Saturday, 20 September 2014
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The misery of Palestinian unity

Contrary to some optimistic expectations about positive internal political changes stemming from the recent Israeli war on Gaza, intra-Palestinian division continues to define and fragment the Palestinian political spectrum.

Israel tortures Gazans, targets Palestinian rights defenders

As part of its systematic detention policy against Palestinians since June, Israel is also torturing...

Expulsion order for PLC member Khalida Jarrar expires

Victory - the Israeli military deportation order expelling PLC member Khalida Jarrar from Ramallah t...

32 Palestinians arrested overnight, including 13 children

32 Palestinians were arrested overnight in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, of whom 13 are children...

48 new housing units in northern West Bank settlement

A new neighbourhood in the northern West Bank settlement of Har Bracha was inaugurated last Thursday...
aicafe-16-september
Please join us at the AICafe on Tuesday 16 September from 7.30 p.m. for Sabra and Shatila with Basem Sbaih.
act-no-2020-uefa-european-championships-in-jerusalem
Urgent, act now! Tell UEFA to exclude Israel from the bidding to host matches for the UEFA European Football Championship 2020. Hosting decisions will be...

Jerusalem

32 Palestinians arrested overnight, including 13 children...

32 Palestinians were arrested overnight in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, of whom 13 are children.

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32 Palestinians arrested overnight, including 13 children

Hebron

PHOTOS: Protest halts Israeli archaeological dig in Hebron...

Activists succeeded in temporarily halting Israel's archeological dig in Hebron's Tel Rumeida. As in other occupied Palestinian territory, such as Eas...

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PHOTOS: Protest halts Israeli archaeological dig in Hebron

Opinions

Live now as we think humans should live...

People ask me about politics and claim it is too complex. I say it is simple and predictable.

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Live now as we think humans should live

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Oslo meets protests on anniversary

Created on 18 September 2012

Signed 19 years ago on 13 September 1993, the Oslo Accord is increasingly viewed as a botched attempt at Palestinian independence and a perpetuation and intensification of Israel’s colonial project in Palestine. 

  5.9_deheishe_demo35.9_deheishe_demo3

Protest in the West Bank's Dheisheh refugee camp. The sign reads 'milk and eggs, gas and benzene; it's all expensive, how will our children eat?' (Photo: Thayer Hastings, AIC)


The Oslo agreement, or its official name the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, subcontracted some responsibility for the occupation to the Palestinian Authority while consolidating Israeli control over resources such as land, water and economic policy. Journalist Amira Hass reported that in 2010 Israeli domination cost the Palestinian economy about $6.8 billion. 

 

In the 2000s, the temporary conditions established by Oslo became increasingly obvious as a perpetuation of the status quo, which furthered Palestinian isolation, dispossession and fragmentation while reinforcing Israeli land and resource appropriation. Furthermore, Oslo provided political cover for inhumane projects such as Israel’s ‘Security’ Wall, ruled illegal in a landmark 2004 International Court of Justice advisory opinion.

 

Evolving popular protests

While demonstrations against an Islamophobic US-made film spread around the world, in Palestine the focus of protest has remained on local economics.

 

Over the past two weeks residents of West Bank cities such as Ramallah, Hebron, Nablus, Jenin, Jericho and Bethlehem continued demonstrating against high prices of petrol, bread and electricity; the Paris Protocol, the economic appendix to the Oslo Accord, has become a main target of blame for the high cost of living in the West Bank. Demonstrators also called for the resignation of autocratic Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and Fatah-backed President Mahmoud Abbas, who facilitate Israel’s multi-faceted control of the West Bank.

 

In response to increased protests, Fayyad declared an emergency economic package including reduced taxes, prices and partial payment of civil servants’ salaries effective Wednesday. The economic easing was financed by a payment of $66 million from the Israeli government to the PA. However, Ma’an News Agency reported that Israel withheld $9 million of the payment.

 

The Paris Protocol ratified Israeli control of imports, exports, taxes and prices in the occupied Palestinian territory. Last week’s $66 million payment was half of the installment  ‘returned’ to the PA each month from taxes Israel collects on the Authority’s behalf. $9 million was withheld because of an unpaid bill to the Israeli electric company, a standard practice in Israeli-PA relations.  

 

Even after Prime Minister Fayyad committed to steps for limited economic alleviation on Wednesday, protesters’ placards still read: “Down with the Paris Protocol and her mother…Oslo.”

 

Employees of the public sector in the West Bank will strike on Tuesday 18 September in protest of PA economic polices. Additionally, many West Bank schools will strike for half a day on Tuesday.