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Is this what the end of Oslo looks like?

Abbas tells UN General Assembly that the PA cannot continue to be bound by previous agreements with Israel; calls for a multilateral approach to peacekeeping.

File photo of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe)

File photo of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. (UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe)

The Palestinian Authority cannot continue to be bound by previous agreements with Israel, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told the UN General Assembly during his speech Wednesday, throwing the PA’s obligation to the Oslo Accords into question.

Accusing Israel of violating the Oslo Accords, Abbas declared that Israel, which Abbas called an “apartheid state,” would have to assume “all of its responsibilities as an occupying power,” after destroying the foundations of both political and security arrangements.

Abbas further called to leave behind Oslo’s legacy of bilateral peacemaking between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority in favor of an international multilateral approach, asking the United Nations to “provide international protection for the Palestinian people in accordance with international humanitarian law.”

“It is no longer useful to waste time in negotiations for the sake of negotiations; what is required is to mobilize international efforts to oversee an end to the occupation in line with the resolutions of international legitimacy,” the Palestinian president said.

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, U.S. president Bill Clinton, and PLO chairman Yasser Arafat at the signing of the Oslo Accord (photo: Vince Musi / The White House)

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, U.S. president Bill Clinton, and PLO chairman Yasser Arafat at the signing of the Oslo Accord (photo: Vince Musi / The White House)

A cursory glance at Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ speech is enough to notice one glaring near-absence: Gaza.

While full of passionate declarations about “settlement colonization” and the “racist annexation wall,” Abbas mentioned the word Gaza only four times throughout his entire speech, a far cry from his speech at the 2014 General Assembly, when he accused Israel of carrying out a “war of genocide” against the Strip during last summer’s Operation Protective Edge.

Prime Minister Netanyahu responded to Wednesday’s speech, calling it “deceitful” and encouraging of “incitement and lawlessness in the Middle East.” Meanwhile, Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog, who takes nearly every chance he has to outflank Netanyahu from the right, decried Abbas’ apartheid comparison, saying it only “serves the extremists among both peoples.”

While it is yet unclear whether Abbas will make good on his threats to drive a stake through security coordination arrangements or go forth with multilateralism, one must wonder: are we witnessing the end of the Oslo period?

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    1. Ben

      The quotations in the Facebook thread above of Edward Said and Israel Shahak tell the story. Time to end the tyranny of the Oslo regime. Noam Sheizaf has argued convincingly in these pages that Oslo *is* the Occupation.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        http://972mag.com/an-agreement-on-indefinite-occupation-oslo-celebrates-19-years/55788/

        “Israel didn’t evacuate one settlement under this peace treaty. Instead, it began evacuating Palestinians. . .

        regardless of the things Oslo was meant to be, it’s clear – and way more important – what it has become: the primary legal tool serving the occupation. . .

        The Palestinian Authority is exactly where Israel wants it – too weak and dependent on Israel and foreign donors to present a serious challenge to the occupier, but strong enough to oppress its own people (and it is treated by Israel with the same contempt all occupiers have for their collaborators). . .

        As Oslo – signed as an interim accord for six years – enters its twentieth year, it’s becoming clear that the only thing that the Palestinians got from the agreement was the right to raise their flag, given to them on day one. Today, Oslo is the occupation. The sooner we get rid of it, the better.”

        Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          “Israel didn’t evacuate one settlement under this peace treaty. Instead, it began evacuating Palestinians.”

          Hold it right thre coz this is another lie!

          10,000 of our people were uprooted from their homes in Gaza. What did we get in return? An escalation in the rocket fire against our civilians.

          Moreover, many other small “settlements” were evacuated in the WB.

          But the main point is that under the Oslo accord Israel was never required to remove ALL settlements. The idea of Oslo was to negotiate on the basis of UN Resolution 242 and withdraw to secure and recognized borders.

          Moreover, Oslo mandated conditions on the Palestinian Arab side too. Specifically, terrorism had to stop. But instead, after the Oslo deal was signed, terrorism against us escalated. Wanna know why? Coz the Arabs who mattered, Hamas and even Arafat, never wanted Oslo to succeed because it would leave a viable Israel intact, which is not how they want to end this conflict.

          Reply to Comment