On the last day of the negotiations, the agreement almost failed. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had asked President Bill Clinton to release Jonathan Pollard, a U.S. naval intelligence officer, who has been serving a life sentence since 1985 for giving secret information to Israel. There was a fierce confrontation in which Netanyahu claimed that Clinton had promised to release Pollard, and Clinton said he had only promised to “re-examine” the case. It was reported that George Tenet, then director of the CIA, had threatened to resign if Pollard was released. Israel can no longer ignore the Palestinian non-respect that it will refuse the signed peace agreements. The only choice for Israel is to say yes to peace, but to exist reciprocally – these are the terms of reference agreed in the Oslo process since 1997: this means that Israel will move forward if the Palestinians respect their obligations. … The talks that led to Wye`s memorandum, one of the conditions of which was to place up to 40% of the West Bank under Palestinian control.
The agreement was rejected by right-wing groups in Israel and several factions of Netanyahu`s governing coalition were eliminated. In 1998, the Knesset dissolved the government and… The Wye Agreement was the second agreement between Israel and the Palestinians under the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, negotiated by the Clinton administration. The aim was to resume the implementation of the interim agreement of 25 September 1995, namely the Oslo II agreement, which had stopped following Palestinian protests against a controversial new Jewish community planned in Har Homa, Jerusalem, and following growing mistrust between the two sides. The Wye talks were opened on 14 October 1998 and, after nine days of bitter negotiations on the extent of the next phase of the Israeli withdrawal, the Wye-River Memorandum was signed. Israel would abandon 13 per cent of the country, of which 10 per cent would be transferred to Palestinian control and the rest would be converted into nature reserves. In exchange, Arafat said he was ready to take steps to prevent acts of terrorism against Israel, arrest those suspected of acts of violence and terrorism, and punish all those involved in acts of violence and terrorism. In Wye, it was also agreed that the Palestinians would recover all illegal weapons from the Palestinians and reduce the Palestinian police from 36,000 to 30,000 men. Mr. Arafat also expressed his readiness to reiterate his January 1988 letter to President Clinton regarding the annulment of the provisions of the Palestinian National Charter calling for the destruction of Israel. According to Wye`s memorandum, negotiations on sustainable status would resume more quickly, so that the parties could reach an agreement by 4 May 1999 (the target date of a final status agreement set out in the Oslo Agreements).> optimism produced in Wye was short-lived.
The main reason for this is Arafat`s inability to honour the commitments he made to Wye.