Eight months following the Declaration of Principles concluded in
Oslo between the P.L.O. and Israel, and signed (in a festive
atmosphere) in Washington on September 13th, 1993, the two parties
agreed to start with the Gaza-Jericho first scheme. This in effect
leaves the door wide open for the resumption of the negotiations
concerning an early transfer of authority in the West Bank in at
least six spheres of administration and power.
This event obviously raises great hopes, but it also leaves us
assailed by many doubts and fears: if negotiations about
Gaza-Jericho first have lasted so long, what will happen in the
case of the West Bank as a whole? Will the negotiations last seven
months? Or will they stretch over several years? And if so, what
will both parties do vis-a-vis the growing opposition to the
political process, and in face of the ever-mounting waves of
violence and the increasing number of victims on both sides?
There can be no doubt about the sincerity of Arafat's
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