Oslo Accords

From the First Intifada to the Oslo Accords

The most striking result of the Intifada was not evident in Israel, but at PLO command level. Realising the importance of the civic struggle and its implications, the PLO had changed its focus, and in Late 1988, a year into the Intifada, had declared support for the partition of Palestine into two states, a Jewish state and an Arab state, thereby recognizing Israel. This support of the PLO of the ‘two-state solution’, proposed in 1947 at the UN General Council, was not shared by HAMAS, though. Its leader, Sheikh Yassin, asked about his reaction to the PLO declaration, said: “I support and I oppose. I approve of the establishment of a state, but I refuse to relinquish the remaining territory of my homeland, Palestine. HAMAS… will not negotiate as a substitute for the PLO” [1], thus reinforcing the PLO’s lead position.

The PLO’s radical departure was a humbling admission that the world had indeed changed since 1948, and that its ineffective position in Tunis did not allow it to espouse solutions without support on the ground in Palestine, where people were struggling daily against the occupation, and paying a high price. The move, directed at the Israeli leadership, indicated that a peace agreement, one on their own terms, is possible. Typically, Israel refused to take stock of this move, rejecting it as meaningless; it would do nothing to weaken its control of Palestine.

The people leading the Intifada may not have shared the PLO belief in early negotiations – they had more direct experience of Israeli intransigence; they have realised early on that this popular struggle will be long and demanding, needing a new mode of organisation. In the serial UNLU leaflet, printed and distributed across the OPT, this was pointed out:

Let all suitable organizations such as committees and units be formed in every area, on every street, and in every city, village and camp in order to pave the road towards general civil disobedience. Disobedience means boycotting all enemy organs. It means boycotting the enemy economically and not paying taxes [….] The disobedience will be strong blow to the enemy, its economy, and its plunder of our people’s wealth and resources.[2]

The struggle was no longer depending on few, far away fighters of the PLO; the forces of the Intifada were huge – the Palestinian people – with the whole country its theatre of action, the international media acting as a focusing lens, amplifying the effect. The enemy, no longer limited to the IDF, with its customary brutality and superior weapons, being instead the racialised Zionism, its history, its ideology, its injustices, its exploitative strategies and its uses of capitalism and colonialism as powerful means of subjugating and breaking down the resistance of Palestinians. The people of Palestine, under illegal and brutal occupation, were now in direct conflict with Zionist occupiers– those directing, managing, financing, justifying and benefitting from the dispossession of Palestine. The leadership understood that one does not fight symptoms, but the root causes. This deep change in the contours of the conflict took two decades to mature, a period which bolstered Israel and its oppressive machinery; ironically, it has also prepared the Palestinian people for the task before them – defeating the project of colonising Palestine. Now the Palestinian people were uniting in their struggle against this repressive apparatus – the racist, exclusivist society of Israel, with its myriad means of persecution and exploitation – from the military and financial to the judicial and cultural, all used in the service of maintaining control of Palestine.

This was the real sea-change in the conflict, eventually understood by the PLO, which, by issuing its declaration, attempted to seize control of the struggle back from UNLU and its local committees – or, put differently, from the people of Palestine. The PLO was deeply wary of being written out of history by the very people it has for so long been fighting for and on behalf of, to the best of its limited ability. As a centralist organization (it could not be otherwise) it was opposed to losing control to the population it distrusted. Hence started a complex, and at times very stressed relationship between the PLO and the Palestinians – one which in many ways is still bedeviling the realities today.

Ever since the mid 1980s, it became clear to the Israeli authorities that some new form of control was needed in the OPT, one which ideally does not involve the IDF in daily contact with Palestinian populations. It was also evident that Palestinian workers, which acted as the Israeli reserve-army-of-labourin cities and towns, will have to be replaced – no longer will Palestinians allowed in Israeli population centres as labourers; the measure was intended to harm them by undermining their livelihood – other workers will have to be procured.

The result was a massive importation of manual workers from all over the globe – from Eastern Europe to Sri Lanka and from Africa to China – hundreds of thousands of workers were lured to Israel after the first Intifada, only to find themselves employed as indentured labour – little more than coolies – passports held by employers, making it impossible for them to change employment, living in decrepit shacks hastily constructed in fields and beside factories, locked in for the night on pain of immediate deportation. Most of this working population came from centres of mass unemployment, their pay even lower than that of the Palestinians they replaced. The problem of employing the Palestinians was thus resolved, but this solution created further problems.

