News Release

Oslo at 30: How it Undermined International Law and Perpetuated Occupation


Thirty years ago this week, on September 13, 1993, amid much hype, the Clinton administration and major media depicted the Oslo agreement between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization as a beneficial solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Sourani is executive director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights in Gaza, which, among other things, produces a weekly update on Israeli human rights violations. Sourani is a recipient of the Right Livelihood Award.

He said today: “Oslo accords did not mention one word about end of Israeli belligerent occupation, Geneva Conventions, international law, international humanitarian law, self-determination or independence of a Palestinian state.

“That is why we opposed the Oslo accords, and why we never ever believed it would lead to peace.

“After 30 years, we have Gaza separated from the West Bank, Gaza and the West Bank separated from Jerusalem, ethnic cleaning for Palestinians and judaization of Jerusalem, willful killings, land confiscation, house demolition, criminal illegal blockade on Gaza, war crime and crimes against humanity, collective punishment and the civilians in the eye of the storm.”

He added that Israel is succeeding in minimizing discussion of Palestine, with virtually “nobody talking any more about end of occupation, self determination, Palestinian state.” There have been a series of steps “normalizing” relations between Morocco, Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries brokered by successive U.S. administrations.

Sourani said: “Israel is implementing a new brand of apartheid and that is due to world double standards, politicization and selective application of international law as well as the deep mentality of colonialism and racism in the West.”

Despite it all, he added, “we will never ever give up, we know we are on the right side of history, we know we are defenders of what is just, fair and right. This causes us to keep our strategic optimism.”