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Oslo architect Ron Pundak dead at 59
Published Saturday 12/04/2014 (updated) 12/04/2014 19:50
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A picture taken on Jan. 9 2014, shows Ron Pundak, one of
the architects of the 1993 Oslo Accords, speaking at a peace
conference at Tel Aviv University (AFP/File Gideon Markowicz)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Ron Pundak, an architect of the 1993 Oslo agreement between Israel and the PLO, died at home of cancer Friday, aged 59, Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

In the early 1990s, with the approval of then foreign minister Shimon Peres, Pundak and fellow Israeli academic Yair Hirschfeld forged a secret channel of communications with the PLO in Norway, at a time when such links were illegal for Israelis.

"The secret channel, nicknamed 'the academic talks,' which took place in an Oslo research center with the approval of Norway's government, eventually led to the Oslo peace process," wrote Haaretz.

Coincidentally, Tel Aviv-born Pundak worked briefly as a journalist for the newspaper after obtaining a doctorate from the University of London in 1991.

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Israel's chief peace negotiator with the PLO, called Pundak "a hero for peace" who "believed in peace and strove for it until his last day."

UN Middle East envoy Robert Serry added his own tribute.

"I knew Ron as somebody tirelessly working for peace," he said in a statement.

"Together with others, he showed that peace is possible, in fact, necessary, even in the face of tremendous setbacks, adversity, and skepticism."

Since last year Pundak was co-chair and president of the Palestinian-Israeli Peace NGO Forum and a member of the committee of the French-based Aix Group, an NGO for Middle East peace centerd in Aix-en-Provence.

Pundak is survived by his widow and two children.

The Oslo accords, signed Sept. 13, 1993, were meant as an interim agreement leading to a final peace agreement and an independent Palestinian state within five years.

Palestinian National Initiative leader Mustafa Barghouti has called the accords "a transition to nothing" used as a cover by Israel "to consolidate a system of apartheid."

Ma'an staff contributed to this report.
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1 ) LOL the schmuck BELIEVED / the PALESTINIANS
12/04/2014 11:42
unlike this guy in today's Wall Street Journal article: Europe's Unaccountable Palestinian Aid The government in the West Bank is the only body receiving EU funds regardless of its human-rights record or economic performance. ...The court also found that the EU paid insufficient attention to the fungibility of the funds it provided to the Palestinian Authority. There is reason to believe that EU financial assistance has allowed th

2 ) Sander / The Netherlands
12/04/2014 15:43
It was the moral dilemma fatality?

3 ) Mel / USA
12/04/2014 17:52
All the Oslo Accords brought,was more DISCORD,which is exactly what Zionists wanted as they grabbed Area C 'PIECE',to annex &expand more,on Pal land!The REAL mindset of Zionism was always: "Israel should have taken advantage of the suppression of demonstrations(Tiananmen Square),when world focus was(on China)...to carry out mass expulsions among the(Palestinians)of the Territories...which I still propose should be implemented"(Bibi:Jnr Min:Nov:'89 Bar Ilan Uni).Israel's fatal"cancer"=Zionism.
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