On September 13, 1993, Israel’s Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, and the PLO leader, Yasser Arafat, have shaken hands before cheering crowds on the White House lawn in Washington. The handshake – the first-ever in public between the two former arch enemies – marked the signing of a Declaration of Principles for peace between the Arabs and Israelis.
Under the terms of the deal, Israel has agreed to withdraw its troops from Gaza Strip and West Bank by April 1994. Elections would be held in the territories to allow the Palestinians some form of self-government.
President Bill Clinton introduced the two leaders to the crowd of invited guests in front of the White House. Clinton said: «The peace of the brave is within our reach. Throughout the Middle East, there is a great yearning for the quiet miracle of a normal life. We know a difficult road lies ahead. Every peace has its enemies.»
The leaders did not sign the declaration themselves. Instead, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and his Palestinian counterpart did the signing.
Rabin then addressed the crowd: «We who have fought against you the Palestinians, we say to you today in a loud and clear voice, enough of blood and tears, enough.» Arafat said: «The difficult decision we reached together was one that required great courage.»