Oslo – Bloody Oslo – is like swearing in Palestine. Palestinians associate Oslo with the agreement, that was negotiated in 1993 and the concretization of it in the Interim agreement – Oslo II – in September 1995.
Divided the West Bank and Gaza
These agreements divided the occupied West Bank and Gaza in three categories, A, B and C. A should have been under the administration of the Palestinian Authority, B should have had shared administration and C should have been under Israeli administration. In May 1999, the Palestinian Authority was supposed to take control over all the territory occupied in 1967 and its borders to build a Palestinian state. Twenty years after, Israeli elections have kept in power the very person – Benyamin Netayahu – that on election day promised there will never be any Palestinian state, as is the plan for all the zionist parties.
Oslo Agreement a disaster
Many Palestinians look at the Oslo Agreement as the 3rd Naqba, the arabic word for ‘disaster’. The first was the ethnic cleansing and expulsion of Palestinians using extensive terror, mass murder and the obliteration of villages in 1947-1948, the second the 6-Day War in 1967. Israel has never cared about agreements and resolutions of international bodies, neither did it care about the Oslo Accords. The agreement has been used by all governments since 1993 to hide an extensive colonization drive with almost 750,000 settlers being encouraged to move especially to the C areas, which comprise some 62% of the West Bank and Gaza. All the colonies (or settlements) are illegal according to international law.
No agreement – only occupation
Today, the only way one may talk about the Oslo accord is in the context of history. There is no longer an agreement with the Israeli government about administration of the majority of the West Bank. That agreement expired in May 1999. There are now only occupation and illegal annexation of Palestinian land. This annexation of Palestinian land strategically carves up three isolated bantustans in the West Bank, in addition to the Gaza ghetto, as the locations the Palestinian people are supposed to be reduced to.
Dividing the West Bank
The annexation of land and settlement expansion east of Jerusalem, the so-called E1 block that reaches until the military zones proclaimed by the occupation authorities along the Dead Sea will cut off the southern part of the West Bank from the center-north. The Bedouin communities to be expelled from their lands are currently resisting this ongoing expulsion drive Gate to Jeruslame
. There is another settlement drive in the Salfit area, which is to cut off the northern West Bank from the center. Just south of Nablus, the Ariel Finger already reaches deep into the West Bank from the west and it needs little to connect it from the east with the military zones in the Jordan Valley.
Occupants in majority
Local Palestinian authorities state that there are now 63,000 Palestinians and 75,000 Israeli settlers in Salfit district. Colonies grow up like mushrooms and there are now 19 Palestinian villages and 25 Israeli colonies. All around the villages are new Israeli colonies and military bases under construction. The large illegal Israeli colony Ariel is encroaching directly on the town of Salfit. It has its own industrial sites, a university, good infrastructure and its own new roads reserved for Israelis with yellow license plates, which connect between the colonies and into ‘1948 Palestine’ (Israel). A new ‘suburban train’ to the colonies is in the planning as well. Ariel will be the core and ‘capital’ in the united colony bloc stretching all the way to to the Jordanian border. This is a key step in the Israeli conquest of all of Palestine.
It is a strategically place to be
Salfït is important strategically as well for other reasons: in the area there are some of the largest water resources in Palestine. Beyond water, Israel has found oil and gas not only in the Mediterranean Sea, but as well in the West Bank. One of the reserves are located in the lands of Rantis village, another in Qalqilia, both at the southern and northern edges of the Ariel Finger settlement block. As gas and oil have been the main driving force for most imperialist wars over the past decades, the fact that Israel would ensure the Wall and the settlements will confiscate these areas to be able to access these resources seems anything but surprising.
Still ´Bloody Oslo`
Even though the Oslo process is long since dead and the Israeli government has literally buried the two-state solution beneath the Wall and the settlements, a solution they never have considered in their plan to build Eretz Israel, there is still reason to say ‘Bloody Oslo’.
Norway is funding Israel
The Norwegian government is funding Israel and supplies the state with weapons used against the Palestinians. The Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet showed a picture of a part of a Norwegian M72, shoulder-fired armor-piercing rocket found in Gaza last summer. Norway and Norwegian companies also supply Israel with rocket fuel, ammunition, software and weapon parts. Financially the Norwegian Pension Fund still invests great amounts of money in Israeli state bonds and stocks in Israeli companies. Along with the international solidarity movement there are now plans to launch a campaign against the Norwegian support of weapons and funding, and military cooperation with zionist and apartheid Israel.
Growing popular solidarity
Support of Palestine in Norway is strong among ordinary people but while this has lead to a number of successful divestment campaigns, in particular pushing the Norwegian Pension Fund to divest funds from Israeli companies such as Elbit Systems, Danya Cebus and Africa Israel, unfortunately this has not stopped Norway from financially and militarily supporting Israel.
Support for Palestine in Norway
Among the various ways people in Norway got connected with the Palestinian struggle, there is a surprising reason for the popular support for Palestine in Norway; many Norwegian soldiers have been in the UNIFIL forces in Lebanon. Many left Norway as friends of Israel and most of them returned as friends of Palestine, and their experiences were spread. For most Norwegians who have visited Palestine, the same has happened. In the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) with more than 900 000 members, several of the federations have made decisions to recognize the State of Palestine and to break all ties to the Israeli confederation Histadrut that is a part of the zionist system.
Stop supporting Israel
This latest elections have once again made it clear to all that did not want to see until now that the Oslo Accords and the ‘negotiations-without-pressure’ paradigm proposed by the agreement are unworkable. Norway now is called upon to engage in a new phase of international diplomacy and lead the era of divestment and sanctions – starting from an immediate military embargo on Israel. The strong support among the Norwegian movements and people at large may be the basis on which the government may take this step.