Charles Abelsohn
Charles Abelsohn

The EU: Unconditional Support for Palestinian Breaches of Oslo II

The Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip September 28, 1995 (hereinafter: Oslo II) seeks to implement the Oslo I Agreement of September 13, 1993. It defines the security, electoral, public administration, PLO`s obligations and economic arrangements during the interim period of five years from the date of the Agreement on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area of May 4, 1994 until permanent settlement in accordance with Security Council Resolution 242 and 338.

The relationship between Israel and the Palestinians is intended to be conducted in accordance with Oslo II. The main critic of Israel today is undoubtedly the European Union (EU), a witness to Oslo II. Yet there are almost no obligations in Oslo II that have not been breached by the Palestinians, there is no Palestinian breach that has not been overlooked by the EU, there is no unilateral Palestinian action in breach of Oslo II which was not given unconditional EU support and there are no limits to Palestinian “rights” invented by the EU, unbelievably, a witness to Oslo II. Accordingly, the EU has no further role to play.

Article XXXI (9): “The PLO undertakes that, within two months of the date of the inauguration of the Council, the Palestinian National Council will convene and formally approve the necessary changes in regard to the Palestinian Covenant, as undertaken in the letters signed by the Chairman of the PLO and addressed to the Prime Minister of Israel, dated September 9, 1993 and May 4, 1994.”

25 years later, Arafat`s letter has not yet been ratified nor its charter amended. The effect is that the official policy of the Palestinians remains a Palestinian state in place of Israel, not a two-state solution. The EU has never requested Palestinian compliance. Silence means EU`s consent.

Article IX (5)(a): “The Council will not have powers and responsibilities in the sphere of foreign relations, which sphere includes the establishment abroad of embassies, consulates or other types of foreign missions and posts or permitting their establishment in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip, the appointment of or admission of diplomatic and consular staff, and the exercise of diplomatic functions.”

The Palestinians have relations with about 140 states, including about 20 embassies in EU countries, and there are about 20 EU countries with embassies in Palestine, both unilateral breaches of Oslo II.  The Palestinians have even appointed an ambassador to the EU, with an EU representative in Palestine. The EU is a full partner to this wholesale unilateral Palestinian contravention of Oslo II to which it is a witness.

Article XVII(1)(a): “Issues that will be negotiated in the permanent status negotiations: Jerusalem, settlements, specified military locations, Palestinian refugees, borders, foreign relations and Israelis”.

Well. The EU has unilaterally invented and settled the Palestinians rights to “Eastern” Jerusalem and “67 borders” (neither of which are even mentioned above), unilaterally decided on behalf of the Palestinians that Settlements are “illegal” even though the very fact that Settlements were to be discussed presupposes their complete legality. Foreign relations as an issue to be negotiated has been dealt with above; its repetition indicates the severity of the Palestinian breach. By imposing its own parameters on Israel, not only has the EU supported final resolution to issues which were to be negotiated between the Palestinians and Israel but also and worse the EU has also effectively granted the Palestinians veto power on the above issues. The Palestinians cannot settle for less than the EU requirements thus ending all possibility of a negotiated settlement. There is clearly no need for or possibility of further negotiations, which leaves Israel free to act as it so chooses.

Article XVII(2)(a): “The territorial jurisdiction of the Council shall encompass Gaza Strip territory, except for the Settlements and the Military Installation Area shown on map No 2, and West Bank territory, except for Area C which, except for the issues that will be negotiated in the permanent status negotiations, will be gradually transferred to Palestinian jurisdiction”

Territorial jurisdiction for Area C remains with Israel, agreed to and witnessed by the EU. Area C is therefore not Palestinian territory and cannot be the name used by the EU: “Occupied Palestinian Territory”, unless Israel is occupying itself! Not Tibet, not Northern Cyprus, not Crimea and not the Western Sahara are blessed with the prefix “occupied” by the EU. Only Israel, lawfully exercising territorial jurisdiction as set out in Oslo II, witnessed by the EU, is deemed to be “Occupying”. EU please note: Israel remains in Area C by right. There is a word for such double standards. (Areas A and B are also not Occupied Palestinian Territories but for different reasons).

Article XV(1): “Both sides shall take all measures necessary in order to prevent acts of terrorism, crime and hostilities directed against each other, against individuals falling under the other’s authority and against their property and shall take legal measures against offenders.”

The Palestinians have ignored and breached this provision of Oslo II continuously since 1995. In Judea and Samaria alone, in 2019, 2018 and 2017 there were 34, 55 and 82 respectively significant terrorist attacks with 5, 12 and 18 respectively Israelis being killed. In addition, Israel thwarted 560 significant violent attacks in 2019 alone. From Gaza, 1,403, 1,119 and 29 rockets and mortars were fired in 2019, 2018 and 2017 respectively. The EU, with their High Commissioners always attacking Israel, has said nothing and done nothing to prevent, or even criticize, these attacks. Again, silence means consent. Worse, through the EU`s substantial but unsupervised financial support of the Palestinians, the Palestinians have the funds to finance their “pay for slay” policy. The only time the EU voice is heard is when criticizing Israel for exercising its legitimate right to self-defence.

There are many other provisions which have been breached by the Palestinians such as incitement, education and not joining international organizations. EU countries did nothing to prevent the Palestinians signing the Rome Statute, another unilateral breach. The ICC is largely financed by EU countries.

Oslo II clearly contemplates that areas of Area C will remain with Israel. In view of the Palestinian breaches of most of the provisions of Oslo II, including but not limited to unilaterally joining international organizations, unilaterally claiming sovereignty as a State, its almost daily attacks of terrorism and hostility, its failure to ratify Arafat`s letter, all tacitly agreed to by the EU`s silence, as well as the EU`s settling the Jerusalem and border issues on behalf of, and in favour of, the Palestinians, there is now nothing legally to prevent Israel unilaterally implementing the intent of Oslo II and applying Israeli law to all or part of Area C in its discretion. On the contrary, far from contravening “international law”, Israel is acting lawfully in terms of Oslo II, unlike the Palestinians and their EU partner who have breached most provisions of Oslo II,

Through its unconditional support for the Palestinians despite their  breaches of Oslo II provisions, the EU`s demands for parameters relating to Jerusalem and borders which were never included in Oslo II and its silence on Palestinian incitement, education and terrorism, the EU no longer has any role to play nor does the EU have any right to comment or criticize should Israel implement new and different arrangements as proposed by the USA to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict .

About the Author
Charles Abelsohn, a co-founder of Truth be Told, retired several years ago as the legal manager of one of the most well–known entities in Israel. He is a graduate of three universities (Cape Town, Stellenbosch and U. of South Africa) in South Africa in Law, Transportation Economics and Finance. His interests, even as a young student, were Judaism, Israel, Economics and Finance.
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