On This Day: Oslo II Accord signed by Rabin and Arafat

On September 28, 1995, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat signed the Oslo II Accord. 

 Oslo Accords (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Oslo Accords
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

On September 28, 1995, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat signed the Oslo II Accord. 

They were witnessed by US President Bill Clinton, as well as by representatives of Russia, Egypt, Jordan, Norway and the EU in Washington DC.

The Oslo II Accord, also known as the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, was built on the foundations of the Oslo I accord, formally signed on September 13, 1993, superseding the Gaza-Jericho and early empowerment agreements. 

The agreement established a schedule for Israeli withdrawals from the Palestinian population centers and created a system of zones determining the land. It also set elections for a president and council of the Palestinian Authority. 

The more than 300-page agreement speaks of peaceful coexistence, mutual dignity, and security.  

YASSER ARAFAT, Bill Clinton and Yitzhak Rabin are focused on in ‘The Human Factor.’ (credit: WILLIAM J. CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY/COURTESY OF HOT 8)YASSER ARAFAT, Bill Clinton and Yitzhak Rabin are focused on in ‘The Human Factor.’ (credit: WILLIAM J. CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY/COURTESY OF HOT 8)

The first Oslo Accord received strong parliamentary support, however, Oslo II was ratified by only one vote in the Knesset, signaling a decline in support. 

The Likud, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, opposed withdrawals or further dealings with Arafat. 

Support for the peace process surged after the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, and Shimon Peres proceeded with Oslo II. And, by 1996, nearly all the Palestinians were under self-rule.

Despite this, the peace process began to break down. 

While some of the provisions of the Oslo Accords remain in effect until today, such as the role of the Palestinian Authority, most of the provisions have been abandoned.