Rabin, Clinton, and Arafat
From left; Former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, former US president Bill Clinton, and the late PLO leader Yasser Arafat on the White House lawn.. (photo credit:REUTERS)

 

The Palestinian Authority is planning to declare the Oslo Accords null and void, a move that could mean effectively ceding day-to-day control of West Bank towns to the Israeli military, according to a report by the Palestinian Ma’an news agency.

The report, which was posted on the Ma’an web site shortly after midnight on Sunday, quotes a senior Ramallah official, Ahmed Majdalani, as saying that the interim administration would declare that it no longer saw itself as bound to the Oslo Accords as well as the Sharm el-Sheikh agreement of 1994.

The latter, which was negotiated by the Rabin administration together with the Palestine Liberation Organization, gave the newly created Palestinian Authority powers that dealt with daily civilian life in towns and villages. It also spelled out joint security arrangements between the PA and Israeli forces.

The PA move would also cancel the Paris Protocol, which specified the nature of the economic relationship between Jerusalem and Ramallah.

According to¬†Majdalani, the issue of abrogating the Oslo Accords will be brought before the Palestinian National Council, the PLO’s legislative body, when it convenes later this month.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas plans to announce the move during his address to the UN General Assembly in New York in late September. The Palestinian leader will tell international delegates that since Israel’s increased settlement activity constitutes a violation of the agreements, Ramallah will no longer abide by their terms.

The Oslo Accords, the initial terms of which were negotiated secretly by Israeli and Palestinian officials in Norway before taking on American sponsorship, created an interim Palestinian government that would be granted powers over West Bank towns that had been ruled by Israel since the 1967 war.

In exchange, the PLO would recognize Israel’s right to exist. The agreement was considered a launching point for talks that would eventually lead to a final-status settlement.

Palestinian suicide bombings carried out by Islamist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad effectively destroyed Israelis’ confidence that peace could be reached, while the Israeli government’s settlement policies generated doubts as to Jerusalem’s sincerity in its intentions to permit a Palestinian state on the West Bank.

As reported by The Jerusalem Post