Israelis, Palestinians present 'Geneva Initiative' peace manual

Israeli and Palestinian activists on Tuesday presented the most detailed vision yet of what a peace deal could look like - more than 400 pages crammed with maps, timetables for troop withdrawals and even a list of weapons a non-militarized Palestine would be barred from having. The manual has no official standing, but has generated interest among Israeli and Palestinian leaders and is meant to show it's still possible to establish a Palestinian state alongside Israel, despite many setbacks, said those involved in the drafting. Organizers acknowledged that many obstacles would have to be cleared: The plan is complicated and expensive, proposed borders would require the removal of tens of thousands of Jewish settlers, and Hamas militants remain in control of the Gaza Strip. Nonetheless, they stressed the progress that had been made, and said the plan could serve as a ready-made model for the two sides to work off. The core of the plan is a Palestinians a state in nearly 98 percent of the West Bank, all of the Gaza Strip and the Arab-populated areas of Jerusalem. The plan was put together over the past two years by Israeli and Palestinian experts, ex-government officials and former negotiators. It builds on the 50-page outline of a peace deal published in 2003 by the same group, known as the Geneva Initiative.