The Oslo Accords are a pair of agreements between the government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO): the Oslo I Accord, signed in Washington, D.C., in 1993; and the Oslo II Accord, signed in Taba, Egypt, in 1995.
The first ideas regarding the Oslo Accords started in the Madrid Conference for Peace in 1991. The Oslo negotiations were planned in secret and ultimately led to an agreement after nine months. The accords were meant to create a new relationship between Palestine and Israel on a long-term basis. The Oslo Accords intended to create three changes. The first one is that the accords would give the Palestinian people the right to have political control over its own territories, to have a return of Palestinian leadership. The second one is that the Palestinian national movement PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) could resume their struggle with an open mind. The third one is that the accords brought hope to the Palestinians with them, for the first time since the Nakba.
The Oslo Accords were to create a Palestinian state. However, there was never a mention of a state in both of the documents signed in 1993 and 1995. There has never been a mention of a Two-State solution, but it had been assumed that there would come a two state solution by the Israeli side led by the Labor party.
The Oslo Accords marked the start of the Oslo Peace Process. The 1994 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly to Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin "for their efforts to create peace in the Middle East.
The Oslo I Accord change
The development of the first of the two agreements, the Oslo I Accord, which they also call the Declaration of principles on interim self-governing arrangements (DOP), took place in the capital of Norway, Oslo, and was a secret effort to help along the peace process.During the secret negotiations in Oslo, Prime minister Yitzhak Rabin sent Yasser Arafat, from the PLO, a letter and vice versa. The letters, from Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin respectively, contained the following: the condemnation of terrorism and violence that threatened the Israeli people and their livelihood, the guarantee, by the PLO, that everything would from now on be in compliance with the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 and the acknowledgement that the PLO represented the Palestinian people.This correspondence is considered to be an important element of the accord and indicated the willingness of both parties to recognize each other and further negotiate peace. The signing of the letters took place on 9 and 10 september 1993.Furthermore the Declaration of principles on interim self-governing arrangements (DOP) allowed for the reassessment of the status of territories like Gaza and Jericho, which were occupied and governed by Israel and had no self-determination.The accord demanded the withdrawal of the Israeli army from those places first, but the accord contained the promise, and was considered a starting-point, of a five-year process resulting in more self-determination, although limited, for the Palestinians and the partial withdrawal of the Israeli army from territories in Gaza and the West Bank.The people involved in the negotiations in Oslo came together to discuss Palestine’s future on fourteen different occasions in nine months time.The official signing took place the 13th of september 1993 in Washington and was witnessed by president Bill Clinton. In 1994, again an accord was signed: the Cairo-Accord (Gaza-Jericho-Accord)
The Oslo II Accord change
Division of land change
The land got split up in three different areas. The first area is Area A, in which the Palestinian Authority is mostly in control. This area consists of 18 percent of the West Bank, which in the first place only consisted of 3%. The second area, Area B, consists of 22 percent of the West Bank and is under Israeli control depending on security, which means they can enter the areas whenever they want without procedures or legal consequences. The Palestinian Authority is in control of education, health and economy. The third and last area, Area C, is in complete control of the Israeli government. Although it was planned that the Palestinian Authority would gain control over this area, Israel kept being in charge. This area consists of 60 percent of the West Bank.
- Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements (DOP), 13 September 1993. From the Knesset website
- Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, 28 September 1995. From the Knesset website
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