Oslo I Accord
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The Oslo I Accord or Oslo I, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles (DOP), was an attempt in 1993 to set up a framework that would lead to the resolution of the ongoing Israeli–Palestinian conflict. It was the first face-to-face agreement between the government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
Negotiations concerning the agreement, an outgrowth of the Madrid Conference of 1991, were conducted secretly in Oslo, Norway hosted by the Fafo institute, and completed on 20 August 1993; the Accords were subsequently officially signed at a public ceremony in Washington, D.C., on 13 September 1993 in the presence of PLO chairman Yasser Arafat, the then Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and U.S. President Bill Clinton. The documents themselves were signed by Mahmoud Abbas for the PLO, foreign Minister Shimon Peres for Israel, U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher for the United States and foreign minister Andrei Kozyrev for Russia.
The Accord provided for the creation of a Palestinian interim self-government, the Palestinian National Authority (PNA). The Palestinian Authority would have responsibility for the administration of the territory under its control. The Accords also called for the withdrawal of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) from parts of the Gaza Strip and West Bank.
It was anticipated that this arrangement would last for a five-year interim period during which a permanent agreement would be negotiated (beginning no later than May 1996). Issues such as Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, Israeli settlements, security and borders were left to future negotiations. In 1995, the Oslo I Accord was followed by Oslo II. Neither promised Palestinian statehood.
In August 1993, the delegations had reached an agreement, which was signed in secrecy by Peres while visiting Oslo. Peres took the agreement to the United States to the surprise of U.S. negotiator Dennis Ross. However, the Palestinians and Israelis had not yet agreed on the wording of the Letters of Mutual Recognition, which constituted an agreement in which the PLO would acknowledge the state of Israel and pledge to reject violence, and Israel would recognize the (unelected) PLO as the official Palestinian authority, allowing Yasser Arafat to return to the West Bank. Most of the negotiations for this agreement were carried out in a hotel in Paris, now in full view of the public and the press. An agreement was reached and signed by Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin, just in time for the official signing in Washington. The Accords were officially signed on 13 September 1993, at a Washington ceremony hosted by U.S. President Bill Clinton.
- 1 Principles of the Accords
- 1.1 Annexes of the accords
- 1.2 Agreed minutes of the accords
- 1.2.1 Minute A: General understandings
- 1.2.2 Minute B: Specific understandings
- 220.127.116.11 Article IV: Council's jurisdiction
- 18.104.22.168 Article V: Permanent status negotiations issues
- 22.214.171.124 Article VI (2): Transferring authority
- 126.96.36.199 Article VII (2): Cooperation
- 188.8.131.52 Article VII (5): Israel's powers
- 184.108.40.206 Article VIII: Police
- 220.127.116.11 Article X: Designating officials
- 18.104.22.168 Annex XI: Israel's continuing responsibilities
- 2 Reaction
- 3 Remarks from Benjamin Netanyahu
- 4 Criticisms
- 5 Consequences of the accord
- 6 Subsequent negotiations
- 7 Loss of credibility
- 8 Arab–Israeli peace diplomacy and treaties
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 Bibliography
- 12 External links
Principles of the Accords
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In essence, the accords called for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from parts of the Gaza Strip and West Bank, and affirmed a Palestinian right of self-government within those areas through the creation of a Palestinian Interim Self-Government Authority. Palestinian rule was to last for a five-year interim period during which "permanent status negotiations" would commence—no later than May 1996—in order to reach a final agreement. Major issues such as Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, Israeli settlements, and security and borders were to be decided at these permanent status negotiations (Article V). Israel was to grant interim self-government to the Palestinians in phases.
Along with the principles, the two groups signed Letters of Mutual Recognition—the Israeli government recognized the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, while the PLO recognized the right of the state of Israel to exist and renounced terrorism as well as other violence, and its desire for the destruction of the Israeli state.
