Yitzhak Rabin, Bill Clinton and Yasser Arafat at signing of Oslo Accords

On December 1st, 1994, The Israeli government under the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin officially handed over control of a large part within the Judea and Samaria to the newly founded Palestinian Authority. The transfer of powers was conducted as part of the Oslo Accords which recognized Palestinian sovereignty and sought peace by creating a Palestinian entity.

The PLO turned PA becoming an official government body was a step in the eventual signing of the interim agreement in September of 1994. The Interim agreement was supposed to be valid for 5 years until Israel and the PA signed a permanent agreement to act as a solution for the decades-long conflict. However, as a direct result of the PLO became the administrative body for the West Bank and due to their new Israeli-supported funding, a wave of Palestinian terror began against Israelis, ultimately killing hundreds. 

The Oslo Accords at the time for many Israelis and diplomats was a synonym for โ€œpeace in the Middle Eastโ€. But the continued terrorism and lack of progress or compromise on part of the Palestinian Authority made it extremely difficult to keep the dream of peace alive. By the time the permanent agreement was to be signed in 1999, it was clear no such thing peaceful solution was currently plausible. A combination of Israeli public opinion that shifted due to non-stop terrorism and Palestinian leaders who were not willing to compromise on certain crucial Camp David talking points doomed the fate of all Oslo Accords aspirations. 

Technically speaking, Oslo Accords policies, such as the transfer of power to PA authorities in the West Bank, should no longer be valid based on multiple sections within the official Interim Agreement. One part of the document mentions that Palestinian Authorities must comply with Israeli security forces for the entire interim period, something that was violated on countless occasions. 

Another statement in the agreement refers to a specific timeline designated for the entire peace process. โ€œ...The interim self-government arrangements contained in this Agreement are an integral part of the whole peace process and that the negotiations on the permanent status, that will start as soon as possible but not later than May 4, 1996โ€ฆโ€  In other words, since the permanent agreement was never signed and no significant steps were taken, the validity of the accords is put into question.

Despite all the legal issues stemming from the agreement, a status quo has remained In place since 1994 and the Palestinian Authority still remains an administrative body within Judea and Samaria.


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