There remained the difficulty of controlling over two million Palestinians, who learnt their real power through the Intifada. This was exacerbated by mild, but insistent international pressure, mainly by the US and the EU, against the continued building of settlements, illegal under international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention. This was when the so-called Two State Solution gained momentum as the favourite resolution of the conflict – an very attenuated version of the Partition Resolution 181. As opposed to forcing Israel back to a Jewish state comprising 55% of the country – it was now thought that returning Israel to the 1967 boundaries, when it had controlled 78% of the country, would be a fitting solution, with the other 22% given over to a mini-state of Palestine, with international security guarantees. The six years of the Intifada with its damaging results have strengthened this consensus. It looked like Palestine would indeed become a small but independent state, at least to those observers who feverishly wished for such a solution, more inclined to ignore facts on the ground.

The PLO change of direction in the 1988 constitution was sign of the times; the beleaguered organisation, strongly swayed by the Intifada, isolated in Tunis without potential for effective resistance, has also suffered from murderous Israeli raids, with many of its top officers assassinated, and with no capacity for retaliation; It was gradually coming around to the view that in order not to disappear altogether as a result of irrelevance, it needed to buy into the new realities, abandoning armed resistance for political and diplomatic action, so as to remain in some control of events in Palestine. This new willingness to end the conflict by negotiation, was shared with their Arab and Western interlocutors; there seemed to be an opening for a negotiated solution of the conflict. Ironically, the success of the unarmed resistance by the whole Palestinian people proved the efficacy of the non-armed approach, even to the guerilla forces in Tunis and Syria. With such green light for talks, western powers were only too ready to apply mild pressure on Israel, in order to move towards a negotiated solution. The change was greatly boosted by the dramatic transformation of world politics in 1989, and the USSR and its appendages evaporating overnight; the victory of western capitalism seemingly all but complete, and Fukuyama’s end of history was celebrated. Soviet opposition to an unjust solution was no longer an issue, thus a real opening for forcing Pax Israeliana was present, not to mention desirable, for the western powers, as they prepared for a ‘New Middle East’, following the New World Order.

The pressure on Israel started in 1989, when on May 22 US Secretary of State James Baker has told AIPAC – the Zionist lobby organisation in North America – that Israel must abandon its expansionist policies, and that the new President, George H W Bush intends to have a different approach from that of Ronald Reagan[3]. Bush was, after all, ex-Director of the CIA, and hence, somewhat more ‘enlightened’ than the previous administration, as the CIA had consistently advised that a more balanced approach to the conflict would be preferable for US regional interests.

This eventually led to the Madrid Peace conference, a short while after the western ‘victory’ in the first Gulf War, in March 1991. Israel was at the time asking the US to support its international loans by US guarantees – a procedure played out many times before. President Bush surprised many, not least the Israeli government led by the right-wing extremist Yitzhak Shamir, by refusing to provide such guarantees unless and until Israel agreed to partake in the Madrid conference. In September 1991 Bush has asked Congress to freeze the guarantees for three months, intensifying the pressure[4]. Within Israel, political pressure was also being exerted on Shamir, so as to force him to join the talks – the Labour Party realized that Israel may impose its solution of choice, backed by the US, being more practical than the doctrinaire Shamir towards the planned talks. The party’s rising star, Yitzhak Rabin, was an early convert to the virtues of such agreement, realizing that the PLO was an empty husk, unable to offer resistance to Israeli control of Palestine. What started as US pressure on the unwilling Shamir, turned into full Israeli project of collaboration with the US in putting pressure on the PLO and its leader, Yasser Arafat, forcing him into an agreement he could not refuse, but also one he did not fully comprehend.

For the PLO, staying in Tunis when the Palestinians were in the streets was not an option. While it was not able to direct the action, it kept in close touch through its component organisations; either the PLO would take part in what transpires in Palestine, or it would disappear as an arm of resistance. The Intifada was led by young activists born in Palestine, shunning armed struggle as a method of resistance. The PLO was under siege, and Rabin and his US partners were perfectly positioned to exploit this.

