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What it means to cancel Oslo, By: Omar Shaban

By: Omar ShabanOslo - shaban

The Brookings Institution Palestinians continue to demand the cancellation of the Oslo Accords signed in 1993 between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), as the representative of the Palestinian people, and the government of Israel. Oslo was intended to end the state of hostility between the PLO and Israel and to mark a new era of peacemaking, but has since turned into an endless process which has delivered neither an end to hostilities nor a coherent framework for peace. Calls for the dismantling of the Oslo Accords come not only from Palestinian civil society activists and intellectuals but from Palestinian Authority (PA) figures as well, including President Mahmoud Abbas himself. Are such calls serious, or are they aimed at capturing the world’s attention, particularly that of the United States? Have Palestinians fully considered the implications of cancelling the Oslo Accords, which created the PA in the first place?

The abrogation of the Oslo Accords would most likely lead to an increased Israeli military presence in parts of the Occupied Territories, a third intifada, enormous economic losses for Palestinian society, the empowerment of Hamas, and other destabilizing developments. Instead of repeatedly threatening the cancellation of Oslo, then, the PA and the international community should focus on renewing and strengthening the core tenets of the Accords.

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