updated 9/15/2009 2:18:29 PM ET 2009-09-15T18:18:29

Israeli and Palestinian activists on Tuesday unveiled 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.

"If you want to resolve the conflict, here is the recipe," said Gadi Baltiansky, a leader of the Israeli team.

But the proposal also served to highlight the staggering difficulties and expense involved in implementing a future deal. Drawing a border between Israel and Palestine will require building bridges, tunnels and border terminals inside Jerusalem. About 100,000 Jewish settlers would have to be removed from their homes.

For now, Israeli and Palestinian leaders aren't talking. President Barack Obama's special Mideast envoy, George Mitchell, pressed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday to curtail settlement construction, but announced no breakthroughs. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said he won't resume talks without a settlement freeze.

Those tensions appeared to intrude Tuesday on what is meant to be a non-governmental attempt to show that peace is possible. The most senior Palestinian official involved with the initiative, Yasser Abed Rabbo, now a senior Abbas aide, declined comment on the plan and did not attend the unveiling of the plan in Tel Aviv.

Fate of refugees unknown
Israeli officials said the Palestinians planned their own presentation at a later time, but it appeared the Palestinians also wanted to avoid giving the impression that their government endorses the plan.

And the document still does not have a detailed chapter on the fate of Palestinian refugees and their millions of descendants, one of the key issues facing peacemakers. The Palestinian team leader, Nidal Foqaha, said the issue was simply still too sensitive.

The core of the plan is a Palestinian 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.

It was presented Tuesday by Yossi Beilin, a former Israeli peace negotiator, and by Baltiansky, who served as an aide to former prime minister Ehud Barak. Other figures involved with the plan include Palestinian academics and former government ministers and Israeli intellectuals, politicians and former generals.

The blueprint is being released at a time when the Obama administration is making a new push to get peace talks restarted, and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has received a copy.

Trust and good will
The plan highlights how complex and expensive peace will be.

It had to resort to flow charts to describe a multilayered bureaucracy of thousands of international troops and monitors who would serve as referees. The partition of Jerusalem would require building border terminals inside the city and dividing a major thoroughfare between the two states with a wall down the middle.

A sunken four-lane highway with bridges and tunnels would be built through Israel to link the West Bank and Gaza, administered by the Palestinians but under Israeli sovereignty. Israeli motorists would have to carry tracking devices on designated transit routes through Palestine to make sure they don't go astray.

Implementation of a peace deal would also require trust, good will and compliance with tight timetables — none of which have characterized the past 16 years of failed peace efforts.

The plan's envisioned eviction of 100,000 of the West Bank's 300,000 Jewish settlers would be a major hurdle for an Israeli government that has shied away from dismantling even small settler camps. And Hamas militants, who at best consider a two-state solution a temporary arrangement on their way to destroying Israel, remain firmly in control in Gaza.

Under the plan, Israel would annex several large West Bank settlements near Jerusalem and Palestinians would be compensated with an equal amount of Israeli land.

Of the new chapters in the peace plan, the one on security was the hardest to put together, said Baltiansky, the Israeli director.

It tries to address Israeli concerns that Palestinian militants would overrun the West Bank after a withdrawal and launch rockets at Israel. Gaza was seized by Hamas in 2007, two years after Israel's withdrawal from the coastal strip, and the group has fired thousands of rockets into southern Israel.

Netanyahu wants a future Palestinian state to be demilitarized, and the security annex, formulated with the help of former Israeli military officials, lists the weapons the Palestinian security forces would be banned from having, including tanks, artillery, rockets and heavy machine guns.

It also stipulates that an Israeli infantry battalion of 800 soldiers would remain in the Jordan Valley, on the West Bank's border with Jordan, for three years after all other Israeli troops have left the Palestinian territory.

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