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Monday, July 25, 2011

How the PLO's September stunt abrogates Oslo

Ha'aretz reports that Israel is considering revoking the Oslo Accords as one of several possible responses to the PLO's stated intent to have the UN declare all of Judea and Samaria to be part of a Palestinian state.

The PLO's chief negotiator and serial liar Saeb Erekat responded angrily, saying Israel is the party not implementing the Oslo Accords. He said "Israel's practices on the ground have practically canceled the Oslo agreement years ago." he added.

Of course, he did not name any of these supposed violations of Oslo. He implies that the "settlements " are Israel's violation of Oslo by referring to "practices on the ground."

PA president Mahmoud Abbas went a little further, saying that Israel had forced Palestinians to take their statehood campaign to the UN by refusing to end its occupation and settlement building.

The Oslo process, and the documents signed between Israel and the PLO, did not exclude Israeli building of or expansion of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. That was always left to be part of final status negotiations. From Oslo II:

Permanent status negotiations will commence as soon as possible, but not later than May 4, 1996, between the Parties. It is understood that these negotiations shall cover remaining issues, including: Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, security arrangements, borders, relations and cooperation with other neighbors, and other issues of common interest.
And while Israel after that date continued to transfer areas to PA control up until the even of the intifada, the PLO never implemented a number of its agreements including stopping incitement in the media and changing the Palestinian National Charter to eliminate references to destroying Israel. (No amended Charter was ever published.)

The September UN stunt is an explicit abrogation of the Oslo agreements, however. They specifically violate what I believe is the last agreement signed between Israel and the PLO, the Sharm el Sheikh agreements of September 4, 1999, restating what had been signed in previous agreements:
[N]either side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in accordance with the Interim Agreement.
The UN stunt is an attempt to do exactly that - change the status of areas that were supposed to be determined by negotiations. By demanding that the UN recognize the areas between the 1949 armistice lines and Jordan/Egypt as being part of a brand new state, the PLO is directly violating the agreements that they signed with Israel.

Since the Oslo process is what allowed the PA to exist to begin with, and under its provisions Israel transferred land to be administered by this same entity, if the PLO abrogates it then Israel could simply re-extend military and administrative control over Areas A and B, thus destroying the autonomy the Palestinian Arabs now enjoy.

At the very least, Israel would be free to annex any areas of the Jordan Valley or major settlement blocs if the PLO abrogates Oslo by going to the UN.

Now is the time for Israel to make that consequence crystal-clear.