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HomeGeopolitical CompassThe LevantWhat It Means To End Israeli-Palestinian Agreements: Legal And Political Consequences

What It Means To End Israeli-Palestinian Agreements: Legal And Political Consequences

Authors: Ihsan Adel and Bashar Sallout

Affiliation: Visto International, Romania

Organization/Publisher : Vision for Political Development

Date/Place: July 2, 2020/ Romania

Type of Literature: Policy Analysis

Word Count: 3031 


Keywords: International Law, Israel-Palestine Conflict, PLO, Treaty Law, ICC, PA



The authors of this article, both international law specialists, present a legal brief on the current state of Palestine under international law and the legal options available to the Palestinian Authority, in the case that the PA decides to move forward in terminating the Oslo Accords and their surrounding agreements with the State of Israel. They argue that there are three possible scenarios depending on how serious the PA leadership is in actually moving forward with the decision announced on May 12th, 2020 to terminate Oslo. The most compelling scenario is that the Palestinian side terminates the agreements based on breach of contract and absolves itself of any obligations previously under the agreement. While the PA might dissolve, the PLO can legally remain a representative body of the Palestinian people in order to advocate for the rights of the Palestinians as a people under occupation. The main legal ramification of withdrawal from Oslo will be that the case of Palestine will move under the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction subject to the Geneva Convention rules that stipulate the rights and responsibilities of an occupying power. Once Israel is legally and fully recognized as an occupying power, the ICC can prosecute any crimes which deprive Palestinians of basic rights under the Geneva Convention, including but not limited to preventing Israel from building settlements on occupied territory. The authors argue that for this to be effective, the Palestinian people must not fully dissolve all legal bodies but rather calibrate the future role of the PA, PLO and other stakeholders to maximize pressure on Israel. The people of Palestine must be represented by one elected body which will manage the interests of the then occupied state of Palestine at the international level as a state under occupation. Once the Palestinians can come under a single leadership, the strategy will be to pressure Israel to resume all responsibilities of an occupying power including healthcare, education, security and economy. While this may be a terrifying prospect for Israel in the short-term, it is unclear what impact this may have on the long term goal of establishing a free Palestinian state.


By: M. Üveys Han, Senior Research Associate




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