On 13 September 1993, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organisation leader Yasser Arafat sealed in Washington the Oslo Peace Accords, which had been negotiated for months in the Norwegian capital.
The accords maintained Israeli jurisdiction over foreign affairs, borders and defence, while transferring to the Palestinian National Authority the power of self-government in education, health, welfare, direct taxation, culture, tourism and the establishment of a Palestinian police force.
The agreed text provided for a period of five years after the withdrawal of Israeli occupying forces from the territory of Gaza and Jericho to achieve a lasting agreement for a final peace.
However, three decades on, the longed-for peace has not come. Numerous human rights violations have been suffered by the Palestinians, while the inhabitants of Israel have lived with the anxiety of retaliation for the violent policies of their government and the belligerent attitude of their forces.
Far from the conflict being defused and the two-country solution established by UN resolutions, the Palestinian population has lived in a ghetto enclosed under tight control and lacking real conditions for human development.
Right-wing Israeli governments have promoted the policy of occupation through settlement expansion, and clashes between new settlers and Palestinians have exacerbated enmity and made understanding difficult.
The US government has prioritised maintaining the state of Israel as a geopolitical pawn in the region, violating the internationally recognised right to self-determination of the Palestinian people through the status quo of occupation and segregation.
In the face of the stalemate in the peace process, China’s foreign minister Qin Gang indicated a few months ago that China is willing to play a constructive role in promoting peace in the region.
The Asian power’s diplomatic presence in the Middle East saw its mediation efforts crowned following the agreement reached between Iran and Saudi Arabia to resume relations.
At the same time, the US government is pushing for the Israeli and Saudi governments to forge collaborator agreements, which Saudi Arabia is making conditional on the emergence of an independent Palestinian state.
Is it time for Palestinian independence and a just and necessary peace in the Middle East, and will the violence cease and the flame of hope be lit?
The outlook for possible negotiations has become more auspicious following the entry into the BRICS bloc of the Saudis and Persians, along with the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, all of which are relevant to a solution to the conflict.
It is highly likely that in the short term there will be signs in this direction. People are crying out for development and cooperation instead of war and conflict. Peace is the only way forward.