The Middle East Media and Research Institute made available today (both as a video clip and a transcript) portions of a television interview excerpt with Ziyad Abu `Ein, a member of the Fatah leadership in which he mused on the benefits for Palestinian of the Oslo Accords. The interview took place on Al-`Alam Television on July 4, 2006:
The Oslo Accords were not what the Palestinian people dreamt of. The dream of the Palestinian people is the return, self-determination, the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, and the liberation of its land.
However, there would have been no resistance in Palestine if not for Oslo. It was Oslo that strongly embraced the Palestinian resistance. All the occupied territories – and I was one of the activists in the first and second Intifadas, and I was arrested by Israel several times ... If not for Oslo, there would have been no resistance. Throughout the occupied territories, we could not move a single pistol from one place to another. If not for Oslo, the weapons we got through Oslo, and if not for the "A" areas of the Palestinian Authority, if not for the training, the camps, the protection provided by Oslo, and if not for the release of thousands of Palestinian prisoners through Oslo – this Palestinian resistance could not have carried out this great Palestinian Intifada, with which we confronted the Israeli occupation.
Comment: This candid assessment exactly vindicates the objections by us critics of Oslo. (July 27, 2006)