The Geneva Accord - Draft
Permanent Status Agreement
Source: The following is the text of the Geneva
Accord, obtained exclusively by Haaretz. (Annex X
referred to in the document is yet to be completed)
Article 7 - Refugees
1. Significance of the Refugee Problem
(a) The Parties recognize that, in the context of
two independent states, Palestine and Israel, living
side by side in peace, an agreed resolution of the
refugee problem is necessary for achieving a just,
comprehensive and lasting peace between them.
(b) Such a resolution will also be central to stability
building and development in the region.
2. UNGAR 194, UNSC Resolution 242, and the Arab
(a) The Parties recognize that UNGAR 194, UNSC Resolution
242, and the Arab Peace Initiative (Article 2.ii.)
concerning the rights of the Palestinian refugees
represent the basis for resolving the refugee issue,
and agree that these rights are fulfilled according
to Article 7 of this Agreement.
(a) Refugees shall be entitled to compensation for
their refugeehood and for loss of property. This shall
not prejudice or be prejudiced by the refugee's permanent
place of residence.
(b) The Parties recognize the right of states that
have hosted Palestinian refugees to remuneration.
4. Choice of Permanent Place of Residence (PPR)
The solution to the PPR aspect of the refugee problem
shall entail an act of informed choice on the part
of the refugee to be exercised in accordance with
the options and modalities set forth in this agreement.
PPR options from which the refugees may choose shall
be as follows;
(a) The state of Palestine, in accordance with clause
(b) Areas in Israel being transferred to Palestine
in the land swap, following assumption of Palestinian
sovereignty, in accordance with clause a below.
(c) Third Countries, in accordance with clause b below.
(d) The state of Israel, in accordance with clause
(e) Present Host countries, in accordance with clause
- PPR options i and ii shall be the right of all
Palestinian refugees and shall be in accordance
with the laws of the State of Palestine.
- Option iii shall be at the sovereign discretion
of third countries and shall be in accordance with
numbers that each third country will submit to the
International Commission. These numbers shall represent
the total number of Palestinian refugees that each
third country shall accept.
- Option iv shall be at the sovereign discretion
of Israel and will be in accordance with a number
that Israel will submit to the International Commission.
This number shall represent the total number of
Palestinian refugees that Israel shall accept. As
a basis, Israel will consider the average of the
total numbers submitted by the different third countries
to the International Commission.
- Option v shall be in accordance with the sovereign
discretion of present host countries. Where exercised
this shall be in the context of prompt and extensive
development and rehabilitation programs for the
Priority in all the above shall be accorded to the
Palestinian refugee population in Lebanon.
5. Free and Informed Choice
The process by which Palestinian refugees shall express
their PPR choice shall be on the basis of a free and
informed decision. The Parties themselves are committed
and will encourage third parties to facilitate the
refugees' free choice in expressing their preferences,
and to countering any attempts at interference or
organized pressure on the process of choice. This
will not prejudice the recognition of Palestine as
the realization of Palestinian self-determination
6. End of Refugee Status
Palestinian refugee status shall be terminated upon
the realization of an individual refugee’s permanent
place of residence (PPR) as determined by the International
7. End of Claims
This agreement provides for the permanent and complete
resolution of the Palestinian refugee problem. No
claims may be raised except for those related to the
implementation of this agreement.
8. International Role
The Parties call upon the international community
to participate fully in the comprehensive resolution
of the refugee problem in accordance with this Agreement,
including, inter alia, the establishment of an International
Commission and an International Fund.
9. Property Compensation
(a) Refugees shall be compensated for the loss of
property resulting from their displacement.
(b) The aggregate sum of property compensation shall
be calculated as follows:
- The Parties shall request the International Commission
to appoint a Panel of Experts to estimate the value
of Palestinians' property at the time of displacement.
- The Panel of Experts shall base its assessment
on the UNCCP records, the records of the Custodian
for Absentee Property, and any other records it
deems relevant. The Parties shall make these records
available to the Panel.
- The Parties shall appoint experts to advise and
assist the Panel in its work.
- Within 6 months, the Panel shall submit its estimates
to the Parties.
- The Parties shall agree on an economic multiplier,
to be applied to the estimates, to reach a fair
aggregate value of the property.
(c) The aggregate value agreed to by the Parties
shall constitute the Israeli “lump sum”
contribution to the International Fund. No other financial
claims arising from the Palestinian refugee problem
may be raised against Israel.
(d) Israel's contribution shall be made in installments
in accordance with Schedule X.
(e) The value of the Israeli fixed assets that shall
remain intact in former settlements and transferred
to the state of Palestine will be deducted from Israel's
contribution to the International Fund. An estimation
of this value shall be made by the International Fund,
taking into account assessment of damage caused by
10. Compensation for Refugeehood
(a) A "Refugeehood Fund" shall be established
in recognition of each individual's refugeehood. The
Fund, to which Israel shall be a contributing party,
shall be overseen by the International Commission.
The structure and financing of the Fund is set forth
in Annex X.
(b) Funds will be disbursed to refugee communities
in the former areas of UNRWA operation, and will be
at their disposal for communal development and commemoration
of the refugee experience. Appropriate mechanisms
will be devised by the International Commission whereby
the beneficiary refugee communities are empowered
to determine and administer the use of this Fund.
