RAMALLAH, August 6, 2018 - Nearly 25 years ago today, Palestinian and Israeli negotiators were on the verge of announcing a secret pact that would forever change the political landscape.
The Oslo accords, shepherded by Norway and upending official talks, brought the PLO back from exile to the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip and offered Palestinians limited sovereignty.
But today most Palestinians oppose the agreement, and many think the agreement ran counter to Palestinian national interests, finds a new poll by the Jerusalem Media and Communications Centre.
According to the late July survey, 62 percent of Palestinians oppose the Oslo agreements, up from 48 percent in 2013. A remarkable 46% stated that the accords had actually harmed Palestinian national interest.
These views mirror increasing opposition to the two-state solution, upon which the agreements were based.
The Declaration of Principles were initialed in Norway on August 20, 2013 by negotiators Ahmed Qrei Uri Savir, and then signed officially in Washington on September 13, 2013 by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, with the sponsorship of U.S. President Bill Clinton.
The two decades that followed produced additional signed agreements, but Palestinians soon realized that the issues that most deeply impacted their daily lives - the status of millions of refugees, access to Jerusalem, delineation of borders and what would happen to Israeli settlements - were being postponed.
The deal inspired Hamas and its supporters, and initiated a period of deadly bombings in Israeli cities. In 1995, Rabin himself was assassinated by a radical Israeli opponent of the agreement, marking the increasing right-wing slide of Israeli politics.
Palestinians, too, were often critical of the deal, but rarely has opposition gained such ground as today.
In July, Israel's parliament passed a new Basic Law that rejects the right of self-determination for any other group except for Jews in the land of Israel, in one more sign that the land for peace initiative is in deep decline.