Sharm El Sheikh Summit of 2005

The Sharm El Sheikh Summit of 2005 took place on February 8, when four Middle Eastern leaders gathered at Sharm El Sheikh, a town at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, in order to declare their wish to work towards the end of the four-year Al-Aqsa Intifada. The four were: Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon; Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority; Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak; and King Abdullah II of Jordan.

Background to the summit

The Al-Aqsa Intifada, which began in September 2000, left over 5,000 Palestinian and Israeli casualties and took extensive toll on the both economies and societies. The cycle of violence persisted all through this period, except for the short-lived Hudna in the summer of 2003; neither side was willing to negotiate until fire was halted. Eventually, Yasser Arafat, the man thought by many to have engineered the Intifada and to have kept it alive through four years, died in November 2004; January 9, 2005's Palestinian elections left Mahmoud Abbas in power. His initial efforts to bring order to the anarchy of the Palestinian territories and halt attacks against Israel caused Ariel Sharon to change his attitude towards negotiations; he ordered the significant reduction of Israeli military activity in the Palestinian territories and made for many humanitarian steps in order to help the Palestinian civilians. These trust-building steps, together with renewed security coordination between the two sides and the backing of the U.S., Jordan and Egypt led to the agreement on holding the summit.

The summit

The summit began with a series of meetings Sharon held with Mubarak, King Abdullah and Abbas. Later on, all leaders except for the king read statements reassuring their commitment to continued efforts to stabilize the situation and to move on in the process in accordance with the Road Map. Sharon and Abbas explicitly included an intended cessation of all violent activity against each other's peoples in their closing statements, marking a formal end to the Al-Aqsa Intifada.

Media Coverage Post-Summit

A 2007 report entitled "Quiet, We're Disengaging! Israeli Media Coverage of the Tense Ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian Authority Following the Sharm El Sheikh Understandings" by the Israeli media monitoring NGO Keshev (trans. "Awareness"),[1]

the Israeli media played down Israeli violations of the Sharm El Sheikh understandings and highlighted Palestinian violations.

Criticism of Israel, by Palestinian, Israeli and international actors, appeared infrequently and always on the margins of the news. Criticism of Palestinians, by contrast, was covered profusely. In general, policy questions concerning Israeli violations of the ceasefire received secondary attention, as the media coverage mainly focused on the disengagement plan. These patterns of coverage and editing, which broadly covered each Palestinian attack on Israelis, provided media consumers with a clear and unequivocal situation report: Israel is abiding by its commitments and in the vast majority of cases it is not endangering the ceasefire. The Palestinian Authority, on the other hand, is consistently breaking its commitments and its leader, Abu Mazen, does not want or cannot keep the ceasefire for any length of time. The ceasefire is therefore bound to collapse - and the Palestinians bear exclusive responsibility for this.[2]

"In this sense, the Israeli media continues to operate according to the prevailing established point of view, according to which the Palestinian Authority is not a “partner”. This perspective also forms the basis for the unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip." [3]

See also

Arab-Israeli peace diplomacy and treaties


External links

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