On 13 September 1993, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) signed the first direct formal agreement with the Israeli occupation, called the " the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or short Declaration of Principles (DOP)", often referred to as the Oslo Accords, in the American city of Washington and in the presence of the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and American President Bill Clinton, as well as the Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
The Oslo Accords marked a turning point in the relationship between the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli occupation, as the agreement stipulated several articles, most notably “preventing armed resistance against Israel, Israel's recognition of the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, and that the PLO recognizes Israel's sovereignty over all Palestinian lands except the West Bank and Gaza, in addition to Israel's recognition of the Palestinians' right to establish an autonomous-government, which later became known as the Palestinian Authority.”
The Oslo Accords transformed the Palestinian struggle against the Israeli occupation from armed resistance to security-related negotiations and coordination to suppress all action against the occupation, and paved the way for many concessions on the rights of the Palestinian people, as it prevented discussion of issues of security, Jerusalem, refugees and borders, and always postponed them to a subsequent round of negotiations.
The Palestinian resistance factions and a large segment of the Palestinian people at home and abroad opposed the Oslo Accords, and warned that the two-state solution that was stipulated in the agreement will eliminate the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their lands occupied in 1948.
Abu Amer: Oslo lost the right of return for millions of Palestinian refugees
The writer and political analyst Dr. Adnan Abu Amer asserted that:
"The Oslo Accords wasted the Palestinian right of return by ignoring the rights of millions of Palestinians in the diaspora, considering them off the issue, as it addressed only Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.”
Abu Amer believes that the twenty-seventh anniversary of the Oslo Accords coincides with the deal of the century and the ongoing wave of Arab-Israeli normalization. "It is not coincidence or even spontaneous. Rather, it is planned and pre-arranged.”
In an exclusive interview with Palestinians Abroad, he said:
“Oslo Accords had the merit of marking the beginnings of Arab-Israeli normalization and opening Arab capitals to the Zionist entity, which made Arabs bypass the Palestinian cause."
He indicated that the Israeli occupation has gone beyond all the stipulations of the Oslo Accords regarding settlement issues, borders and the state, "which requires the termination of this agreement."
"The Oslo Accords was the first slip and the beginning of evils that afflicted the Palestinian cause. Without it, many concessions would not have occurred in the following years and decades,” he added.
Shaker: The Oslo-based discourse to justify the current normalization is fragile and tries to fabricate excuses
“What is happening now is the realization of the warnings issued when the Oslo Accords were first signed, and the warning that what is happening will have severe repercussions on the Palestinian cause, and will allow and encourage Arab and non-Arab slides towards the occupation,” said Hussam Shaker, a media consultant and specialist in European affairs, commenting on the link between the current Arab-Israeli normalization and the Oslo agreement.
In an exclusive statement to Palestinians Abroad, he said:
“The rhetoric to justify the current normalization through Oslo is fragile and is trying to fabricate excuses."
Shaker indicated that the ongoing normalization is an expression of "strategic slips that perpetuate the dominant regional role of the occupation in the US-backed region."
He stressed that normalization represents a strategic threat, and that those who normalized before did not profit strategically from the normalized relations.
With regard to confronting normalization, Shaker said:
"It is very important to educate the people and the masses about the truth of what is happening, and to realize that normalization requires, in the first place, suppressing and suffocating people and preventing any state of free expression of positions and opinions."
"It is very important to show how normalization conflicts with the direct interests of the peoples, circles and countries concerned, and how it expresses a slippage of values and a failure of the principles of right and justice and the principled obligations of the countries concerned."
Halloum: What is needed is an end to Oslo, the withdrawal of recognition of the occupation, and the rebuilding of the PLO
On the necessity to end the Oslo Agreement and the role of Palestinians abroad, the Member of the General Assembly and Secretary of External Relations of the Popular Conference for Palestinians Abroad, Dr. Ribhi Halloum, said:
“Under the dangers and conspiracies threatening the Palestinian people, in which are involved the regimes of some countries who are moved by the dictations of American and Zionist strings, while targeting the Palestinian presence as a nation and a people, it has become clear that we are facing an urgency that requires ending the Oslo era, with ideas, approaches, and symbols, and conducting a purgation of all the outcomes and consequences that resulted from it."
Speaking to Palestinians Abroad, Halloum necessitated launching a "public call" aiming at the immediate cancellation of the Oslo accords and all the outcomes that resulted from it, and the abolition of recognition of the Zionist entity and all forms of coordination, normalization and deals with it.
Halloum also called for an urgent national forum "attended by a constellation representing all spectrums of the Palestinian people at home and abroad, from which an able body of wise men will emerge to which the forum will entrust the task of managing the next phase and defining its struggle and political tools, reinforced by resistance, an uprising and civil disobedience at home."
Halloum stressed the importance of "rebuilding the Palestine Liberation Organization, restructuring its institutions and executive and presidential bodies, setting confrontation plans for the next phase, away from Oslo and its outcomes, and managing the phase with all the elements of struggle and politics it requires.”