Monday, August 20, 2018

On This Day: Oslo Accords Signed 25 Years Ago

On This Day: 25 years ago today, the Oslo Accords were completed

[Question for the day: Why could this have prophetic significance?]

Twenty-five years ago today, on August 20, 1993, the final draft of the Oslo Accords, the Declaration of Principles, was completed and signed by Israeli and Palestinian officials, a historic moment in Israeli-Palestinian relations.

The unprecedented agreement was later signed in an official ceremony by prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO chairman Yasser Arafat on September 13 of that year.

The accords, facilitated by US president Bill Clinton, can be seen as the last long-term attempt at achieving a sustainable peace between Israelis and the Palestinians. Many regard them as a pivotal point in future developments of the region.

Rabin, Arafat, and then-Israeli foreign minister Shimon Peres were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize as a result.

Many significant events of the following years were direct results of public reactions to the accords and the eventual disintegration of the peace process - from the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin in 1995 to the start of the Second Intifada in 2000.

The accords had dramatic geopolitical consequences: They included a Palestinian recognition of Israel's right to exist, and Israel's recognition of the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

The partition of the West Bank into areas A, B, and C, each with a different level of autonomy, and the declaration of Israel's intention to eventually withdraw from the West Bank and Gaza, were unprecedented developments which caused controversy within the Israeli public.

After seven years of attempts to bring the accords to fruition, they ultimately fell apart, and in many ways left a void in the peace process that to this day has not been filled.

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