What are the Oslo Accords? Here’s everything you need to know!

The Oslo Peace Accords refer to several agreements signed between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Israeli government. The agreements were signed by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and the head of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Yasser Arafat.

A couple of agreements were signed. The first, namely the Oslo I agreement, was signed in 1993 in Washington DC. The second, namely the Oslo II agreement, was signed in 1995 in Taba, Egypt. These agreements establish limited self-government for Palestine in some parts of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

The Oslo Peace Accords – a brief background

The Oslo Accords are similar to the Camp David Accords. The latter were numerous agreements. These agreements eased relations between Israel and Egypt in 1978 after the Yom Kippur War.

The Camp David Agreement provided for Palestinian autonomy in Gaza and the West Bank. The number of settlers was growing and there was concern about continued Israeli settlement. However, the Israeli government did not talk to the Palestine Liberation Organization, as they viewed the PLO as a terrorist organization. Therefore, the concern was put on the back burner by the Camp David agreement.

In the 1990s, the situation changed. In that decade, Israel decided to view the PLO as the Palestinian representatives. Israel began to negotiate directly with the PLO. The Oslo agreement was actually signed as an interim agreement.

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The goal of the Oslo agreement

After the secret negotiations in Oslo, Israel began to recognize the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people. She began to see the PLO as an equal partner in matters of negotiation. The agreements thus created were concluded with the following objectives.

  • Facilitating self-government in Palestine
  • Establishing a protocol for free elections in the territory of Palestine
  • Creating a framework for an independent Palestinian state
  • Withdrawal of the Israeli army from the territory of Palestine

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Achievements of the Oslo agreement

In 1993, representatives of the PLO and the Israeli government visited Norway to begin negotiations. Yitzhak Rabin, Prime Minister of Israel and Yassir Arafat, leader of the PLO led their delegations. Norwegian government delegates acted as mediators.

The Oslo I Agreement established a follow-up agreement to the Oslo II Agreement. This included debates over issues such as how Jerusalem would actually be governed and who would govern it.

The Oslo II Accords gave the Palestinian Authority limited control over the West Bank and Gaza regions. This allowed Israel to annex many areas of the West Bank. It laid the foundations for cooperation between the Palestinian Authority and the government of Israel. One of these important provisions prevented both parties from engaging in mutual violence.

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Source: HIS Education

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