Ron Pundak, an Israeli historian who helped engineer the Oslo accords, died April 4 of cancer. He was 59.
An expert on Jordanian and Palestinian history, Pundak used his contacts to begin talks with Palestinian leaders in 1992. He did so with the permission of Yossi Beilin, then Israel’s deputy foreign minister.
The talks led to the signing in 1993 of the Oslo accords, which provided the first formal framework for the still-ongoing talks with the Palestinians.
Tzipi Livni, Israel’s justice minister who is now leading negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, said in a statement that Pundak was “a Zionist who believed in peace and strived for it to his last day.” — jta