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Palestinian liberation groups call for escalation of boycott on anniversary of Oslo Accords

PALESTINIAN liberation organisations warned against the further normalisation of relations with Israel today and called for an escalation of the resistance on the 27th anniversary of the 1993 Oslo accords.

The peace deal, sealed with the now famous handshake between Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) leader Yasser Arafat on the White House lawn, was cautiously welcomed by many at the time.

Billed as a promise of peace and hope for the Palestinian people, it has since been criticised as a failure that led to the intensification of Israeli colonisation and the suppression of the liberation struggle.

Critics have argued that the establishment of the Palestinian Authority muted the resistance to Israeli occupation as it remained subjected to US, European and Israeli demands and influence.

Under the agreement, the economy was effectively controlled by Israel, tethered to its market and with heavy restrictions placed on independent economic development.

The Protocol on Economic Relations put Israel in charge of collecting import taxes on goods bound for the occupied territories.Tel Aviv had previously withheld that income from the Palestinian Authority as a sanction.

Former US president Bill Clinton passed an executive order in January 1995 listing all Palestinian and Lebanese resistance organisations that had rejected the Oslo Accords as “terrorists” who threaten to disrupt the Middle East peace process. This paved the way for the adoption of similar legislation in Britain, Canada the US and elsewhere, effectively criminalising Palestinian opposition.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) said in a statement: “The entire project of Oslo was always intended to intensify the repression, division and fragmentation of the Palestinian people while imposing a Palestinian ‘security’ framework over the Palestinian people struggling for their rights, for return and liberation.”

The PLO voted in January 2018 to withdraw from the Oslo Accords until Israel recognises a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 borders and East Jerusalem as its capital. It also vowed to “break away from the relationship of economic dependence established by the Paris economic agreement, to achieve the independence of the national economy.”

Early this year Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ended all security relations with Israel and the US as relations deteriorated further as a result of US President Donald Trump’s so-called “Deal of the Century,” a peace plan that allows the annexation of whole swathes of the occupied West Bank.

The PFLP called for the scrapping of the deal, warning that “the fight to bring a decisive end to the path of Oslo is perhaps more critical than ever.”

“Everywhere around the world it is critical to escalate the boycott campaign against Israeli products, cultural institutions, academic institutions and complicit corporations and fight back against the recognition and normalisation of a racist settler-colonial project in occupied Palestine,” a PFLP statement said. 

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