economy, and strengthen the fortitude of
its people. In this context, I believe it is important to bring new
opportunities to the Negev and the Galilee. Additionally, the Plan will
entail a series of measures with the inherent potential to improve the lot
of the Palestinian Authority, providing that it demonstrates the wisdom to
take advantage of this opportunity. The execution of the Disengagement Plan
holds the prospect of stimulating changes within the Palestinian Authority
that might create the necessary conditions for the resumption of direct
We view the achievement of a settlement between Israel and Palestinians as
our central focus and are committed to realizing this objective. Progress
towards this goal must be anchored exclusively in the Roadmap and we will
oppose any other plan.
In this regard, we are fully aware of the responsibilities facing the State
of Israel. These include limitations on the growth of settlements; removal
of unauthorized outposts; and steps to increase, to the extent permitted by
security needs, freedom of movement for Palestinians not engaged in
terrorism. Under separate cover we are sending to you a full description of
the steps the State of Israel is taking to meet all its responsibilities.
The government of Israel supports the United States' efforts to reform the
Palestinian security services to meet their roadmap obligations to fight
terror. Israel also supports the American's efforts, working with the
International Community, to promote the reform process, build institutions
and improve the economy of the Palestinian Authority and to enhance the
welfare of its people, in the hope that a new Palestinian leadership will
prove able to fulfill it obligations under the roadmap.
I want to again express my appreciation for your courageous leadership in
the war against global terror, your important initiative to revitalize the
Middle East as a more fitting home for its people and, primarily, your
personal friendship and profound support for the State of Israel.