Israel Using Oslo Accords to Steal West Bank Land
Oslo was surrender.
by Stephen Lendman
In 1993, Edward Said minced no words denouncing the Oslo Accords and Declaration of Principles, explaining:
"the fashion-show vulgarities of the White House ceremony, the degrading spectacle of Yasser Arafat thanking everyone for the suspension of most of his people's rights, and the fatuous solemnity of Bill Clinton's performance, like a 20th century Roman emperor shepherding two vassal kings through rituals of reconciliation and obeisance, (and) the truly astonishing proportions of the Palestinian capitulation."
It was unilateral surrender, a Palestinian Versailles. It affirmed a vaguely defined negotiating process. No fixed timeline or outcome were specified. Israeli officials obstructed and delayed. They refused to make concessions, and continued stealing Palestinian land. They never stopped.
Colonization is policy. Israel wants all valued Judea and Samaria areas, as well as Jerusalem for its exclusive capital. At most, Palestinians will get worthless cantonized scrubland.
They got nothing for renouncing armed struggle, recognizing Israel's right to exist, and agreeing to leave major unresolved issues for later final status talks. They're still waiting.
Major issues include an independent sovereign Palestine free from occupation, the right of return, settlements, borders, water rights, and East Jerusalem as Palestinian territory and future capital.
A new Palestinian Authority (PA) was established. Arafat agreed to enforce Israeli authority.
Subsequent agreements followed. The West Bank was divided into three parts. Each has distinct borders, administrations, and security rules. They include Areas A, B and C, plus a fourth for Greater Jerusalem. A complicated system works as follows:
- Area A under Palestinian control for internal security, public order, and civil affairs;
- Area B under Palestinian civil control for 450 West Bank towns and villages; Israel retains overriding authority for settler safety and its own interests; and
- Area C, its water resources, and settlements under Israeli control on the West Bank's most valuable land; they're connected by special by-pass roads for Jews only.
Besides besieged Gaza, Israel controls the West Bank and Jerusalem. When Separation Wall construction's completed, its settlements, military areas, no-go zones, nature reserves, commercial areas, by-pass roads, tourist sites, checkpoints, and other barriers will comprise well over 50% of West Bank territory and Palestinian East Jerusalem
A longtime collaborator, Mahmound Abbas took credit as Oslo architect. Israel, of course, controlled everything. Arafat ran Palestine's side. Instead of driving a hard bargain, he capitulated. So did Abbas. Israel took full advantage. Things keep getting worse.
A previous article explained Israel's planned theft of 10% more West Bank land.