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The Oslo Agreements

by Gila Ansell Brauner

Landmarks from Madrid:
13 September 1993 Oslo Accord [Oslo I] - Precurser of The Declaration of Principles - follows secret negotiations between Israel and the PLO under Norwegian auspices. Agreement co-sponsored by the USA and CIS. Creation of Autonomy - 2 year initial period. 4 May 1994 - "Gaza & Jericho First" signed in Cairo: details arrangements for immediate implementation of initial Autonomy; begins the 5 year transition period. Timetable set.

28 September 1995 "Oslo II" - , the Interim Agreement, signed: details of redeployment in Areas A, B, C; specification of issues to resolve in the interim period or in Final Status accords.

January 1996 - Palestinian elections held; Yasser Arafat elected

May 1996 - Token opening of Permanent Status talks - substantial negotiations delayed because of Israeli elections.

1 April 1999 - Target date for end of transition period.

October 1999 - Target date for signature of Final Accord.

The Issues:
The DOP created a framework of areas of negotiation and outlines for a rapid hand-over of Gaza and Jericho to the Autonomy.

The Cairo Agreement detailed arrangements for "Gaza & Jericho First" and set out a step-by-step program for extension of autonomy within a specified time-frame, without this being conditional on bilateral implementation or objectives.

Major fundamental and controversial areas, such as: Jerusalem; the future of Israeli settlements on the West Bank/Judea & Samaria; the Palestinian refugees [from '48 and '67] were deferred to the permanent status negotiations.

The Main Problems:
Continued Hamas, Islamic Jihad and PFLP terrorist activism within the Autonomy and delay in crackdown on them.

Spates of serious suicide bomb attacks on Israel by the above groups and public concern in Israel over personal security.

Non-extradition by the PA of terrorists to Israel.

Israeli concern over the viability of security provisions, permeability of patrol points and routes.

Major donor countries find no infrastructure to channel their promised funds efficiently for the development of the Autonomy and refuse to honor them in full; others do not fulfil their pledge.

Non-confirmation by documentation of the repeal of anti-Israel clauses in the Palestinian National Covenant.

Security closures of Autonomy areas cause economic breakdown, generate further hostility.

Change of government in Israel, May 1996, leads to: delay in implementation of Hebron redeployment as it stood; incidents of conflict with casualties; new positions on the final settlement negotiations.

Non-implementation of free passage routes between Gaza & Jericho for cases of abuse of privilege and because of closure regulations.

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