The aim of Israeli–Palestinian negotiations was to establish a Palestinian Interim Self-Government Authority, an elected Council, for the Palestinian people in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, for a transitional period not exceeding five years, leading to a permanent settlement based on UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, an integral part of the whole peace process.
Jurisdiction of the Palestinian Council would cover the West Bank and Gaza Strip, except for issues that would be finalized in the permanent status negotiations. The two sides viewed the West Bank and Gaza as a single territorial unit.
The five-year transitional period would commence with Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and Jericho area. Permanent status negotiations would begin as soon as possible between Israel and the Palestinians. The negotiations would cover remaining issues, including: Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, Israeli settlements, security arrangements, borders, relations and cooperation with other neighbors, and other issues of common interest.
The Council would establish a strong police force, while Israel would continue to carry the responsibility for defending against external threats.
An Israeli–Palestinian Economic Cooperation Committee would be established in order to develop and implement in a cooperative manner the programs identified in the protocols.
A redeployment of Israeli military forces in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip would take place.
The Declaration of Principles would enter into force one month after its signing. All protocols annexed to the Declaration of Principles and the Agreed Minutes pertaining to it were to be regarded as a part of it.
Annexes of the accords
Annex 1: Conditions of Palestinian Elections
This annex covered election agreements, a system of elections, rules and regulations regarding election campaigns, including agreed arrangements for the organizing of mass media, and the possibility of licensing a TV station.
Annex 2: Withdrawal of Israeli forces
An agreement on the withdrawal of Israeli military forces from the Gaza Strip and Jericho area. This agreement will include comprehensive arrangements to apply in the Gaza Strip and the Jericho area subsequent to the Israeli withdrawal. Internal security and public order by the Palestinian police force consisting of police officers recruited locally and from abroad (holding Jordanian passports and Palestinian documents issued by Egypt). Those who will participate in the Palestinian police force coming from abroad should be trained as police and police officers.
- A temporary international or foreign presence, as agreed upon.
- Establishment of a joint Palestinian–Israeli Coordination and Cooperation Committee for mutual security purposes.
- Arrangements for a safe passage for persons and transportation between the Gaza Strip and Jericho area.
- Arrangements for coordination between both parties regarding passages: Gaza–Egypt; and Jericho–Jordan.
Annex 3: Economic cooperation
The two sides agree to establish an Israeli–Palestinian continuing Committee for economic cooperation, focusing, among other things, on the following:
- Cooperation in the field of water
- Cooperation in the field of electricity
- Cooperation in the field of energy
- Cooperation in the field of finance
- Cooperation in the field of transport and communications
- Cooperation in the field of trade and commerce
- Cooperation in the field of industry
- Cooperation in, and regulation of, labor relations
- Cooperation in social welfare issues
- An environmental protection plan
- Cooperation in the field of communication and media
Annex 4: Regional development
The two sides will cooperate in the context of the multilateral peace efforts in promoting a Development Program for the region, including the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, to be initiated by the G7 countries.
Agreed minutes of the accords
Minute A: General understandings
Any powers and responsibilities transferred to the Palestinians through the Declaration of Principles prior to the inauguration of the Council will be subject to the same principles pertaining to Article IV, as set out in the agreed minutes below.
Minute B: Specific understandings
Article IV: Council's jurisdiction
It was to be understood that: Jurisdiction of the Council would cover West Bank and Gaza Strip territory, except for issues that would be negotiated in the permanent status negotiations.
Article V: Permanent status negotiations issues
It was understood that several issues were postponed to permanent status negotiations, including: Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, security arrangements, borders, relations and co-operation with other neighbours, and other issues of common interest. The outcome of these permanent status negotiations should not be prejudiced or pre-empted by the parties.
It was agreed that the transfer of authority would be as follows: The Palestinians would inform the Israelis of the names of the authorized Palestinians who would assume the powers, authorities and responsibilities that would be transferred to the Palestinians according to the Declaration of Principles in the following fields: education and culture, health, social welfare, direct taxation, tourism, and any other authorities agreed upon.
