Over 1,500 Israelis have been killed in countless terror attacks by PA Arab terrorists since the signing of the Oslo Accords, but on the 20th anniversary of the signing of the accords between Yitzchak Rabin and Yasser Arafat, President Shimon Peres declared them a great success and the right thing for Israel.
In an interview on Army Radio, Peres praised the accords as “the right decision,” one which led to a “great revolution.”
Because of Oslo, said Peres, Israel is facing an Arab world in disarray, and has a true negotiating partner in Mahmoud Abbas. Without Oslo, Israel would likely have face more major wars in the last 20 years.
Since 1993, Israel has undertaken two major operations against Arab terrorism in Judea-Samaria and Gaza: Operation Defensive Shield, launched in 2002, to stem an out of control wave of PA terror that killed over 1,000 Israelis during the second intifada, and 2012's Operation Pillar of Defense, Israel's response to the firing of over 10,000 rockets in a period of just a few months against Israel by Gazan Arab terrorists.
Peres spoke with equanimity about the 2005 disengagement, in which over 10,000 Jews were made homeless when Israel handed over Gush Katif and northern Samaria to the PA. Despite the fact that hundreds of the victims of the disengagement are still homeless nearly a decade later, Peres would do it all again – and in other locations in Israel, if necessary.
The PA has declared that any territory Israel cedes in Judea and Samaria must be “Jew-free,” but Peres does not see that as a problem.
“Some Jews will want to live under a Palestinian regime or in one of the three settlement blocs that the PA has agreed to allow Israel to keep. Just like there are Jews living in Argentina, there can be Jews living anywhere,” Peres said.
Besides demanding that Israel remove all Jews from lands Israel cedes, the PA has also stated numerous times that it does not recognized the concept of “settlement blocs,” and expects Israel to withdraw from all of Judea and Samaria, with slight “border adjustments.” In any event, the PA has said, there is no way it will allow Israel to hold onto Ariel, a city of over 20,000 in central Samaria, and the center of one of the blocs Peres spoke of. The PA is also demanding that Israel had over the Barkan Industrial Zone, a large industrial center where thousands of Jews and Arabs work.
Peres added that there was no connection between the disengagement and the large number of missiles fired at Israel by Gaza Arab terrorists after 2005. “There were missiles before we left Gaza,” he said.
Peres also praised PA chief Mahmoud Abbas. “He has declared that he is not interested in Akko and Jaffa,” Peres said in the interview.
While Abbas has indeed made such statements – in English – the PA has made it very clear to its own people that as far as it is concerned “Palestine” stretches from the Mediterranean to the Jordan, and that there is no place for a Jewish state in the Middle East at all.