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Mutual Recognition

September 8, 2017

The Palestine Liberation Organization officially recognized the right of Israel to exist “in peace and security” on this date in 1993, and Israel, in turn, recognized the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people. In a letter to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat affirmed the Oslo Accords as a “historic event, inaugurating a new epoch of peaceful coexistence,” renounced the use of “terrorism and other acts of violence,” and affirmed that “those articles of the Palestinian Covenant which deny Israel’s right to exist” were now “inoperative and no longer valid.” Implementation of the Oslo Accords was ultimately derailed by the assassination of Rabin on November 4, 1995, as well as by intensified Palestinian violence, continued Israeli settlement activity in the occupied territories, and numerous other obstacles.

“[W]e shall discover ourselves in peace more than we have with war and confrontation, as I am sure that the Israelis in turn shall find themselves in peace more than they have found it in war.” —Yasser Arafat, Nobel Peace Prize Lecture, 1994