There were also other reasons for Israel wishing to change the circumstances in the OPT and readjust the control mechanism. The main two reasons were the great fatigue the Intifada has caused the IDF and Israeli society, and the financial cost of keeping tens of thousands of reserve soldiers as well as the large permanent army in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on what was in essence police duty, with little success and international anger growing. If what the US and the European countries were suggesting could be used to resolve both these difficulties, then Israel would be more than ready to return the PLO to Palestine. Israel would, in the person of Shimon Peres and his minions in Oslo, force an agreement leaving it holding all the cards and drastically reducing costs – financial, military and political.

After the rigmarole and fanfare of the Oslo Accords and the US ceremonies were over, with excitement around the world rising as the ‘most intractable conflict’ about to be resolved, the veteran Palestinian academic and activist, Edward Said, world famous for his work on orientalism and cultural imperialism, has been the first to properly examine and analyse the accords from a Palestinian perspective. In a London Review of Books article he proved to be the most far-sighted of all commentators on the Peace Accords, exposing them for what they were: “…first of all let us call the agreement by its real name: an instrument of Palestinian surrender, a Palestinian Versailles. What makes it worse is that for at least the past fifteen years the PLO could have negotiated a better arrangement than this modified Allon Plan, one not requiring so many unilateral concessions to Israel. For reasons best known to the leadership it refused all previous overtures.”[5] Reading Said today is a stirring experience – his insight and clear thinking are astounding, in the face of so much nonsense prevailing, at the time and since. Said refuses to join the choir of those who shun reality, choosing to praise Oslo without confronting it as the disaster it was:

In order to advance towards Palestinian self-determination – which has a meaning only if freedom, sovereignty and equality, rather than perpetual subservience to Israel, are its goal – we need an honest acknowledgment of where we are, now that the interim agreement is about to be negotiated. What is particularly mystifying is how so many Palestinian leaders and their intellectuals can persist in speaking of the agreement as a ‘victory’. Nabil Shaath has called it one of ‘complete parity’ between Israelis and Palestinians. The fact is that Israel has conceded nothing, as former Secretary Of State James Baker said in a TV interview, except, blandly, the existence of ‘the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people’. Or as the Israeli ‘dove’ Amos Oz reportedly put it in the course of a BBC interview, ‘this is the second biggest victory in the history of Zionism.’[6]

Such stark truths are denied by some even today; that Said was clear about them at the time and was considered as a traitor to the Palestinian cause for pointing it out, is indeed tragic. When speaking of the unequal agreement, he also refers to the Palestinian willingness to end the Intifada:

It would therefore seem that the PLO has ended the intifada, which embodied not terrorism or violence but the Palestinian right to resist, even though Israel remains in occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. The primary consideration in the document is for Israel’s security, with none for the Palestinians’ security from Israel’s incursions. In his 13 September press conference Rabin was straightforward about Israel’s continuing control over sovereignty; in addition, he said, Israel would hold the River Jordan, the boundaries with Egypt and Jordan, the sea, the land between Gaza and Jericho, Jerusalem, the settlements and the roads. There is little in the document to suggest that Israel will give up its violence against Palestinians or, as Iraq was required to do after it withdrew from Kuwait, compensate those who have been the victims of its policies over the past 45 years.[7]

Said was also clear about the alternative to Oslo; at the beginning of his book, he tells of a meeting at Columbia University department of Journalism, where he was invited to give his views on the potential for peace. Being badgered continuously by three supporters of Israel, he was then asked what his own proposal for resolution of the conflict would be. He did not hesitate:

When I was asked for an alternative I said that the alternative has been there from the very beginning: end of occupation, removal of settlements, return of East Jerusalem, real self-determination and equality for Palestinians. I had no problem at all with the prospects of real peace and real coexistence and had been speaking about those for twenty years; what I, and most Palestinians opposed was a phony peace and our continued inequality in regard to the Israelis, who are allowed sovereignty, territorial integrity, and self-determination, whereas we are not.[8]

