The Oslo II Agreement: Key Facts and History
The Oslo II Agreement, also known as the Taba Agreement, was signed on September 28, 1995, between the Israeli government and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The agreement aimed to further the elusive peace process between the two parties and laid the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state.
Background of the Oslo II Agreement
The Oslo II Agreement followed the 1993 Oslo Accords, which were signed by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, with the mediation of US President Bill Clinton. The Oslo Accords were groundbreaking as they marked the first time that Israel and the PLO recognized each other`s legitimacy and agreed to negotiate a peaceful settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Oslo Accords established the Palestinian Authority (PA) as an interim self-governing body and granted it limited autonomy over parts of the Gaza Strip and West Bank. The hope was that the Oslo Accords would lead to a comprehensive peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, but progress was slow, and tensions remained high.
The Oslo II Agreement aimed to build on the limited progress that had been made in implementing the Oslo Accords. It defined the boundaries of three distinct areas in the West Bank:
– Area A – under full Palestinian civil and security control
– Area B – under Palestinian civil control and joint Israeli-Palestinian security control
– Area C – under full Israeli civil and security control
The agreement also established a security coordination mechanism between the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and the Palestinian Authority Security Forces (PASF).
Key Provisions of the Oslo II Agreement
The Oslo II Agreement had several key provisions, which included:
– The creation of a Palestinian Council elected by the Palestinian people to govern the affairs of the PA
– The transfer of civil responsibilities from Israel to the PA in areas designated as A and B
– The withdrawal of IDF troops from some Palestinian cities and towns, which were then placed under Palestinian security control
– The establishment of a Joint Israeli-Palestinian Liaison Committee to coordinate economic and social relations between the two parties
– The establishment of a Joint Water Committee to manage shared water resources
Challenges and Controversies
The Oslo II Agreement faced many challenges and controversies. Many Israelis were skeptical of the agreement, fearing that it would jeopardize their security and that the Palestinians would use the autonomy granted to them to launch terrorist attacks against Israel. Palestinian hardliners, meanwhile, criticized the agreement for failing to establish an independent Palestinian state.
The agreement was also hindered by ongoing violence and political instability. In 1995, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by a Jewish extremist who opposed the peace process. The following year, the Palestinian Authority faced an uprising led by the Hamas militant group.
Despite these challenges, the Oslo II Agreement remains an important milestone in the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. While the agreement did not lead to a comprehensive peace settlement, it helped establish important institutional frameworks that remain in place today.
The Oslo II Agreement represented a significant breakthrough in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. It marked the first time that the two parties agreed to define specific boundaries and establish shared mechanisms for security and governance. While the agreement faced many challenges and ultimately did not lead to a comprehensive peace settlement, it remains an important milestone in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.