The Trojan horse: How Israel allowed a massive Palestinian 'right of return' in the Oslo Accords

Analysis: Israel at the time knowingly imported tens of thousands of Palestinians onto its soil, many of whom were terrorists, without any headlines
Dr. Jacob Rimer|
In an interview just a few months before he died, Palestinian official Faisal Husseini described the Oslo Accords as a “Palestinian Trojan Horse.” In his words: “We all entered the belly of the horse, and the horse itself passed in through the walls. Now the time has come for us to say: 'Climb down from the belly of the horse and start your work'.” The “time” Faisal Husseini was referring to was the outbreak of the Second Intifada (October 2000). And we will note in passing that Faisal Husseini was considered one of the “moderates” in the Palestinian leadership.
What did he mean by Palestinian Trojan Horse? It happens that the State of Israel allowed tens of thousands of Palestinians into Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and Gaza in the Oslo Accords, and most of them were former terrorists.
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לחיצת היד ההיסטורית בבית הלבן
לחיצת היד ההיסטורית בבית הלבן
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat shake hands at the signing ceremony of the Oslo Accords at the White House
(Photo: AP)
Recently, I published an exclusive research paper through the Israel Defense and Security Forum’s Research Department, which deals with this demographic growth made possible by the Oslo Accords.
The first appendix of both of the main Oslo Accords (the Cairo Accord and Oslo B) deals with security arrangements. Among other things, the structure of the Palestinian police and its roles are defined there. These appendices indicate that there would be no more than 30,000 policemen, 19,000 of whom would be arriving from abroad (the Palestinian diaspora), accompanied by their spouses and children.
In other words, Israel officially allowed 19,000 Palestinians into the Trojan Horse, plus their spouses and children. Since these are relatively mature individuals, ages 30 or more (more on this below), it is safe to assume that the vast majority of them did indeed have a spouse and children.
In other words, a highly-conservative estimate would conclude that to total some 60,000 as a minimum and apparently there were many more. It is important to emphasize here that this referred only to people who returned to serve in the Palestinian police. In addition to them, Arafat also brought in many bureaucrats.
This can be corroborated in various articles we quoted in this study, and also by analyzing demographic data from a United Nations report or a report by the U.S. Census Bureau. All the data point to the number of residents increasing sharply in the few years immediately following the Oslo Accords. The only plausible explanation for such growth, which then moderates a few years later, is the massive influx of new population into the territory.
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Palestinians mark the anniversary of the Second Intafada
Palestinians mark the anniversary of the Second Intafada
Palestinians mark the anniversary of the Second Intafada
(Photo: Reuters)
Who are these people Israel brought into our midst? These are seasoned terrorists, in their thirties or above, who for many years treaded the same path taken by arch-murderer Arafat. Many of them were put up in Tunis after the State of Israel was forced to allow some 12,000 terrorists to leave Beirut in August 1982 (the First Lebanon War). Just remember that these people, while in Lebanon, engaged in the firing of Katyusha rockets on Israel’s north, and in sending terrorists on missions into Israel.
In other words, Israel knowingly imported tens of thousands of Palestinians onto its soil, many of whom were terrorists, without any headlines. This amounts to a significant consideration for today’s discourse surrounding the contribution of the Oslo Accords to the events of October 7.
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Was the influx of tens of thousands of people consistent with the claim that the Oslo Accords could be reversed at will, even if they worked out badly? Could those people really have been sent back abroad? Moreover, as alluded to at the beginning in Faisal Husseini’s words, over the years one can find many cases of active participation by these people in terrorist attacks in Israel. These are, one must remember, Palestinian Authority personnel, not necessarily Hamas supporters.
Dr. Jacob RimerDr. Jacob Rimer
It remains only to wonder why did the Israeli media not criticize the decision to allow tens of thousands of people into the territory of the sovereign State of Israel? These questions underscore the need for discussion and public oversight over all the political decisions that will be forthcoming in future, and which are going to shape Israel for many generations to come.
Dr. Jacob Rimer is a senior researcher at the IDSF Research Department, a former senior official in the Israeli security apparatus, and an AI, cyber and security consultant
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