The first of the so-called Oslo Accords were formally signed in September 1993 by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (left) and Palestine Liberation Organization Yasser Arafat (right), joined by U.S. President Bill Clinton. (The ceremony was held at the White House in Washington, D.C., although the negotiations were completed in Oslo, Norway.)
Photograph courtesy Israel Defense Forces. This image is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic license.
  • On August 20, 1993, representatives from Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) signed the first of the so-called Oslo Accords in Oslo, Norway. The Oslo Accords would be the last major, long-term initiative for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The leaders responsible for the Oslo Accords—Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat—were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize the following year.
    The results of the Oslo Accords included the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, an elected Palestinian government responsible for parts of the disputed West Bank and Gaza Strip territories in Israel. The Oslo Accords also called for the withdrawal of the Israeli military from the West Bank and Gaza, and the promise of continued peace talks.
    The so-called “Oslo Process” continued throughout the 1990s, with agreements addressing such issues as the release of political prisoners and the construction of Jewish settlements in Palestinian-controlled regions.
    The Oslo Process fell apart in 2001, when Israelis elected leaders who opposed the accords and Palestinians embarked on the Second Intifada, a violent uprising against Israeli leadership. 
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    accord Noun

    agreement, usually a settlement of a dispute.

    diplomat Noun

    person who negotiates important political and economic agreements, usually for a government.

    dispute Noun

    debate or argument.

    elect Verb

    to choose by vote.

    embark Verb

    to leave or set off on a journey.

    establish Verb

    to form or officially organize.

    Gaza Strip Noun

    self-governing Palestinian territory in Israel located on Israel's southwestern coast and bordering Egypt.

    government Noun

    system or order of a nation, state, or other political unit.

    initiative Noun

    first step or move in a plan.

    intermediary Noun

    person or organization that serves as a mediator or go-between for two other people or organizations.

    military Noun

    armed forces.

    negotiate Verb

    to discuss with others of different viewpoints in order to reach an agreement, contract, or treaty.

    Nobel Peace Prize Noun

    award recognizing the contributions of a person or organization to "work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace."

    Oslo Accords Plural Noun

    (1993-2001) series of agreements to resolve or mitigate the violent conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

    Palestinian Authority Noun

    (Palestinian National Authority) organization responsible for governing the semi-independent areas of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank in Israel.

    PLO Noun

    (Palestine Liberation Organization) organization recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by states with which it holds diplomatic relations.

    political prisoner Noun

    person detained by a government because of their political opinion.

    region Noun

    any area on Earth with one or more common characteristics. Regions are the basic units of geography.

    Encyclopedic Entry: region
    representative Noun

    someone or something who acts in place of a group of people.

    responsible Adjective

    having accountability, authority, or liability in a situation.

    Second Intifada Noun

    (~2000-~2005) Palestinian uprising in Israel.

    settlement Noun

    community or village.

    territory Noun

    land an animal, human, or government protects from intruders.

    uprising Noun

    revolt or rebellion.

    violent Noun

    strong, destructive force.

    West Bank Noun

    self-governing Palestinian territory in Israel, located in a large area of central Israel, including the west bank of the Jordan River.