Such a simple formula, based on international law, was never under discussion – at Oslo or later – the power represented by Israel and its allies would not entertain it. We know today that every single prediction by Said had indeed come true, and Arafat, bamboozled by the publicity and spectacle of the Camp David Agreement, the Nobel Peace Prize and his return to Palestine, had closed his eyes to the abomination that was the Oslo Accord, until he could no longer hide from reality, and initiated the September 2000 Intifada, sparked by Sharon’s provocative visit to Al Aqsa. Even unto his death, Arafat and his cronies refused to admit that their real function in Palestine was policing on behalf of Israel; Israel no longer needed to police the OPT, or budget the operation; It was now off the international agenda, free to exponentially increase settlement and continue confiscating Palestinian land. The expense of policing would now be covered mainly by the EU, supporting the inflated Palestinian Authority Security apparatus. Arafat would be free to control ‘his own mosquitoes’, as he revealingly remarked. The Palestine Authority (PA) was not a state, controlled nothing real, and existed mainly as an agency of Israeli security, and a machinery to enrich the cabal around Arafat, through exclusive service contracts in the OPT. This was a small price for Israel to pay, for all the benefits it received.

The Oslo Accords and the agreements which followed were never intended to set up a Palestinian state, nor did they claim to do so. They made the PA the arm guaranteeing settlements’ security. Israel kept the outright right to intervene wherever and whenever it saw fit and did so numerous times ever since. Palestine was practically sold out by the international community, supporting the Zionist project. The Palestinians were now in a worse situation than ever before, with Israel controlling the whole country, and others meeting the great cost of policing. The Palestinian economy has more or less evaporated, with unemployment in Gaza reaching 60%[9], and even freedom of movement within the West Bank did not exist, as hundreds of checkpoints and Jews-only roads crisscrossed the territory, with IDF’s frequent incursions and extrajudicial killings and house demolitions daily events. The four million Palestinians now living in Gaza and the West Bank lack basic human rights, are unable to travel to any part of the world and cannot meet their families or hold a position of employment outside their locality, while students are unable to reach their universities abroad or in Palestine and people needing medical treatments similarly refused[10]. This illegal and terrifying situation, with Israel periodically destroying the infrastructure and lives in Gaza, where two million civilians are trapped in sub-human conditions, continues despite most countries claiming the occupation is illegal – but doing nothing about it – if not actively assisting it. This occupation has now become the longest in the Twentieth and the Twenty-first centuries, and shows no signs of ending; indeed, as more and more land is illegally confiscated, and more settlements are built, Palestinians are squeezed out of land and home, adding to the millions of refugees already living in camps abroad.

In essence, the Nakba – started in 1948, has never ended – its reverberations traveling like constant tremors through the region, torn apart by other developments. As Israel has never been held to account since 1948, there is little incentive for Israelis to even consider a just peace in Palestine, when all the cards are in their grasp.

Edward Said did not hesitate to blame the Palestinian leadership for its betrayal of millions of their own people in the Occupied Territories and beyond. Despite the great disparity of power between Israel’s rulers and Yasser Arafat, he is courageous in openly and clearly presenting Arafat (‘Mr. Chairman-President’ as he calls him) as the collaborator he was:

What I find unforgivable is that in all this he [Arafat] has appealed not to his people’s best instincts, but to their worst […] The various beatings, tortures, closures of newspapers, and summary arrest have induced an atmosphere of fear and indifference: everyone now looks out for himself. At times I find it hard to believe that this is happening to a people who fought stubbornly against the British and the Zionists for so long, but who seem to have given up all hope and all will to resist the extraordinary disasters visited on them by their leadership, which cares not a whit for anything except its own survival.[11]

Said, the passionate fighter for Palestinian democracy, was deeply offended by Arafat and his sycophantic coterie – as far from the people of Palestine as one could get – and this despite (or maybe because) the public respect and devotion towards Arafat on his return to the West Bank. Said correctly delineates the anti-democratic fault-lines in the Palestinian leadership, explaining why such a leadership cannot properly represent the population is claims lead:

What is symptomatic about the Palestinian Authority’s mentality is its total inability to answer criticism, or seriously engage with its critics, whose number is growing as the situation deteriorates. […] Arafat and his advisers have closed themselves to their own people. They have no conception at all either of accountability or democratic and free debate. The worst of all is that in his disastrous policy of capitulating to the Israelis and then signing all sorts of crippling limits on his people into agreements with his occupiers, Arafat has mortgaged the future of his people to their oppressors.[12]

