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The Coup against Oslo Accords
By: Mohammad Al-Sahli
September 25, 2017

By the end of the so-called the "transitional period" of the Oslo Accords, Tel Aviv has gotten rid of the burden of managing the Palestinians affairs in West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and transferred it to the Palestinian Authority, with the support of the donor countries, and it keened on adopting the equation: «less land, more residents» during the gradual delivery of land, which was hit by a negotiating stroke, when the process reached to the outskirts of East Jerusalem.

Since then, the successive governments in Israel have considered that "Oslo" have accomplished their Israeli function, through their security and economic agreements with the PA, under the terms of these Accords.

Beyond that, the settlement process has remained merely a sign, used by Israel, to disguise its preoccupation in the spread of settlement and Judaization and to shape the future of the occupied Palestinian territories, according to its security and expansionist vision.

In 1987 the Palestinian national action witnessed a qualitative leap with the outbreak of the Intifada, under the banner of the Unified Liberation Program for Return and Independence, and with the continuation of Intifada , the Palestinian issue has returned to the forefront of regional and international attention; and the PLO has been able to overcome the attempts to marginalize it, by several parties, also the diaries of intifada and the occupation's oppression and suppression against the unarmed protestors, have become under the microscope of public opinion in the region and the world, and at the popular and political levels.

The national action on the ground paralleled by an equivalent role, played by the PLO institutions, starting with the "Declaration of Independence" by the National Council, reaching to the active political and diplomatic effort that won most of the UN members' recognition of the State of Palestine and its right to independence. The Intifada was echoed in Palestinian and Arab popular movements and in several capitals outside the region.

It was normal for Washington and Tel Aviv, to seek a way to restore the situation in the Palestinian territories, to what it was before the outbreak of the intifada. The initiative came at the hands of the United States, by announcing its readiness to open a dialogue with the PLO, which was on its list of terrorist organizations.

This call has revived the bet on the possibility of achieving a settlement for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, from the point of dialogue with Washington, despite of warnings that the United States wants to maneuver against the intifada and put it down by suggesting that a political solution can be found.

Washington has exploited the major events of that period, including the collapse of both the Soviet Union and the system of socialist states, to present itself as a single world pole, and that in its hands is the key of solving many of the thorny issues.

The transformation of the Palestinian official bet on the American role into a real policy, has formed a clear coup against the Palestinian national liberation program, and this affected the intifada and its continuation and escalation as an important national leverage in the struggle to embody the Palestinian national rights. This was the first Israeli and American harvest for the "fruits" of the Palestinian official bet on the role of Washington.

In spite of all that, many Palestinian factions pushed towards the participation in Madrid Conference in the autumn of 1991 and called for the firm adherence to the international resolutions, related to the Palestinian issue. However, what happened was that the official Palestinian leadership opened a secret route to negotiate with the occupation, which led to the signing of the Oslo Accords.

The most serious thing that was elaborated in the Accords was the exclusion of the international legitimacy resolutions, away from the settlement process, produced by these Accords, in addition to splitting the headlines of the Palestinian issue, and distributing them on several negotiating tracks; the refugees, the displaced and the water.

Washington excluded the international censorship on the Accords and their implementation mechanisms and kept the negotiation process related to the agreement of the parties, in isolation from any interference from any other party, which enabled Tel Aviv to implement what serves its view, in the terms of the agreement, during the five-year transitional period, which ended in 1999.

Even at that time, many Palestinian factions and figures called to confront Israel and its refusal to discuss with the Palestinian negotiator, the future of the occupied Palestinian territories, through the declaration of independence of the State of Palestine, putting the international community in front of its obligations , getting benefit from the recognition of the states, that took place in the United Nations, and supporting the demand for the establishment of a Palestinian state; But that did not happen.

The policy of betting on the American role has been the sin of the official Palestinian policy and led to freeze the Palestinian situation, in the circle of waiting, hesitation and negativity, under a barrage of successive promises, with the succession of American administrations.

On the other hand, it was confirmed, that it was right, to call for stopping the bet on Washington, when the national consensus on the Palestinian endeavor, was achieved, towards the United Nations and its arbitration in the conflict with the occupation.

Despite the pressures and threats of the US and Israel, the Palestinian endeavor succeeded in the fall of 2012, to achieve the adoption of a UN resolution, to recognize Palestine, as a state under occupation, with the 4th of June borders and with East Jerusalem, as its capital, which enabled it to join many UN institutions, especially the International Criminal Court, which enables it to submit complaints against the occupation, through its crime of settlement and others.

But the Palestinian achievement, that took place in the international forum, remained within the limits of the resolution to promote the status of Palestine. The Palestinian negotiator and his political authority, have refrained from building on what has been achieved, and is still waiting Washington for a role toward the settlement, while the settlements, house demolitions and Judaization campaigns are still going on.

The Oslo Accords enter their twenty-fifth year, on the eve of a new session of the United Nations General Assembly, which raises the question of whether President Abbas will call on the international community to: recognize Palestine as a full member state, convene an international conference under the auspices of the Security Council and to provide an international protection to the Palestinian people.

The Palestinian Central Council at its twenty-seventh session (2015) unanimously called for the immediate cessation of security coordination with the occupation, and the correction of the political process, towards building it on the relevant resolutions of international legitimacy.

The Oslo Accords have brought the Palestinians into a dark tunnel that cannot be left without implementing the resolutions of the national consensus and returning from the coup against the national liberation program, as happened at the signing of the Accords.

Notes:Mohammad Al-Sahli is an Editor in Chief of Al-Hourriah newspaper, the official speaker of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Translated by: Rawan Albash
Revised by: Ibrahim Motlaq

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