Sun May 5, 2013 10:29AM
It’s the nineteenth anniversary of the Paris Protocol that was signed by Palestinians and Israelis on May the fourth. They had already signed two more agreements known as the Oslo Accords nearly 20 years ago. Now, some analysts say none of the deals have benefited the Palestinians; instead they’ve given Israel control over the occupied territories.
On May 4, 1994, the Palestinians and Israelis signed the Protocol on Economic Relations, also known as the Paris Protocol. A year earlier, they signed another agreement called the Oslo I Accord which was followed by the Oslo II in 1995. The Paris Protocol governed economic relations between Israelis and Palestinians. The Oslo Accords called for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from parts of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The accords however left many issues unresolved, including Palestinian refugees, Israeli settlements and security. Now, many Palestinian analysts believe that it was a mistake to sign the Paris and Oslo deals. They argue that the agreements have not benefited the Palestinians nearly two decades after they were signed. Qasem also explained that the first Oslo agreement gave Israel full security access of the entire West Bank, which has allowed them to enter all Palestinian cities on the pretext of security. The secretary general of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, Amin Maqboul says although Israel has benefitted from the Oslo agreement and the Paris Protocol, they continue to violate the agreements. Last year demonstrations were held throughout the West Bank in protest against the Paris Protocol, following Israel’s refusal to hand over owed tax money to the Palestinian Authority. According to the Paris Protocol, Israel collects all taxes on behalf of the Palestinians and pays it to the Palestinian Authority. However, following Palestine gaining a seat at the UN General Assembly last year, Israel has threatened to withdraw all taxes from the Palestinian Authority. “Some Palestinian analysts argue that the signing of the Oslo agreements has ensured that Israel has taken control of the West Bank and the Paris protocol has put an economic and political stranglehold over Palestine.