The Collapse Of The Oslo Negotiations

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Although the claim that the collapse of the Oslo negotiations was due to a failure of process rather than of substance carries some weight, I will argue that had the substance of the terms of Oslo been more explicit and had they avoided an open-ended gradualism approach, I doubt that the ensuing process would have had such a devastating effect on the negotiations. In the following essay I will analyse the key reasons for the failure of Oslo, namely the constructive ambiguity of the terms themselves and how this contributed to creating conflicting misconceptions regarding the final settlement, the lack of an explicit commitment to the two-state solution as the end-point of the negotiations and finally the gradualist structure for the peace…show more content…
This was the first of among many terms whose meaning was effectively nullified by the “constructive ambiguity” of the Oslo Accords. Abd Al-Sahfi furthers this argument stating that, through the Accords, the status of the West Bank and Gaza strip was being blurred from being recognisably ‘occupied’ to only being ‘disputed’ as well as Ben-Ami stating ‘there is nothing in the letter of the Oslo accords that prevents the creation of settlements’ . Israel capitalised upon this ambiguity through its settlement expansion programme, to them, a provision merely implied could not be relied upon, especially as there were no provisions for a complete Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories, even as a final status issue. To the Palestinians this was ‘indicative of Israel’s inability to take a decision that would recognize these as Palestinian territories’ , even if the Israelis claimed this was a matter of interpreting the terms as only applying to the legal status of the occupied territories rather than to the demographic and geographic status-quo. Though the Accords enumerate a number of contentious issues to be deferred to a later date, with even reference being made to UN Security Council Resolution 242 (the withdrawal of territories) the Israelis profited from the openness of the terms so as to ‘exploit their powers as occupiers to the hilt’ so that by the time final status negotiations discussing Palestinian statehood
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