Daoud Kuttab: Israel and Palestine after Oslo Accords





Daoud Kuttab, former professor of journalism at Princeton University, is general manager of the Community Media Network in Amman.

On Sept. 13, 1993, Shimon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas met on the South Lawn of the White House to sign the Israel-PLO Declaration of Principles, or the Oslo Accords. PLO leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin then sealed the agreement with an historic handshake.

The Oslo Accords – the result of secret talks that had been encouraged by the Norwegian government and conducted in the country’s capital – called for a five-year transitional period during which Israeli forces would withdraw from the Gaza Strip and unspecified areas of the West Bank, and the establishment of a Palestinian Authority. Letters of recognition between the PLO and Israel accompanied the agreement. The ultimate aim, though never explicitly stated, was to create a Palestinian state roughly within the 1967 borders.

But the goals laid out in the Oslo Accords remain unfulfilled. In fact, the agreement is unlikely to survive 89-year-old Peres and 77-year-old Abbas, who are now presidents of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, respectively. Several factors contributed to the deterioration of prospects for lasting peace...



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