When these lines were written during October 1995, these words were more than prophetic – they were presented as treason by the leadership defines as unable to face criticism, with Said isolated in the Arab world where intellectuals were taken in by the propaganda and hoped for a genuine solution to the conflict resulting from the deeply-flawed Oslo process. Nowhere was this truer than in Egypt, where the population has tired of conflict and war, and the great social cost this had entailed. Said was not an ivory-tower academic, after all; in the late 1970s he presented a plan for a political solution of the conflict authored by the US government to Arafat who rejected it, though 15 years later he would sign to a much worse ‘solution’ in the Oslo Accords:

To take one example of which I have personal knowledge: in the late Seventies, Secretary of State Cyrus Vance asked me to persuade Arafat to accept Resolution 242 with a reservation (accepted by the US) to be added by the PLO which would insist on the national rights of the Palestinian people as well as Palestinian self-determination. Vance said that the US would immediately recognise the PLO and inaugurate negotiations between it and Israel. Arafat categorically turned the offer down, as he did similar offers.[13]

That the First Intifada – a grass-roots uprising which had developed totally innovative and effective modes of civic resistance to brutal occupation – has led to the Arafat regime in Palestine, riding roughshod over all achievements of the uprising, replacing the popular struggle with undemocratic betrayal – that was Said’s most painful conclusion of the situation following the Oslo Accords. In pointing out the betrayal and the dictatorial traits of the Arafat regime, Said was well ahead of the curve, almost alone in so doing. In the years since it became clear that his prognoses were, if anything, not pessimistic enough. The result of Oslo was a great victory for militarised Zionism, and can be clearly seen today:

  • No end to the occupation and control of Palestine by the IDF. Even when evacuating Gaza in 2005, Israel has not relinquished control; if anything, it was now in total control of the lives of two million Palestinians who were living in a massive ghetto, without recourse to any form of international justice, law and order, aid, medicines or food. Over five thousand Palestinian civilians have died in IDF attacks on civilians in the last decade alone.
  • Israel stopped paying for controlling the Palestinian population – it is financed by the EU paying for the PA security services securing the settlements, rather than their own people. The periodic attacks, mainly on Gaza, are financed by special legislation in the US Congress and special Presidential bills passed on such occasions. Thus, Israel has shed the main cost of the occupation.
  • Israel controls the Palestinian economy, environment, resources, communications, borders (though they do not exist) traffic and movement in the OPT, as well as financial transfers, such as the VAT that Palestinians are paying to the Israeli exchequer. Through the imposed Israeli Shekel, Israel has a stranglehold on Palestinian existence; it controls water resources, airways and the radio spectrum, telephone and cellphone spectrum and apparatus, all international exit and entrance points and the hundreds of checkpoints on all roads. By such means Israel is able to stop Palestinian social and economic development, and to force the population into an underdeveloped, disenfranchised state which has now lasted for five decades.
  • Israel controls the PA, through its close relationship with the US and the EU. Palestinian independent move can and is intercepted and annulled through the political and diplomatic power of the western bloc at the UN. This has frozen even the timid attempts to revive the process of conflict-resolution.
  • Israel controls ‘negotiations’ for the ‘final status’ of Palestine through the same means. By refusing to meet, or by subverting any through with subterfuge and delay, it has managed more than twenty-five years of paralysis – no retreat to the Green Line, while increasing the settlements by some 200%, disallowing any building by Palestinians in the areas it controls. This has limited Palestinian ‘control’ to the Gaza Strip and less than 40% of the West Bank, or less than 9% of Palestine. Such ‘control’ is further modified by the fact that IDF extra-judicial killing squads move freely in areas under PA nominal control, not to mention the frequent major incursions into Gaza.
  • Zionist Parliamentarians from all parties, are now able to pass racist, anti-democratic legislation removing even the few rights Palestinian citizens of Israel held. More than 60 laws are limiting this population, annulling cultural, political and educational rights, placing them within the Apartheid structure that other Palestinians have been incarcerated into. This extends racist state control, already total in the OPT, into Israel’s pre-1967 boundaries. In essence, it completed Zionist control over Palestine.

Most of these successes could not even be imagined at the time of the First Intifada, as Israel was reeling from the shock of independent, civic direct action, searching for a way of returning to full control. Arafat, pressurized by the Israel and the western bloc, supplied that crucial mechanism; like in certain martial arts types, the opponent’s energy was used to overpower him.

