Israel – from victim to perpetrator to victim – a back and forth for 80 years – Part 5

How the Oslo Accords had to lead to Hamas and Hezbollah.

Peter Hanseler / René Zittlau


In Part 1 (1914-1948) of our series on the history of Israel, we shed light on the period leading up to the founding of the state. A phase of illegal and legal land seizure, as a result of which the State of Israel was founded unilaterally, in contradiction to UN Resolution 181 and against the will of the Arab states. The result was war from day one.

Part 2 (1948-1956) ended with the Suez Crisis. As a result of this second war, Great Britain lost its dominant position in the Middle East. Since then, Israel has aligned itself with the USA in all matters. Another result was the stationing of UN troops on the border between Israel and Egypt.

In addition to the 6-Day War and the Yom Kippur War, Part 3 (1956-1973) dealt with a topic that receives little geopolitical attention when it comes to Israel – Israel’s water strategy. This is surprising, to say the least, as Israel is extremely consistent in its approach to this issue, regardless of the interests of its neighboring states.

Part 4 shed light on the 1982 Lebanon War, a war waged by Israel outside its territory with the aim of destroying the Palestinian PLO. A Palestinian liberation organization whose armed arm had been expelled from the West Bank to Jordan by Israel in the preceding Yom Kippur War and then to Lebanon by the Jordanian state after the attempted violent enforcement of political demands in Jordan.

Part 5 covers the period from 1993 to the present. We look at the Oslo Accords of that year, as a result of which the PLO disappeared into insignificance and Hamas became increasingly important for the Palestinians.

The “Palestinian problem” becomes a domestic issue


The conflicts between Israel and the representatives of the “Palestinian cause” increasingly took on a different character and intensity. While Israel’s opponents up to the Yom Kippur War were Arab states, the Israeli occupying power was now confronted by a wide variety of Palestinian movements. The most important of these in the first phase was the PLO under the leadership of Yassir Arafat.

The 1993 Oslo Treaty

After the start of the first Palestinian intifada in 1987 (intifada means uprising in Arabic), Jordanian King Hussein announced on July 31, 1988 that his country would renounce the West Bank and East Jerusalem. As a result, on November 15, 1988, the PLO leadership voted to establish a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, despite the fact that these territories – Gaza and the West Bank – were under full Israeli control.

The PLO was opposed by Hamas, among others. Israel had quietly provided decisive support for the founding and establishment of this movement in the Gaza Strip in 1988. The aim was to create a controllable counterweight to the PLO, which was successful at the time, in order to influence the Palestinians in Israel’s favor. Divide and rule in Israeli.

In April 1989, Yassir Arafat was proclaimed president of the Palestinian state by the Palestinian National Council without this state having been created. A political gesture without effect.

In September 1993, the PLO reached a provisional peace agreement with Israel under US mediation in Oslo entitled the “Israel-PLO Agreement“, marking the birth of so-called Palestinian self-government in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In this agreement, the PLO recognized Israel’s right to exist. This was an extremely important step for Israel. In return, there was no simultaneous recognition by Israel of the right of a Palestinian state to exist.

What there was was a declaration stating that Israel would remain an occupying power and that the Palestinian territories would therefore continue to be de facto colonially administered. At some point after a transitional period of three years, negotiations were to begin between Israel and the Palestinian authorities on the final status of Palestinian self-government.

The 1993 agreement was repeatedly ascribed great, even ground-breaking political significance, which it was never able to live up to in terms of content and due to the real political circumstances.

At that time, the PLO could no longer claim to be the only or at least the leading representative of Palestinian interests. However, Israel and the USA sold the recognition of Israel’s right to exist in the Oslo Declaration as recognition of Israel by the Palestinians as a whole, which did not even begin to correspond to reality.

In the agreement with the PLO, Israel was looking in particular for a counterweight to Hamas, which was growing ever stronger. The genie that Israel itself had once let out of the bottle with the founding of Hamas could no longer be controlled.

Only the actual establishment of a sovereign state of Palestine could have been the basis for peaceful coexistence between Israel and the Palestinians in the future. As a result, the treaty remained exclusively politically advantageous for Israel, which also explains its immediate recognition under international law by the Israeli parliament.

Oslo and the West Bank – also a question of water

Above all, Israel’s influence on the West Bank was of fundamental importance. The following maps show the consequences of the Oslo Accords for the territory administered by the Palestinian Authority under the Oslo Accords. It is no exaggeration to speak of pure and brutal Israeli colonialism and apartheid.

