Fresh tensions in Israeli-Palestinian ties

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the most protracted dispute vexing the United Nations since its inception, has been compounded by new strife

October 03, 2015 11:47 pm | Updated December 04, 2021 11:02 pm IST

What has caused strain in relations?

Tensions have been running high in Jerusalem since Israel on September 9 banned two Muslim groups which confront Jewish visitors to the al-Aqsa mosque compound.

The compound - known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif - is the holiest site in Judaism, and contains the al-Aqsa Mosque - the third holiest site in Islam.

Ever since the groups were banned, Palestinians and Israeli security officials clashed each other several times in Jerusalem.

On October 1, a settle couple in West Bank were shot dead. Israel said "Palestinian terrorists" were behind the murder.

On October 2, Israel’s military deployed hundreds of troops in the West Bank

Diplomatic row

On September 30, Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas declared at the UN that his people can no longer be bound by mutual agreements with Israel.

He was talking about the Oslo peace accords, which Abbas’ predecessor, Yasser Arafat, signed in 1993 and 1995 with Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli leader.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned Abbas' speech, claiming it "was deceitful and encourages incitement and lawlessness in the Middle East".

What are the Oslo Accords?

The accords created the Palestinian Authority as a provisional government, and laid out a five-year timetable for resolving all areas of conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis

They divided the West Bank into three sections:

Area A: The major cities where Palestinians were to have full control

Area B: Where Israel would be in charge of security while Palestinians handled civilian matters

Area C: Areas to be under full Israeli control

Why are they the cornerstone of ties?

The accords included the first formal mutual recognition between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, and specified that bilateral negotiations were the only viable path to Palestinian statehood.

What else comes under the umbrella of “Oslo”?

The Paris Protocol, signed in 1994, which created a customs union, under which Israel collects taxes and customs duties on the Palestinians’ behalf. It also laid out arrangements for imports and exports from the West Bank and Gaza.

What has come of the peace process?

The process has been essentially in stalemate for years. The most recent talks, brokered by Secretary of State John Kerry, lasted nine months and collapsed in April 2014. In his UN speech, Abbas accused Israel of having systematically violated these pacts, which Israel denies.

Will Abbas’ declaration have any tangible effect?

Unclear, as Abbas did not announce if he would dissolve the Palestinian Authority or take any specific steps to curtail the authority’s security, economic or civil coordination with Israel.

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