In late 1991 the US (Jim Baker) succeeded in pushing Israel and the Palestinians to participate in the Madrid talks, with the Pals (PLO) being part of Jordan's delegation. Arafat was in a very weak position at the time, having supported Saddam Hussain in his takeover of Kuwait, resulting in the expulsion of all Palestinians from Kuwait, and having Saudi Arabia cut off its support to the PLO. Once Rabin came in and there was a secret channel for talks, Arafat preferred the secret channel in Oslo to the main Madrid talks. Strangely, he agreed to a poor deal, including not having an explicit commitment by Israel to stop the settlement, not specifying the extent of Israeli evacuations (in 3 steps) out of what became areas A and B, and an unconditional disarmament. The IRA disarmed but the weapons were kept for a while by an independent body. If you read Khalidi, "The Iron Cage", you can see that he is mad about the incompetence Arafat showed in Oslo. Who am I to argue?
Police disperse hundreds in brawl in Kafr Manda, northern Israel (Haaretz)
from the article: Abbas' only chance