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11 Oct, 2015

Israel’s Culture of Impunity Killed the Oslo Accords – Palestinian leader

RAMALLAH, October 4, 2015 (WAFA) – Secretary-General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Saeb Erekat, said, ‘Israel’s culture of impunity killed the Oslo concept by tripling the number of settlers, stripping the Palestinian government of its attributes, and implementing various other contravening policies in breach of the agreement.’

In a statement received by WAFA, Erekat said, “Oslo was supposed to be an interim phase of five years to coordinate Israeli withdrawal from the territories it occupied in 1967, leading to a final status agreement.”

He said commitments were made to ‘assure us’ of the sincerity of the agreement, such as maintaining the status quo of the territory and keeping Palestinian institutions in East Jerusalem. However, “sparked by the brutal assassination of Prime Minister Rabin, all agreements were violated,” he explained.

In the early nineties, the majority of Palestinians were hopeful that in a few years, a final status agreement would be achieved; the first years saw the return of 250,000 Palestinians from exile and the beginning of institution-building for our new state, said Erekat.

He added that late leader Yasser Arafat led the process with strong determination and reminded us that our struggle would not end until the Palestinian flag was raised in our capital’s Old City.’ However, Twenty-three years later, we are witnessing the opposite.

Erekat stressed that Israel wants apartheid. He added, “Rather than two states, Israel seeks ‘one-state/two-systems.”

The PLO official said Israel ‘killed’ Oslo while signing new economic agreements with the international community and expanding its trade worldwide. “In order to end the occupation, the international community must ban settlement products, divest from the occupation, and recognize the State of Palestine on the 1967 border.”

“Our position is international law. Fulfilling the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people is an international responsibility,” he affirmed in the press statement.

Erekat noted that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) stated in 2004 that the right to self-determination of Palestine is a responsibility for each state. “This responsibility is not only about ending the occupation but reaching a comprehensive final status agreement.”

Erekat explained that the millions who still live in the Diaspora, including hundreds of Palestinian refugees displaced once more or killed in Syria and Iraq, “are vivid reminders of the urgency to end Israel’s culture of impunity.”

“The road to peace can only be paved with justice,’ concluded the statement.