Quelle: Palästina-Portal

Palestinian control of the West Bank extended to a total of 18 percent of the territory (“Area A”). This figure refers to the situation in 1999. Initially, i.e. in 1993, the territory controlled exclusively by the Palestinian authorities comprised a full three percent.

Palestinian authorities and Israel jointly controlled 22 percent of the territory (“Area B”).

Israel alone controlled a whopping 60 percent of a territory (“Area C”) that it had solemnly proclaimed in Oslo would be the home of the Palestinians. It should be noted that in 1993, a total of 136,109 Israelis lived in the West Bank. Statista does not provide comparable figures for Palestinians, but for 1995 the total population of Palestine (i.e. including the Gaza Strip) was 2.62 million.

In addition, different laws apply to people living in the West Bank. Israeli civil law applies to Israelis, while Palestinians are subject to the much more restrictive Israeli military law, which makes the latter second, if not third-class citizens.

This 60 percent controlled by Israel is bordered to the east by the Jordan River and represents the most fertile areas of the West Bank. Israel’s control over access to the Jordan River completely cut off the Palestinians from this strategic water source.

Although Israel recognizes Palestinian water rights in principle in the Oslo Accords, these are only to be finally negotiated during the negotiations on the permanent status of the territories. This is a very convenient “solution” to Palestinian water rights for Israel, as it costs the Israelis nothing and the final settlement can be prevented at any time and has been to date.

The Israeli authorities generously grant access to water resources to their own citizens, i.e. the “real” Israelis, there is no other way to describe it. Such rights are handled extremely restrictively towards Palestinians.

According to UN Resolution 6492 of July 28, 2010, access to fresh water is a human right. Israel abstained from the vote.

Israel’s control of the border area with Jordan has turned the West Bank into an internal Israeli territory. The Palestinian “autonomy” authority therefore has no control over any external border.

Interim result

As a result of this disastrous policy, the PLO lost almost all respect among the Palestinians, which Hamas increasingly gained. As a result, the Palestinian Authority became a weak and compliant appendage of Israeli policy, which has not changed to this day.

The Lebanon War 2006


The 2006 war against Hezbollah occupies a special place in the wars waged by Israel to maintain its dominance in the Middle East. It lasted from July 12 to August 14.

Hezbollah is an alliance of Islamic-Shiite groups in Lebanon. It was formed in 1982 as a result of the expulsions from Palestine to Lebanon. Initially a paramilitary organization for resistance against Israeli invasions, it was officially founded in Lebanon in 1985. It still receives significant support from Iran, whose revolutionary leader is regarded as the supreme spiritual authority.

Hezbollah is divided into a military and a political branch. The latter has been represented in the Lebanese National Assembly since 1992. As a military, political and, not least, social movement in Lebanon, Hezbollah as a whole now has such extensive influence that nothing would work in the country without it.

Course of the war – devastating for Israel

In July 2006, two Israeli soldiers were kidnapped by Hezbollah.

The circumstances of the kidnapping were unclear, but the action that led to it took place on Lebanese territory, according to all that was known. The Israeli soldiers were therefore on foreign territory. Nevertheless, Israel used the incident as an opportunity for a full-scale invasion of the country.

“But it didn’t go as expected for Israel’s military.”

It does not take extensive military experience to realize that a large-scale invasion cannot be prepared within hours or days. It is logistically impossible. The fact is that on July 12, 2006 – just a few days after the kidnapping – the Israeli armed forces launched a massive attack on Lebanese territory – from the air, on the ground and from the sea. This was not a reaction to the kidnapping, but a long-prepared military action.


However, things did not go as expected for Israel’s military.

After the destruction of Hezbollah as a power factor had been declared as the goal at the beginning of the invasion, after just a few days of fighting there was only talk of wanting to keep Hezbollah away from Israel. However, Hezbollah had no intention of attacking Israel.

The USA, which shortly before had flatly rejected a ceasefire with Hezbollah, hurriedly sent Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to the conflict area to negotiate one.

Result of the 2006 Lebanon war

The 2006 war in Lebanon was a shock for Israel. Israel ended all previous Middle East wars victoriously within a few days, accompanied by peace offers from its opponents.

In contrast to the previous opponents, who showed little fighting morale, Hezbollah showed a completely different side. The reasons are not surprising.