Article VII (2): Cooperation
The Interim Agreement would also include arrangements for coordination and cooperation.
Article VII (5): Israel's powers
The withdrawal of the military government would not prevent Israel from exercising the powers and responsibilities not transferred to the Council.
Article VIII: Police
It was understood that the Interim Agreement would include arrangements for cooperation and coordination. It was also agreed that the transfer of powers and responsibilities to the Palestinian police would be accomplished in a phased manner. The accord stipulated that Israeli and Palestinian police would do joint patrols.
Article X: Designating officials
It was agreed that the Israeli and Palestinian delegations would exchange the names of the individuals designated by them as members of the Joint Israeli–Palestinian Liaison Committee which would reach decisions by agreement.
Annex XI: Israel's continuing responsibilities
It was understood that, subsequent to the Israeli withdrawal, Israel would continue to be responsible for external security, and for internal security and public order of settlements and Israelis. Israeli military forces and civilians would be allowed to continue using roads freely within the Gaza Strip and the Jericho area.
In Israel, a strong debate over the accords took place; the left wing supported them, while the right wing opposed them. After a two-day discussion in the Knesset on the government proclamation in the issue of the accord and the exchange of the letters, on 23 September 1993, a vote of confidence was held in which 61 Knesset members voted for the decision, 50 voted against and 8 abstained.
Palestinian reactions were also divided. Fatah, the group that represented the Palestinians in the negotiations, accepted the accords. But Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine objected to the accords because their own charters refuse to recognize Israel's right to exist in Palestine.
On both sides, there were fears of the other side's intentions. Israelis suspected that the Palestinians were entering into a tactical peace agreement, and that they were not sincere about wanting to reach peace and coexistence with Israel. They saw it as part of the PLO's Ten Point Program which calls for a national authority "over every part of Palestinian territory that is liberated" until "the liberation of all Palestinian territory." For evidence they brought statements by Arafat in Palestinian forums, in which he compared the accord to the Hudaibiya agreement that Muhammad signed with the sons of the tribe of Quraish. They understood those statements as an attempt to justify the signing of the accords in accordance with historical-religious precedent, with step agreements to reach a final goal.
After the signing of the agreements, Israel continued expanding existing settlements although this fell far short of the Shamir government's 1991–1992 level. Before Oslo, in 1991–1992, 14,320 units were constructed. After Oslo, 3,850 units were built in 1994–1995 and 3,570 units in 1996–1997,<ref[http://www.fmep.org/settlement_info/settlement-info-and-tables/stats-data/housing-starts-in-israel-the-west-bank-and-gaza-strip-settlements-1990-2003</ref> although the settler population in the West Bank continued growing by around 10,000 per year. The Palestinians built throughout area C of the West Bank administered by Israel without permit.[unreliable source?] the acts had been named as Palestinian outposts or Palestinian settlements by the Israeli media.
According to the Israeli government, the Israelis' trust in the accords was undermined by the fact that after the signing, the attacks against Israel intensified, which some explained as an attempt by certain Palestinian organizations to thwart the peace process. Others believed that the Palestinian Authority had no interest in stopping these attacks and was instead endorsing them. Important sections of the Israeli public opposed the process; notably, the Jewish settlers feared that it would lead to them losing their homes.
Many Palestinians feared that Israel was not serious about dismantling their settlements in the West Bank, especially around Jerusalem. They feared they might even accelerate their settlement program in the long run, by building more settlements and expanding existing ones.
In 1994 Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat received the Nobel Peace Prize following the singning on the Oslo Accords,  "for their efforts to create peace in the Middle East".
