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This Happened

This Happened — September 13:  The Oslo Accord Is Signed

The Oslo Accords consist of two main agreements: the Oslo I Accord, also known as the Declaration of Principles, was signed on this day in 1993, in Washington, D.C. The Oslo II Accord was signed on September 28, 1995, in Taba, Egypt. These agreements marked significant milestones in the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, though they didn't ultimately live up to their promise.

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What were the Oslo Accords?

The Oslo Accords are a series of agreements signed between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in the 1990s. The accords aimed to establish a framework for peace negotiations and a gradual process for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including issues such as borders, security, and the status of Jerusalem.

Who were the key figures of the Oslo Accords?

The key figures involved in the signing of the Oslo Accords included Yasser Arafat, the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and Yitzhak Rabin, the Prime Minister of Israel. U.S. President Bill Clinton and other international leaders played a role in facilitating and mediating the negotiations.

What were the main provisions of the Oslo Accords?

The Oslo Accords established a framework for Palestinian self-governance in parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. They included provisions for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from certain areas, the creation of the Palestinian Authority (PA) to govern Palestinian territories, and the establishment of a transitional period leading to final-status negotiations.

Did the Oslo Accords lead to lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians?

While the Oslo Accords were a significant step towards peace, they did not lead to a lasting resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The process faced challenges, including ongoing violence, disagreements over key issues, and changes in leadership. The final-status negotiations envisioned by the accords have not been fully realized, and the conflict remains unresolved.

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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

After The War, After Abbas: Who's Most Likely To Be The Future Palestinian Leader

Israel and the West have often asked bitterly: Where is the Palestinian Mandela? The divided regimes between Gaza and the West Bank continues to make it difficult to imagine the future Palestinian leader. Still, these three names are worth considering.

Photograph of Palestinian artists working on a mural that shows the  jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghout. A little girl watches them work.

April 12, 2023: Palestinian artists work by a mural shows jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza.

Nidal Al-Wahidi/ZUMA
Elias Kassem

Israel has set two goals for its Gaza war: destroying Hamas and releasing hostages.

But it has no answer to, nor is even asking the question: What comes next?

The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected the return of the current Palestinian Authority to govern post-war Gaza. That stance seems opposed to the U.S. Administration’s call to revitalize the Palestinian Authority (PA) to assume power in the coastal enclave.

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But neither Israel nor the U.S. put a detailed plan for a governing body in post-war Gaza, let alone offering a vision for a bonafide Palestinian state that would also encompass the West Bank.

The Palestinian Authority, which administers much of the occupied West Bank, was created in1994 as part of the Oslo Accords peace agreement. It’s now led by President Mahmoud Abbas, who succeeded Yasser Arafat in 2005. Over the past few years, the question of who would succeed Abbas, now 88 years old, has largely dominated internal Palestinian politics.

But that question has gained new urgency — and was fundamentally altered — with the war in Gaza.

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