The occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) is yet to find its place among the community of sovereign States. The Declaration of Principles that was signed between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), representing the Palestinian people, and the Government of Israel in 1993 aimed at creating the basis for a lasting peace between the parties.
The Declaration of Principles stipulated a five-year "interim period" that would see gradual expansion of Palestinian jurisdiction over the occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Palestinians and Israelis were to have reached by 1999 a final agreement on the issues of borders, Jerusalem, refugees, water resources and Israeli settlements through permanent status negotiations. However, no progress has been made on resolving these issues, with the Camp David Summit of 2000 and the follow-up Taba Summit of early 2001 on permanent status negotiations ending without an agreement between the two sides.
The peace process has been harmed, especially since October 2000, by the intensification of the conflict and the tightening of the Israeli system of closure and restrictions on the movement of Palestinian people and merchandize trade in the oPt. At present, the Road Map, as presented by the Quartet (the European Union, the Russian Federation, the United Nations and the United States of America) to the Palestinian Authority and Israel in 2003, along with the Annapolis Conference Joint Understandings of 2007, offer the only internationally recognized political path to salvaging the negotiation process and achieving a peaceful resolution of the conflict.
The Road Map is a performance-based, goal-driven process to a final and comprehensive settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and to the establishment of an independent Palestinian State based on the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. The Annapolis Conference Joint Understandings emphasized the fulfilment of all the Road Map commitments, entailing commitments by the two sides to resolve all outstanding issues and conclude an agreement before the end of 2008.
The international community declared an unfaltering commitment to supporting Palestinian State formation and development efforts since the Oslo Accords and at the 2005 London Meeting and the 2007 Paris Conference.
This support was reiterated following the escalation of conflict in Gaza late 2008 at Sharm El-Sheikh Conference in Egypt in March 2009, when the international community emphasized its commitment to the reconstruction of Gaza and support of the Palestinian Authority institution-building efforts. To date, however, the establishment of the envisioned Palestinian State remains hampered by the lack of progress in resolving permanent status issues.