Remarks from Benjamin Netanyahu
In a 2001 video, Netanyahu, reportedly unaware he was being recorded, said: "They asked me before the election if I'd honor [the Oslo accords]... I said I would, but [that] I'm going to interpret the accords in such a way that would allow me to put an end to this galloping forward to the '67 borders. How did we do it? Nobody said what defined military zones were. Defined military zones are security zones; as far as I'm concerned, the entire Jordan Valley is a defined military zone. Go argue." Netanyahu then explained how he conditioned his signing of the 1997 Hebron agreement on American consent that there be no withdrawals from "specified military locations", and insisted he be allowed to specify which areas constituted a "military location"—such as the whole of the Jordan Valley. "Why is that important? Because from that moment on I stopped the Oslo Accords", Netanyahu affirmed.
The Oslo Accords may appear not to have considered factors that would influence its interpretation. For example, the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre, in which 29 Palestinians were killed and 125 wounded, is often blamed for undermining Palestinian trust in the process. Similarly, intensification of Palestinian terror in the years immediately following the signing of the accord led to disenchantment on the Israeli side. These included a car bomb in Afula killing 8 people and a suicide bombing attack on the No. 5 bus on Dizengoff Street in Tel-Aviv killing 21 Israelis and one Dutch national. Another point of ongoing contention was the expansion of Israeli settlements and blockades which caused the deterioration of economic conditions, and much frustration for Palestinians. These factors caused a drop in support for the accord and for those who supported it.
There have been suggested alternatives to boundary setting and creating principles that divide Israelis and Palestinians. One alternative is to move a peace process towards the creation of a bi-national state, a "one-state solution", that promotes co-existence rather than to continuing to divide. An argument for this as a possible way of reconciliation is that neither side can wholly justify a claim for homogeneity. Also, some Israeli and Palestinian thinkers have previously argued for a bi-national state as a more attractive alternative to separatism.
Norwegian academics, including Norway's leading authority on the negotiations, Hilde Henriksen Waage, have focused on the flawed role of Norway during the Oslo process. In 2001, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) commissioned Waage to produce an official, comprehensive history of the Norwegian-mediated back channel negotiations. In order to do the research, she was given privileged access to all relevant, classified files in the ministry's archives. The MFA had been at the heart of the Oslo process. Waage was surprised to discover "not a single scrap of paper for the entire period from January to September 1993—precisely the period of the back channel talks". Waage has written that, "Had the missing documents been accessible, there seems no doubt they would have shown the extent to which the Oslo process was conducted on Israel's premises, with Norway acting as Israel's helpful errand boy."
Consequences of the accord
In 2013 NRK said that "The Oslo Accord divided the metropolis of Hebron—in two. In a small, fortified area of its old city quarters—a small group of Israeli settlers reside, surrounded by more than 120 000 Palestinians."
In addition to the first accord, namely the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government, other more specific accords are often informally also known as "Oslo":
- The Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (also called Oslo 2), signed on 28 September 1995 gave Palestinians self-rule in Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin, Nablus, Qalqilya, Ramallah, Tulkarm, and some 450 villages.
Loss of credibility
Since the start of the al-Aqsa Intifada, the Oslo Accords have been viewed with increasing disfavor by both the Palestinian and Israeli public. In May 2000, seven years after the Oslo Accords and five months before the start of the al-Aqsa Intifada, a survey by the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research at the University of Tel Aviv found that 39% of all Israelis supported the Accords and that 32% believed that the Accords would result in peace in the next few years. By contrast, the May 2004 survey found that 26% of all Israelis supported the Accords and 18% believed that the Accords would result in peace in the next few years.
In December 2010, a report in al-Quds al-Arabi (an independent pan-Arab daily newspaper owned and published by Palestinian expatriates in London since 1989) asserted that the Palestinian Authority no longer regards itself as being bound by the Oslo Accords; however, as of June 2011, the PA has not made any official declaration to that effect.
