CMEP Bulletin: Will Abbas end the Oslo Accords?

CMEP Bulletin: Will Abbas end the Oslo Accords?

As the international community prepares for the September 15th opening of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session, there are reports that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will announce to the UNGA that the Palestinians are no longer bound by the Oslo Accords.

This past Sunday Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee member Ahmad Majdalani told Ma’an, “The Palestinian leadership has decided to terminate the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip known as the Oslo Accords II, which was signed in Taba on September 28, 1995.” According to Majdalani this decision was drafted at a Palestinian National Council (PNC) preparatory committee and was likely to be approved during the PNC meeting scheduled for September 14-15. A day later it was reported that the PLO had decided to postpone the PNC meeting. No new meeting date has been reported.

Palestinian UNGA Flag Resolution

While it remains unclear whether the PNC will have time to approve a decision regarding the Oslo Accords, a draft UNGA resolution allowing the Palestinians, a UN non-member observer state, to raise their flag alongside UN member states is expected to pass this week. The Palestinian representative to the UN Riyad Mansour called the draft “a symbolic thing, but another step to solidify the pillars of the state of Palestine in the international arena.” If adopted, the resolution would be implemented in time for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ UNGA speech.

Both the United States and Israel oppose the flag resolution. The Vatican, the other UN non-member observer state, has said that if the resolution passes it will not raise its flag before Pope Francis’ UN address on September 25th.

Duma Arson Update

On Sunday Riham Dawabsheh became the third member of her family to die from injuries sustained during the July 31st arson attack on her home in the Palestinian village of Duma (see CMEP Bulletin 8/7). Her four year old son Ahmed, now the only survivor, remains in serious condition.

Two days later a senior IDF officer told reporters, “There is no doubt in the defense establishment about the fact that the perpetrators of the attack were Jews. This was an act of Jewish terrorism, and that’s unambiguous.” While prominent Israeli leaders from across the political spectrum have condemned the attack and the Israeli police have asked for help finding the individuals responsible, no one has been formally charged in connection with the July 31st attack.

Click here to read this week’s full Churches for Middle East Peace bulletin.