28 years after "Oslo" agreement... What's new??
28 years ago, on September 13, 1993, the PLO signed the Oslo Accords with the Israeli occupation after a series of talks that produced this agreement.
The agreement came after negotiations that emerged after the 1991 Madrid Conference, hosted by the Favo Institute, and ended on August 20, 1993. The agreement was signed in an official ceremony on the White House lawn in Washington.
More than a quarter of a century after that agreement, the facts on the ground are still clearly indicating the blockage of the horizon in light of the continued Israeli occupation with settlement policies that constitute an obstacle to the "two-state solution" and the success of the agreement.
Ghassan al-Khatib, a member of the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid conference and Washington negotiations, says that the agreement had a major flaw from the moment it was signed, and this flaw is still visible and leads to the harm that the Palestinian people experience every day.
“This defect is that this agreement did not obligate the occupying state to stop the settlement policy and the rest of the illegal unilateral policies, whether they were demolishing homes, confiscating land or expanding settlements,” Al-Khatib said.
He added that the defect in the agreement is derived from a more general problem, which is that the agreement does not stem from the recognition of the fact that the Israeli presence in the occupied territories is legally an occupation, which means that it is contrary to the Geneva Convention.
Al-Khatib stressed that the Israelis must recognize the treaty, which in turn stipulates specific rules for the behavior of the occupier, such as: not to confiscate land, and not to transfer residents from one area to another.
In addition to not placing prisoners outside the occupied territories and other restrictions imposed by the Geneva Convention related to occupation and humanitarian issues.
Al-Khatib points out that since then the Palestinian people have been experiencing difficulties in dealing with the agreement, and the relationship between the Palestinians and the Israelis is a result of the continued settlement behavior.
He said, "Israeli occupation claims that the agreement does not force it to stop settlements, and therefore it is continuing the settlement process, which has been the main point of friction and tension between the Palestinian and Israeli sides since its signing."
Al-Khatib, who is currently a professor of international studies at Birzeit University does not believe that the signing of the Oslo Agreement came as a result of Arab and external factors pressuring the organization, but rather due to mismanagement, estimation and poor performance of the Palestinian leadership at that time.
He clarified that the leadership miscalculated as it did not take into account the recommendations and positions taken by the leadership of the Palestinian national movement specifically the Palestinian negotiating delegation headed by Dr. Haider Abdel Shafi, who represented the Palestinian interior.
He believed that this delegation had a great awareness of the occupation problem; As a result, he lives inside and knows the meaning of what settlement and occupation mean, and therefore this delegation had insistence and urgency that any agreement must include an Israeli commitment to stop settlements.
According to Al-Khatib, the delegation was of the opinion that any agreement that did not provide for this would cause harm and harm over time to the Palestinian national interest, and this was what it was.
In response to a question about the possibility of the current regional efforts of the US administration to push the negotiation track between the Palestinian Authority and the occupation, Al-Khatib reduces this scenario and does not see that the negotiating track can be revived.
Al-Khatib believes that the current Arab-Israeli relations will strengthen the right-wing trend in the occupation and weaken the chances of any pressure on Israel. To make any concessions whatsoever.
On the future of the settlement process, Al-Khatib explains that Israel has long since left the peace process, the two-state solution, and the historical settlement (etc.) with concepts and terminology; Because there is no longer a majority in Israel in public opinion nor a majority in the political elites that are willing to deal with the issue of ending the occupation in principle, regardless of the reward.
He added that there has become a consensus among the Israelis on the continuation of Israeli hegemony over all the occupied lands, albeit to varying degrees and methods from one region to another.
It controls all the Palestinian lands that have been occupied since 1967.
There is also an Israeli consensus on the continuation of settlements and an attempt to calmly and gradually digest what they swallowed through settlements, believing at the same time that dismantling the Oslo Agreement does not seem easy for the Palestinian leadership.
For months, the US administration talks about efforts being made in coordination with Egypt and other countries to advance the path of the "two-state solution" ,and the path of negotiation.
Meetings were held to discuss this issue, the last of which was the tripartite meeting that included Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Jordanian King Abdullah II bin ELHussein.
On this, the researcher "Shaker" stressed that the regional efforts exerted can only succeed in prolonging the illusion, and to give the impression to the Palestinian people that there is still a promise on the horizon through the Oslo agreement.
Shaker said that there are attempts to keep the political illusion alive by talking that something can be extracted from the Israeli occupation, although relying on this path is futile.
He added that policy makers and strategists are fully aware that there is no room for substantial progress in negotiating the realization of basic Palestinian rights such as the establishment of an independent state because the terms of the game do not go in this direction and the lack of political will on the side of the occupation.
He affirms that any attempt to advance the negotiating track will not bring different results. The repeated talk about advancing the field of negotiation and going to initiatives at the level of summits, settlement initiatives, Arab summits and projects of the US administration will not work in the absence of a political horizon for a settlement.