Wye River Memorandum signed

The Wye River Memorandum was an agreement negotiated between Israel and the Palestine Authority to implement the earlier Interim Agreement of 28 September, 1995.

Brokered by the United States at the Aspen Institute Wye River Conference Centers near Wye River, Maryland, it was signed on October 23, 1998.

On the final day of the negotiations, the agreement almost fell through. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had asked President Bill Clinton to release Jonathan Pollard, an American naval intelligence officer who has been serving a life sentence since 1985 for giving classified information to Israel. A bitter disagreement arose, with Netanyahu claiming that Clinton had promised to release Pollard, and Clinton saying he had only promised to "review" the case. It was also reported that then director of the CIA George Tenet had threatened to resign if Pollard was released.

The agreement was finally signed by Netanyahu and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat at the White House, with President Clinton playing a key role as the official witness.

On November 17, 1998, Israel's 120 member parliament, the Knesset, approved the Wye River Memorandum by a vote of 75-19.

With the outbreak of the Al-Aqsa Intifada in September 2000, and the counter-attacks by the Israel Defense Forces, the Wye River's understandings and goals remain un-implemented.