It is important to point out another result of the Oslo Accords, not less important than ones listed above. The PA has managed to undermine the political grass-roots movement which has brought about the first Intifada – a popular movement with great achievements in local democracy and civic management; by instigating a government of corrupt officials with no recourse or possibility of recall by popular vote; the PA has stripped its captive population of any real hope for democratic change, or just peace in Palestine. By abandonment of the cause of Awda (Palestinian Return) and the refusal to run elections either for the PA and Parliament, or for the Palestine National Congress (PNC) it has managed to decapitate the local leadership which emerged during the Intifada and disable all democratic political forces, perpetuating its illicit rule. It is difficult to foresee a positive change on the horizon, or where such change may emerge from.

The crashing defeat of democratic forces following the uprisings in the Arab world, as well as the smaller tremors in other countries in both Mashreq and Maghreb, have also put an end, at least for now, to any cross-fertilization or collaboration between democratic Arab forces. What has started as a new wave of Pan-Arabic, popular, democratic political energy, has, on the whole, ended up by strengthening totalitarian leaders, with Tunisia being the only partial exception. Such a dramatic failure of the popular will has further damaged Palestine, where the likelihood of an uprising against the PA was already very low; nations under brutal occupation can hardly rise against their own dictatorial leaders. Until these contextual elements of Middle Eastern politics radically change it is difficult to see potential for transformation in the Palestine situation, or a serious move to long-term, just resolution.

With the arrival of President Trump to the White House, it has become even more difficult to anticipate positive changes. While President Putin, an ally of Trump during the election campaign, has found it necessary to state his support for a Palestinian state while speaking to a summit of the Arab League in Cairo in March 2015[14], Trump has nailed his colours to the Zionist mast; his own racism and hostility towards Muslims wins over his ally’s sentiments, if indeed there any such sentiments left at the high echelons of Russian diplomacy, as there was no real follow-up to Putin’s announcement, or any other signs of policy change in that direction. Indeed, Despite the claims by Trump wishing an end to conflict and wars, the first two years of his Presidency point to the great dangers he has introduced into world politics. The refusal of his envoy to the Middle East, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, to put any real pressure on Israel to return to the peace track or end settlement building[15], is evidence enough of the direction the US may take in the next few years.

The latest moves, in May 2018, of the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem[16], and the recent ratification of Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, were the clearest sign that Trump does not even mean to pretend to be balanced or even handed. He moved the embassy because his ‘friend’, Netanyahu, asked him, and because he could; that such moves flew in the face of US policy and in international law, seems to spur him into action. While Obama was visibly troubled as he supported Israeli infractions, Trump is visibly elated supporting another regime which operated in a way similar to his own, one he may have been inspired by.


[1] See Seddon, (ed) (2004), p. 80

[2] Ibid, p. 88, quoted from UNLU Leaflet no. 6

[3] Michael Oren, Power, Faith and Fantasy: America in the Middle East – 1776 to the Present, W W Norton, New York, 2011, p. 569

[4] Scott Lasensky, “Underwriting Peace in the Middle East: U.S. Foreign policy and the Limits of Economic Inducements”, Middle East Review of International Affairs, (2002) Vol. 6, No. 1, March 2002

[5] Edward Said, “The Morning After”, London Review of Books, October 21, 1993, http://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/edward-said/the-morning-after, accessed October 2, 2016.

[6] Ibid

[7] Ibid

[8] Edward Said, End of the Peace Process: Oslo and After, Vintage Books, New York, 2000, [2001], p. 5

[9] Ibid

[10] Jack Khoury, “Gaza Cancer Patients: Israel’s Refusal to Let Us in for Treatment Is a ‘Death Sentence’” Haaretz, Jan 7, 2017, http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.763355, accessed June 29, 2017

[11] Said, (2000, 2001), p. 18

[12] Ibid, p. 19

[13] Said, (1993)

[14] See Adam Whitnall, “Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state”, The Independent, March 29, 2015, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/vladimir-putin-says-russia-will-fight-for-the-right-of-palestinians-to-their-own-state-10141902.html, accessed on October, 6, 2016

[15] Zvi Barel, “Kushner Reportedly Told Abbas: Stopping Settlement Construction Impossible, It Would Topple Netanyahu”, Haaretz, August 26, 2017, http://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/palestinians/1.809057, accessed August 30, 2017

[16] Barbara Plett-Usher, “Jerusalem embassy: Why Trump’s move was not about peace”,BBC News, May 15, 2018, https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-44120428, accessed Feb 2, 2019