30 years ago: The division of Palestine in the Oslo-Accords

Palestine Sep 13, 2023 2 min read

Written by Adnan Khalil (IG: @adnan.khalil9)

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the historic signing of the Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation, which specified a 5-year transition period, aiming for a final resolution on the core issues i.e borders, Jerusalem, refugees.

The Accords, however, did not once underscore the word "occupation", nor did it recognize Israel as an occupying power, nor did the text promise the establishment of an independent Palestinian state once the transition period became obselete. Alas, time and time again, the trajectory has, and hitherto continues to be one of US-Israeli deception and subterfuge.

Consequently, the Oslo period also gave birth to the Palestinian Authority, which morphed into a security subcontractor of the Israeli occupation. Moreover, during the years of Oslo, the Palestinians were on the receiving end of repeated violence, assassinations, an inexorable perpetuation of land expropriation, settlement expansion, home demolitions etc all of which negated and undermined the agreement of the Accords, nourishing and legitimising Israeli hegemony, domination and colonial consolidation.

Saliently, this was reflected more so in the signing of Oslo II in 1995, which stratified the West Bank into three areas (Area A/B/C), under varying degrees of Palestinian or Israeli control. By the end of the 5 years of the interim agreement, a permanent status was not even visible on the horizon, because the Israeli's according the Accords now controlled 83% (Area A which consisted of 7 major Palestinian towns was under total civilian and PA control, it compromised 17% of the West Bank).

Crucially, what was already a weakened economy - further exacerbated a dependency and de-development at an unprecedented rate, thus divided Palestinians into isolated cantons. In other words, prior to the final status negotiations, the Palestinian's were in a much weaker and worse off position than before the Accords, resulting in a fundamental asymmetry of power between the occupier and occupied.

Today, the Israeli adhered paradigm to systematic volatility, annexation and equivocation remains prevalent. While the US has proved to be an unreliable mediator.

However, this generation with a newfound fervor to liberate lands backed by an axis that is connected in unity of the fields will break Oslo.

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