Tue 28 Nov 2023 9:24 am - Jerusalem Time
One of the architects of the Oslo Accords mourns it: Oslo Accords died completely
Norwegian Jan Egeland, one of the architects of the Oslo Accords that were supposed to lead to “peaceful coexistence” between two Israeli and Palestinian states, believes that these agreements are no longer valid “at all,” and that the solution to the current war in the Gaza Strip requires international leadership that is currently “ very weak” at the moment.
September 13, 1993, made history when Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin shook hands on the White House lawn in the presence of US President Bill Clinton.
This scene represented the culmination of 14 rounds of secret talks in Oslo, co-organized by Norwegian Jan Egeland, who was at the time Minister of State in the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
This resulted in the beginning of a sensitive process. Under these agreements, Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization had to recognize each other, and a transitional Palestinian self-rule was to be established for a period of five years, which was the appropriate period to put the final touches on settling the basic files, such as the status of the city of Jerusalem, the settlements, the fate of refugees, and others.
30 years after the conclusion of these agreements, and at a time when the Israeli occupation has been waging a devastating war on the Gaza Strip since October 7, Egeland (66 years old) believes that the Oslo Accords are “completely dead.”
He said during an interview with Agence France-Presse: “The Oslo Accords no longer exist per se". Now we will need another agreement, and it must be coordinated between the United States, the European Union and the Arab countries.”
The former diplomat, who has now become Secretary-General of the non-governmental organization Norwegian Refugee Council, believes that the only possible solution to the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas will come from abroad.
He adds: "It is not possible for Israel and Hamas to negotiate (alone) about the future of these lands. There will be no trust: Israel is working to destroy Hamas, while Hamas exists to eliminate Israel."
He continues: "The leaders on both sides are never at the level of the leaders who were in the era of (Oslo Accords), who were visionary, strong, and true leaders. Today, we have populists in both camps, indeed."
On one of the walls of the room where Agence France-Presse met him, there are pictures showing Egeland shaking hands with Yasser Arafat and former US President George H.W. Bush.
The war broke out on October 7, during which the occupation launched intense bombardment on the besieged Gaza Strip, which has been accompanied since the 27th of the same month by extensive ground operations inside the Gaza Strip. The bombing caused the death of approximately 15,000 people, including more than 6,000 children.
“After that, there will be a lot of bitterness and hatred on both sides, and there will be more violence,” Egeland says.
He continues: "It is an illusion for Israel to believe that it can achieve security and peace through bombs. It is an illusion to believe that by mass killing of Israeli civilians, as Hamas did, and holding civilians hostage, we can solve the problem of Israel's existence."
But the international community is not up to this task either, according to Egeland, as it has “very weak” leadership.
He wonders: “Where is the American, European, British and French leadership to really help push towards a final settlement? The same question for the Arab side.”
He adds: "This is almost always the problem: you are ready to criticize your ally's enemy, but you are not ready to push your ally toward a settlement." For him, it is very important to resume the talks with the greatest possible confidentiality.
He explains: “Clandestine communication channels and secret negotiations have a huge advantage, which is that the parties are not talking for show. They do not have to deal with any provocation or act of violence that happened yesterday or the day before. They can really negotiate.”
Source: (AFP) +Alaraby Aljadeed