Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat sign the Oslo Accords (1993)
Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat sign the Oslo Accords (1993) IDF/Wikimedia Commons

Mahmoud Abbas's incendiary speech at the UN Wednesday night has been attacked as incitement by some Israeli officials, and derided as "more empty threats" by others.

But one international legal expert says it's more an illustration of the way in which Israel has allowed itself to be taken for a ride in successive rounds of negotiations and one-sided deals with the Palestinians.

During the speech Abbas dropped his much-hyped "bombshell" announcement: that the Palestinian Authority no longer considers itself bound by the 1994 Oslo Accords, and would henceforth pursue its claims unilaterally via all possible avenues.

"It shows the suckers game of peace process for Israel," said Professor Eugene Kontorovich. 

"From Oslo, the Palestinians got their own government, territory under their control, a place at the UN, legitimacy - and then unilaterally cancelled all their obligations without giving Israel anything," he noted.

Indeed, it was only due to the Oslo Accords that Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was taken off the international terrorist blacklist and recognized as a legitimate political entity.

Much like his threats - repeated during Wednesday's speech - to prosecute Israel at the International Criminal Court at the Hague, Abbas's declaration could be a double-edged sword, Kontorovich added.

The recognition of PA sovereignty in Areas A and B, as well as Israel's commitment to transfer tax moneys to the PA government, are all enshrined in the Oslo Accords - as are the diplomatic status of Abbas and his PLO colleagues.

The fact that Abbas seems confident to cancel the PA's own side of the agreement alone is likely a reflection of just how secure he feels in gaining the international support to do so without fearing any consequences.

A sucker's game, indeed.

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