Hezbollah was built up from below as a reaction to the occupation by Israeli forces that had been in place since 1982. The Hezbollah fighters had nothing to lose. They also had efficient weapons systems that caused the Israelis considerable problems.

The 2006 Lebanon War was unwinable for Israel. What’s more, it not only robbed Israel of the myth of invincibility; its course and outcome was much more of a defeat for Israel than for Hezbollah in view of its pre-declared objectives.

2007 to 2023 – the rise of Hamas

Hamas beats the West with its weapons – free elections and democracy

Hamas was founded in Gaza at the end of the 1980s. In the West, it is generally regarded as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. Israel supported it covertly, as it was seen by Israel as a counterweight to other Palestinian organizations.

“Since what must not be cannot be, the Palestinian territories were completely sealed off economically”

The Oslo Accords and their negative consequences for the Palestinians led to a boost for Hamas. In 2006, elections were held in the autonomous areas of Palestine – i.e. the West Bank and Gaza Strip – organized by Israel, the USA and Great Britain.

The elections were conducted according to Western standards and under strict observation by these states and the West as a whole. The result was a shock that continues to this day: the Islamic Hamas won this parliamentary election organized by the West according to Western standards in a completely legal manner and without a hint of doubt about the result, and by a large margin. A situation for which political Israel, and indeed the West as a whole, was in no way prepared.

Source: Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung

Israel also reacted according to Western standards when elections produced undesirable results: Since what must not be cannot be, the Palestinian territories were completely sealed off economically. The free movement of people between Gaza and the West Bank was practically stopped.

Seen in the light of day, this was precisely the beginning of all military conflicts around Gaza and thus also of the Gaza War of 2023. The beginning of a situation that would continue to worsen from then on. Israel tried to stop a development that was essentially democratic, even according to Western rules, and which it had itself initiated years earlier, primarily together with the USA.

Hamas’ unyielding resistance to any Israeli pressure strengthened its credibility among the population immensely. Since then, Hamas has been by far the most important political force in the Gaza Strip. The Fatah-led Palestinian Authority, which continued to govern the West Bank in defiance of the 2006 election results, finally became an appendage of the Israeli colonial administration.

In 2007, following internal battles with the more pro-Israel Fatah movement, Hamas also gained absolute control over the Gaza Strip, which it has not relinquished since. Israel once again reacted in a “Western” restrictive manner by massively restricting the movement of people and goods.

Following the example of Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas developed a military branch – the Al-Qassam Brigades – alongside its political branch and increasingly defined itself as a liberation movement for Palestine. Today, it is recognized as such in large parts of the world – with the exception of the countries of the so-called collective West

Is Hamas a terrorist organization?

Endless fighting with many dead on the Palestinian side

There is no doubt that the events in and around the Gaza Strip have an inner logic. They show what degrading living conditions must inevitably lead to. There is no industry in the Gaza Strip, no economic basis for a stable income and therefore for a decent life. There are practically only job opportunities in Israel. Mass unemployment leads to poverty.

An explosive mixture that is causing people all over the world to rise up.

Western commentators write about the violence in Gaza from well air-conditioned offices without referring to the actual circumstances under which the Palestinians have to live. In the West, we take to the streets for nothing and throw stones at the police. Conditions like those on May 1st in many cities in Western Europe do not exist in Gaza. In the occupied territories, Israeli soldiers have been shooting at 12-year-olds who throw stones at them for years.

There have been repeated attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip. There have also been repeated massive military actions by Israel against Gaza, such as in 2008-2009 and 2014. The number of victims on the Palestinian side was in the thousands, while on the Israeli side it remained in the double-digit range – overall.

Charter of a liberation movement – not a terrorist organization

Hamas adopted a new charter in 2017. While the charter from 1988 still denied Israel the right to exist, there is no longer any mention of this in the current version. Instead, it is a document that follows on from the content of UN Resolution 181 from 1947, the resolution to which Israel referred when it declared its statehood.

In the West, it is common practice to judge parties and organizations according to their basic documentation, such as party programmes, statutes or charters. Hamas is denied this right.

Not one word in the charter describes the Jewish people as the enemy and not one word incites hatred against the Israelis. All Hamas wants to achieve – and rightly so – is the creation of a Palestinian state. Like Israel, Hamas does not want a two-state solution. In contrast to the reality of the state of Israel as it exists today, Hamas is in favor of all religions living together. The leader of Hamas personally told the former British top diplomat Alistair Crook that Hamas is by no means a religious organization, but a liberation organization that any supporter can join, regardless of their religious affiliation.