11. The International Commission (Commission)
(a) Mandate and Composition
- An International Commission shall be established
and shall have full and exclusive responsibility
for implementing all aspects of this Agreement pertaining
- In addition to themselves, the Parties call upon
the United Nations, the United States, UNRWA, the
Arab host countries, the EU, Switzerland, Canada,
Norway, Japan, the World Bank, the Russian Federation,
and others to be the members of the Commission.
- The Commission shall:
1. Oversee and manage the process whereby the
status and PPR of Palestinian refugees is determined
2. Oversee and manage, in close cooperation with
the host states, the rehabilitation and development
3. Raise and disburse funds as appropriate.
- The Parties shall make available to the Commission
all relevant documentary records and archival materials
in their possession that it deems necessary for
the functioning of the Commission and its organs.
The Commission may request such materials from all
other relevant parties and bodies, including, inter
alia, UNCCP and UNRWA.
- The Commission shall be governed by an Executive
Board (Board) composed of representatives of its
- The Board shall be the highest authority in the
Commission and shall make the relevant policy decisions
in accordance with this Agreement.
- The Board shall draw up the procedures governing
the work of the Commission in accordance with this
- The Board shall oversee the conduct of the various
Committees of the Commission. The said Committees
shall periodically report to the Board in accordance
with procedures set forth thereby.
- The Board shall create a Secretariat and appoint
a Chair thereof. The Chair and the Secretariat shall
conduct the day-to-day operation of the Commission.
(c) Specific Committees
- The Commission shall establish the Technical Committees
- Unless otherwise specified in this Agreement,
the Board shall determine the structure and procedures
of the Committees.
- The Parties may make submissions to the Committees
as deemed necessary.
- The Committees shall establish mechanisms for
resolution of disputes arising from the interpretation
or implementation of the provisions of this Agreement
relating to refugees.
- The Committees shall function in accordance with
this Agreement, and shall render binding decisions
- Refugees shall have the right to appeal decisions
affecting them according to mechanisms established
by this Agreement and detailed in Annex X.
(d) Status-determination Committee:
- The Status-determination Committee shall be responsible
for verifying refugee status.
- UNRWA registration shall be considered as rebuttable
presumption (prima facie proof) of refugee status.
(e) Compensation Committee:
- The Compensation Committee shall be responsible
for administering the implementation of the compensation
- The Committee shall disburse compensation for
individual property pursuant to the following modalities:
1. Either a fixed per capita award for property
claims below a specified value. This will require
the claimant to only prove title, and shall be
processed according to a fast-track procedure,
2. A claims-based award for property claims exceeding
a specified value for immovables and other assets.
This will require the claimant to prove both title
and the value of the losses.
- Annex X shall elaborate the details of the above
including, but not limited to, evidentiary issues
and the use of UNCCP, “Custodian for Absentees'
Property”, and UNRWA records, along with any
other relevant records.
(f) Host State Remuneration Committee: There shall
be remuneration for host states.
(g) Permanent Place of Residence Committee (PPR
Committee): The PPR Committee shall,
- Develop with all the relevant parties detailed
programs regarding the implementation of the PPR
options pursuant to Article 7/4 above.
- Assist the applicants in making an informed choice
regarding PPR options.
- Receive applications from refugees regarding PPR.
The applicants must indicate a number of preferences
in accordance with article 7/4 above. The applications
shall be received no later than two years after
the start of the International Commission's operations.
Refugees who do not submit such applications within
the two-year period shall lose their refugee status.
- Determine, in accordance with sub-Article (a)
above, the PPR of the applicants, taking into account
individual preferences and maintenance of family
unity. Applicants who do not avail themselves of
the Committee's PPR determination shall lose their
- Provide the applicants with the appropriate technical
and legal assistance.
- The PPR of Palestinian refugees shall be realized
within 5 years of the start of the International
(h) Refugeehood Fund Committee: The Refugeehood
Fund Committee shall implement Article 7/10 as detailed
in Annex X.
(i) Rehabilitation and Development Committee: In
accordance with the aims of this Agreement and noting
the above PPR programs, the Rehabilitation and Development
Committee shall work closely with Palestine, Host
Countries and other relevant third countries and parties
in pursuing the goal of refugee rehabilitation and
community development. This shall include devising
programs and plans to provide the former refugees
with opportunities for personal and communal development,
housing, education, healthcare, re-training and other
needs. This shall be integrated in the general development
plans for the region.
12. The International Fund
(a) An International Fund (the Fund) shall be established
to receive contributions outlined in this Article
and additional contributions from the international
community. The Fund shall disburse monies to the Commission
to enable it to carry out its functions. The Fund
shall audit the Commission’s work.
(b) The structure, composition and operation of
the Fund are set forth in Annex X.
(a) UNRWA should be phased out in each country in
which it operates, based on the end of refugee status
in that country.
(b) UNRWA should cease to exist five years after
the start of the Commission's operations. The Commission
shall draw up a plan for the phasing out of UNRWA
and shall facilitate the transfer of UNRWA functions
to host states.
14. Reconciliation Programs
(a) The Parties will encourage and promote the development
of cooperation between their relevant institutions
and civil societies in creating forums for exchanging
historical narratives and enhancing mutual understanding
regarding the past.
(b) The Parties shall encourage and facilitate exchanges
in order to disseminate a richer appreciation of these
respective narratives, in the fields of formal and
informal education, by providing conditions for direct
contacts between schools, educational institutions
and civil society.
(c) The Parties may consider cross-community cultural
programs in order to promote the goals of conciliation
in relation to their respective histories.
(d) These programs may include developing appropriate
ways of commemorating those villages and communities
that existed prior to 1949.