Slain Israeli Prime Minister Rabin with former US President Bill Clinton and former PLO President Yasser Arafat after signing the Oslo Accords at the White House on September 13, 1993. .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Twenty-five years ago yesterday, on August 20, 1993, the final draft of the Oslo Accords – the Declaration of Principles – was completed and signed by Israeli and Palestinian officials, a historic moment in Israeli-Palestinian relations.
The unprecedented agreement was later signed in an official ceremony by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO chairman Yasser Arafat on September 13 of that year.
The accords, facilitated by US President Bill Clinton, can be seen as the last long-term attempt at achieving a sustainable peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Many regard them as a pivotal point in future developments of the region.
Rabin, Arafat, and then-foreign minister Shimon Peres were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize as a result.
Many significant events of the following years were direct results of public reactions to the accords and the eventual disintegration of the peace process – from the assassination of Rabin in 1995 to the start of the Second Intifada in 2000.
The accords had dramatic geopolitical consequences, which included Palestinian recognition of Israel’s right to exist, and Israel’s recognition of the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.
The partition of the West Bank into areas A, B, and C, each with a different level of autonomy, and the declaration of Israel’s intention to eventually withdraw from the West Bank and Gaza, were unprecedented developments which caused controversy within the Israeli public.
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After seven years of attempts to bring the accords to fruition, they ultimately fell apart, and in many ways left a void in the peace process that to this day has not been filled.
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