Not surprisingly, the Western media and politicians react and demonize Hamas with the worst propaganda and obvious lies, which prove that the ladies and gentlemen of the media have not even bothered to read the Hamas Charter. More on this in our article “ARD – Glossary justifies genocide – Dr. Goebbels would be proud“.

The Israeli government – democratically elected. But also democratically constituted?

The repeated harshness of Israel’s actions – an inhumane harshness that was deliberately directed against the civilian population above all else – was, on the one hand, obvious proof of the Israeli leadership’s helplessness in the face of the Hamas phenomenon. On the other hand, this approach was in line with the Zionist views of creating a Greater Israel “from the river to the sea”, which were increasingly gaining a foothold in the Israeli leadership.

There are now no longer any moderate forces in the Israeli cabinet. The government’s actions cannot be described as anything other than radical. Prime Minister Netanyahu himself must expect to be convicted of various corruption offenses and the attempted unlawful restructuring of Israel’s judicial system if the war is ended. Where would his interest in ending the war come from?

His Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich described himself in an interview with the Israeli public broadcaster Kan as follows: “I am a homophobic fascist, but I am true to my word.”

As Finance Minister, Smotrich is also responsible for settlement issues in the occupied Palestinian territories. Before taking office, he said the following about the Palestinians in these territories: “They may leave or remain as an inferior minority without the right to vote.

How can a Palestinian trust such an Israeli government? How can the world trust the statements of such a government? What does the unqualified support of this government say about its supporters?


Expansion through war and violence

In our series, we showed an Israel that does not exist in the mainstream media of the West.

It is a fact that Israel has been expanding territorially at the expense of its neighbors since its founding. Until 1967, it expanded its territory to include the West Bank, Gaza, the Sinai (until 1973) and the Golan Heights – through wars, legal and illegal land seizures and the associated displacement of millions of locals.

Colonial occupying power

With this violent territorial expansion beyond the borders conceded by the UN in Resolution 181, Israel became an occupying power under international law.

The non-Jewish population, who were not expelled, murdered or fled, found themselves as second-class citizens on what was once their own land.

Wikipedia defines colonialism as the occupation of foreign territories and the subjugation, expulsion and murder of the local population.

Apartheid state

In a 2022 report, Amnesty International described Israel as an apartheid state. This may not impress everyone, as Amnesty International regularly interprets negative qualifications very broadly.

Much more meaningful in this context are statements by Israeli organizations such as the human rights organization B’Tselem, which literally stated the following:

“Israel’s regime of apartheid and occupation is inextricably bound up in human rights violations.”

There was worldwide agreement on the illegality of the South African version of apartheid. As is so often the case, two yardsticks are being used.


Israel blocks access to the occupied territories at will; there can be no talk of freedom of movement. Israel determines what is or is not allowed there, regardless of whether it is medical care, basic food supplies or water rights.

A dignified life for the non-Jewish population is not possible in the occupied territories. According to a report in the FAZ, the UN described the Gaza Strip as uninhabitable as early as July 12, 2017.


Thousands of non-Jewish inhabitants of the occupied territories, including many children, are in Israeli prisons. Without charge, without a court ruling. These are conditions like those in Guantanamo. The prisoner exchange between Hamas and Israel in recent days has once again made this visible to the whole world, which was probably one of Hamas’ aims.

Sole responsibility of Israel

A state that exercises absolute control over non-state territory is, as a result of this power, responsible for everything that happens in these non-state and occupied territories. The occupier cannot absolve itself of any violence that it exercises against others or that is exercised against it. Nor does it matter what nation or religion the oppressed population belongs to. For the occupier rules illegally on foreign territory per se. This means that all the rules he issues are also illegal, as they have no legal basis.

Right to insurrection

It is a natural right of the occupied worldwide to defend themselves as the oppressed against foreign violence on their own land.

An occupying power, on the other hand, has no right to self-defense against the occupied, as Israel is currently massively claiming for itself and is unquestioningly and unreservedly supported by the political West and the mainstream media, using highly unsavoury means, as we have already explained this week in “ARD – Glossary justifies genocide – Dr. Goebbels would be proud“.

In the next part, we will deal with the events since October 7, 2023 in the border area of Israel, in Gaza and also in the West Bank.

These can only be understood if the circumstances that led to them are assessed impartially, which is what we aim to do.

Israel – from victim to perpetrator to victim – a back and forth for 80 years – Part 5

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