martes, 13 de septiembre de 2011

Fatah, Hamas recall 18 years of failed Oslo Accords

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Senior Fatah official Mohammad Shtayyeh on Tuesday called on the international community to assume its responsibilities toward the Palestinian people.

In a statement marking the 18th anniversary of the signing of Oslo I between the PLO and Israel, Shtayyeh reiterated the rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination and freedom.

"Today we commemorate 18 years since the launch of a process that was supposed to lead us to freedom and independence. It was meant to last only for a transitional period of five years.

"Unfortunately, almost two decades later, the Israeli occupation of Palestine is entrenched and Israel’s occupation has turned into de facto annexation," said the senior Fatah leader.

Shtayyeh noted that from 1993 until 2011, Israel’s settler population more than doubled in the occupied West Bank. Through the wall and bypass roads, settlements effectively control almost half the West Bank.

"Eighteen years ago, Prime Minister Netanyahu said that he was going to kill the Oslo Accords. Today, we can say that Mr. Netanyahu has all but succeeded in his aim," Shtayyeh said.

Hamas, meanwhile, in a similar statement marking the anniversary of the signing, said it "was the most dangerous agreement on the Palestinian cause and the rights of our people."

The time has come to "work to overthrow" the agreements, Hamas said.

It called for "establishing a new era of national unity, building up a unified Palestinian front and a wise, unified and powerful leadership to face all the upcoming challenges," the German press agency DPA reported.

Under the 1995 Oslo 2 agreement, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators outlined a plan for Palestinian autonomy allowing administrative and security control of around 17.2 percent of the West Bank, Area A.

The rest of the West Bank and Gaza Strip remained under Israeli military occupation.

The interim deal was intended to lead to a final status agreement by 1999, but a permanent solution was never reached and frequent incursions by the Israeli army into Area A have undermined the agreement.

On Friday, the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh near Ramallah held a mock funeral for the Oslo Accords as part of its weekly demonstration, a Ma'an correspondent said.

Participants waved flags with the logo of "The state of Palestine 194" as they marched through the village carrying a black coffin with the words "Oslo Accords" written on it.

The protesters were met by Israeli forces who fired tear gas and sound grenades at the rally.

The Palestinian leadership in Ramallah is set to ask the UN this month to formally admit the state of Palestine as a member, in a bid strongly opposed by Israel and the US.

Some Israeli officials are threatening to cancel the Oslo agreement in response, although the threat carries less weight than it might have a decade ago.

"I wish they would do that," said Palestinian lawmaker Mustafa Barghouti.

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