The illusive peace: the legacy of Oslo 20 years on
In 1993, the Oslo accords launched a transitional process that was supposed to end in May 1999 with a Palestinian state in all of the West Bank, including Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. Twenty years on, this transitional period has become a permanent fixture on Palestine's political landscape. All that remains for the proposed Palestinian state is 42 per cent of the West Bank, and even that is fast diminishing due to Israeli settlement expansion.
Over the past two decades, Palestinians have sat around the 'negotiating table' on countless occasions with successive Israeli governments for the stated purpose of resolving the conflict. They claim that the persistent failure of the Peace Process was the result of Palestinian intransigence and that Israel had no reliable 'partner for peace'. However, an independently authenticated cache of confidential documents, records, contemporaneous notes and transcripts of private meetings between the two sides leaked to the Al-Jazeera Transparency Unit (AJTU) in 2011 revealed a very different picture.