Palestinians’ Lost Hopes On The 30th Anniversary Of The Oslo Accords

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A decade has passed since the collapse of peace talks, and the Palestinian Authority finds itself grappling with a myriad of challenges and diminishing legitimacy. Despite the bustling facade of Ramallah, underlying issues cast a shadow over the initial optimism that followed the Oslo Accords signed in 1993.

Fading Optimism and Deepening Pessimism

Initially, the Oslo Accords garnered support among Palestinians, with public opinion polls indicating a favorable outlook. However, over time, this optimism waned, giving way to deep-seated pessimism. Khalil Shikaki, an experienced Palestinian opinion poll expert, notes that a prevailing perception today is that the Palestinian leadership made a significant mistake three decades ago. The two-state solution, once seen as viable, is now viewed with skepticism, leaving many disheartened.

The Ongoing Struggle for Palestinian Statehood

Despite the initial promise of the Oslo Accords, the dream of replacing the Palestinian Authority with an elected government and establishing a state in the West Bank and Gaza, with East Jerusalem as its capital, remains distant. The daily reality for Palestinians is marked by an overwhelming military occupation, Israeli checkpoints, soldiers, and the expansion of Jewish settlements, now numbering over 700,000—contrary to international law. The current Israeli government is one of the most hardline in its history, advocating annexation of the West Bank.

Internal Criticisms and the Search for Solutions

Criticism of the Palestinian Authority is growing, with widespread dissatisfaction over perceived corruption, authoritarianism, and collaboration with Israeli forces. High salaries for senior officials and privileged access to VIP passes have fueled resentment. Polls show that 60% of Palestinians view the Palestinian Authority as a burden. There is even a sentiment among some that its collapse might serve the national interest. As the situation remains complex, efforts are ongoing to find a path forward and preserve the possibility of a two-state solution. Sabri Saidam, Deputy Secretary General of the Fatah Central Committee, emphasizes the importance of strengthening the Palestinian Authority to consolidate Palestinian identity and aspirations.

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