Thursday, September 13, 2012

Palestinian leaders call for 'liberation' from Oslo Accords

 Maan News Agency
 Published today (updated) 13/09/2012 20:11
The accords were meant to be an interim agreement leading to an
independent Palestinian state within five years. (MaanImages/File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinian leaders on Thursday called for release from the Oslo Accords, on the 19th anniversary of the signing of the agreements.

The accords, signed Sept. 13, 1993, were meant to be an interim agreement leading to a final peace agreement and an independent Palestinian state within five years.

Palestinian National Initiative leader Mustafa Barghouti said the accords turned out to be "a transition to nothing," and had been used as a cover by Israel "to consolidate a system of apartheid."

"We as Palestinians need to liberate ourselves from the terrible conditions of the agreement," through popular resistance, national unity and boycott, divestment and sanctions, Barghouti told Ma'an.

The Palestinian side has committed to the agreement while Israel selectively implements the accords to its benefit, Barghouti said, adding that 19 years on the concept of the two-state solution was at risk due to Israeli settlement building.

Fatah leader Mahmoud al-Aloul on Thursday called on the PA to abolish the Oslo Accords as Israel had refused to commit to its obligations and instead continued land grabs and settlement expansion in the West Bank.

Negotiations toward a final peace agreement won't succeed because Israel doesn't want peace, al-Aloul added.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine on Thursday also called on the PA to disengage from all agreements with Israel, and be free of political and economic restrictions imposed by the Oslo Accords.

The Ramallah government should end security coordination with Israel and implement national unity, the leftist faction said in a statement.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat noted Israel's failure to abide by its signed commitments, in a statement marking the anniversary.

"Most of the Israeli settlements and their associated infrastructure have been built during the past 19 years. The number of settlers has more than doubled during this time, while forced displacement, home demolitions, ID revocations and land confiscations continue to be a daily reality in Palestine."

Erekat added: "The interim agreements were supposed to last for five years. But what we see two decades later is apartheid rather than freedom and independence."

Erekat blamed the international community for failing to hold Israel accountable for its violations.

"Our hope for peace and justice has been destroyed by Israeli bulldozers and a culture of racism and hatred espoused within Israeli society. This horrific reality has been facilitated by the immunity which Israel has been granted by the international community."

The Oslo Accords have been the focus of demonstrations across the West Bank in September. Protesters angry at rising prices complained that the economic sections of the treaty have been implemented by Israel selectively and mostly to its benefit, a position shared by UN agencies and economists.