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Oslo Accords Offer Lessons After Twenty-Year 'Interim'

The failures of the Oslo experience should inform the restarted Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

Sept. 13 will be the 20th anniversary of the signing of the declaration of principles between the Israelis and the Palestinians, better known as the Oslo Accords. Despite some criticism from ideological and political points of view, the accords were a breakthrough and a watershed in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. It happened less than two years after the launching of the Madrid Conference, which indirectly set the stage for such an achievement.

The interim accords were supposed to deliver, at the end of five years, a permanent agreement. Everybody is still waiting to go beyond what became a permanent interim agreement. Since Day One of the accords, the policies of the different Israeli governments have continued to create new facts on the ground in the occupied territories through an active policy of building and enlarging settlements under different pretexts. Thus the accords became an empty shell, a typical example of a failed approach to reach a permanent solution.

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