Additional Israeli-Palestinian documents related to the Oslo Accords are:
- Israel–Palestine Liberation Organization letters of recognition, (9 September 1993),
- Protocol on Economic Relations, signed in Paris on 29 April 1994,
- Gaza–Jericho Agreement (4 May 1994),
- Washington Declaration (25 July 1994),
- Agreement on Preparatory Transfer of Powers and Responsibilities Between Israel and the PLO (29 August 1994),
- Protocol on Further Transfer of Powers and Responsibilities signed at Cairo on 27 August 1995
- Protocol Concerning the Redeployment in Hebron (15 January/17 January 1997)
- Wye River Memorandum (23 October 1998)
- Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum (4 September 1999),
- Taba Summit (27 January 2001).
Arab–Israeli peace diplomacy and treaties
- Middle East economic integration
- Paris Peace Conference, 1919
- Faisal–Weizmann Agreement (1919)
- 1949 Armistice Agreements
- Camp David Accords (1978)
- Israel–Egypt Peace Treaty (1979)
- Madrid Conference of 1991
- Oslo Accords (1993)
- Israel–Jordan Treaty of Peace (1994)
- 2000 Camp David Summit
- Peace process in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict
- Arab-Israeli peace projects
- List of Middle East peace proposals
- International law and the Arab–Israeli conflict
- Mona Juul—Norwegian facilitator during the negotiations.
- Johan Jørgen Holst—Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs.
- Jan Egeland—Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister, provided political cover, facilities and finances for the negotiations.
- Uri Savir—former Director General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, was Head of the Israeli negotiating team.
- Ron Pundak—currently Director General of the Peres Center for Peace, formed first Israeli negotiating team with Hirschfeld, before official Israeli involvement.
- "Text: 1993 Declaration of Principles". Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements (BBC). 29 November 2001.
- "Encyclopedia of the Palestinians - Google Books". Books.google.com. Retrieved 2013-10-30.
- Gaza First: the secret Norway channel to peace between Israel and the PLO, Jane Corbin
- "Comprehensive Settlement Population 1972-2010 — Foundation for Middle East Peace". Fmep.org. Retrieved 2013-10-30.
- "Sunday, February 1, 1998 "MOST PALESTINIAN BUILDINGS IN METROPOLITAN JERUSALEM ARE ILLEGAL."". IMRA. 1998-02-01. Retrieved 2013-10-30.
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- "Press Release - The Nobel Peace Prize 1994". Nobelprize.org. 1994-10-14. Retrieved 2013-10-30.
- "The Nobel Peace Prize 1994". Nobelprize.org. Retrieved 2013-10-30.
- Wong, Curtis (16 July 2010). "Netanyahu In 2001: 'America Is A Thing You Can Move Very Easily'". The Huffington Post.
- Glenn Kessler (16 July 2010). "Netanyahu: 'America is a thing you can move very easily'". The Washington Post.
- Gideon Levy (15 July 2010). "Tricky Bibi". Haaretz. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- Issacharoff, Avi (1 March 2010). "Settlers remember gunman Goldstein; Hebron riots continue". Haaretz. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
- "Fatal Terrorist Attacks in Israel Since the DOP (Sept 1993)". MFA. Retrieved 2012-12-15.
- Settlements information, Foundation for Middle East Peace. "Sources of Population Growth: Total Israeli Population and Settler Population, 1991–2003". Retrieved 2011-07-22.
- Truth and reconciliation Al-Ahram Weekly, Issue 412
- Waage, Hilde Henriksen (Autumn 2008). "Postscript to Oslo: The Mystery of Norway's Missing Files". Journal of Palestine Studies (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press). XXXVIII (1): 54–65.
- "I Hebron går hatet i arv" [In Hebron the hatred is handed down as inheritance]. NRK (in Norwegian). 2013-09-15.
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- Bregman, Ahron Elusive Peace: How the Holy Land Defeated America.
- Clinton, Bill (2005). My Life. Vintage. ISBN 1-4000-3003-X.
- Eran, Oded. "Arab–Israel Peacemaking". The Continuum Political Encyclopedia of the Middle East. Ed. Avraham Sela. New York: Continuum, 2002.
- Dean Peter Krogh Examines Prospects for Peace from the Dean Peter Krogh Foreign Affairs Digital Archives