Are the Palestinian Arabs Fulfilling President Bush’s Conditions for Statehood? A Survey of Week #2: July 2 – July 8, 2002
News
July 8, 2002


THE BUSH PLAN:


On June 24, 2002, President Bush set forth the conditions that the Palestinian Arabs must fulfill in order to merit U.S. support for the creation of a Palestinian Arab state. Among the major obligations are that the Palestinian Arabs must “dismantle the terrorist infrastructure,” “end incitement,” “elect new leaders not compromised by terror,” and unequivocally embrace democracy and free market economics.


This report analyzes Palestinian Arab actions during the second week following President Bush’s speech, July 2-July 8, 2002.



I. “Dismantle the Terrorist Infrastructure”


What They Must Do: President Bush said that the Palestinian Arabs must “engage in a sustained fight against the terrorists and dismantle their infrastructure.” Those terms were previously defined in the Oslo and Wye accords as including arresting and imprisoning terrorists; shutting down bomb factories; seizing terrorists’ weapons; extraditing terrorists to Israel; punishing factions of the PLO that engage in terrorism; and outlawing terrorist groups.



What They Did During Week #2: The Chief of Staff of the Israeli Army, Lt.Gen.Shaul Mofaz, said on Israel Television on July 3: “The Palestinian Authority does not carry out any activity to foil terror. The foremost use of the funds collected by the Palestinian Authority from around the world is for terror activity.”


A. No Terrorists Arrested: There were no reports of terrorists being arrested or imprisoned.


B. No Terrorists Extradited: The PA continued to ignore Israel’s 45 requests for the extradition of terrorists.


C. No Terror Groups Outlawed: The PA did not outlaw Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah, or any other terrorist groups.


D. No Terrorists’ Weapons Seized: There were no reports of the PA seizing terrorists’ weapons. By contrast, Israeli forces operating in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza continued to uncover and seize large quantities of illegal weapons and explosives. For example, in Shechem (Nablus) on July 7, Israeli soldiers seized an arms cache consisting of 300 pipe bombs, 20 gas containers, crates of firebombs, and quantities of explosive powder.


E. No Closure of Bomb Factories: There were no reports of the PA shutting down any bomb factories. By contrast, the Israeli Army uncovered and destroyed bomb factories in Ramallah and Shechem (Nablus) on July 6, and in Hirbat-A-Tira on July 7.


F. No Punishing of PLO Terror Factions: There were no reports of the PLO leadership punishing PLO factions that are engaged in terrorism, such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP).


G. New Terrorist Attacks: Throughout Week #2, Israeli forces were engaged in “Operation Determined Stand,” resulting in a sharp decrease in terrorist attacks. Nevertheless, there were at least 33 terrorist attacks or attempted attacks, in which 3 Israelis were wounded:


July 1-2: An Arab woman preparing a suicide attack was captured in Yeta…Two terrorists planning suicide attacks were arrested in Kalkilya…A firebomb was thrown at an Israeli automobile near Shilo…Shooting attack on an Israeli automobile north of Jenin…Terrorists attempted to enter the village of Ganei Tal and shot at Israeli soldiers there, wounding two…A firebomb was thrown at a Jewish home in the Armon HaNetzvi neighborhood of Jerusalem…Shots fired at Israeli soldiers in Sineria.


July 3: Mortar shells fired at a Jewish neighborhood in Gush Katif … Shooting attack at Kfar Darom…A bomb was discovered and dismantled near Tzufim.


July 4: Shooting attack at Israelis near Kfar Darom.


July 5: Three mortar attacks on Jewish towns in Gaza…Three missile launchers, aimed at the town of Netzarim, was discovered and dismantled…Five Arabs planning suicide attacks in different Israeli cities were captured.


July 6: A missile launcher, aimed at a Jewish town in northern Gaza, was discovered and dismantled…Shooting attack on an Israeli Army outpost near Neve Dekalim…Shooting attack on an Israeli Army patrol near Rafiah…An Israeli automobile attacked on the Jerusalem-Shilo road…A bomb thrown at an Israeli Army patrol west of Bethlehem.


July 7: Four heavily-armed terrorists were captured on their way to carry out attacks in the towns of Alei Sinai and Netiv HaAsarah…A missile launcher was discovered and dismantled near the Netzarim Junction…Shooting attack against Israeli soldiers in Neve Dekalim.


July 8: Two heavily-armed terrorists were captured on their way to attack Jewish residents of northern Gaza…A terrorist was captured on his way to carry out a suicide attack in northern Jerusalem…Shots were fired at an Israeli automobile traveling between Sa-Nur and Dotan, wounding the driver…A mortar was fired at the Neve Dekalim industrial park.



II. “End Incitement”


What They Must Do: President Bush stated that the Palestinian Arabs must “end incitement to violence in official media and publicly denounce homicide bombings.”



What They Did During Week #2:


Official PA Television continued to broadcast a steady stream of anti-Israel and anti-American incitement. For example, on the eve of America’s Independence day, July 4, the PA organized a mass rally against “American meddling.” Official PA Television broadcast coverage of the rally, focusing on a poster which showed President Bush’s name dripping with blood, next to a skull-and-crossbones, with the words “The American people deserve a president better than Bush.” The PA Television announcer said: “The American administration’s attempts to meddle in the Palestinian people’s internal affairs, to impose its conditions on the Palestinian leadership and the attempt to depose the leader, Yasir Arafat, caused thousands to rally in a giant mass procession expressing total rejection of this meddling.”1


On July 4, PA Television broadcast an hour-long film which included scenes of Palestinian Arabs accusing the United States of “fraud and deceit” and rejecting U.S. food packages, saying, “Tell the Deceiver: the people will die of hunger [rather than] live in humiliation.”2



III. “Elect New Leaders Not Compromised by Terror”


What They Must Do: President Bush stated that the Palestinian Arabs must hold “fair multiparty elections by the end of the year, with national elections to follow,” in which they “elect new leaders, leaders not compromised by terror.”


What They Did During Week #2: Yasir Arafat and other PA officials continued to unequivocally reject President Bush’s call for new Palestinian Arab leadership. The PLO’s Palestine National Council issued a statement expressing its “full, unconditional support and solidarity” with Arafat.3


Previously, the PA announced that it will hold elections for chairman of the PA and members of the Palestinian Legislative Council in January 2003, if Israel withdraws from various parts of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.4 It remains to be seen whether those elections, if held, will be free and fair, as President Bush has urged, or will be marred by ballot-stuffing and intimidation of voters and potential non-PLO candidates, as were the last PA elections, in 1996.



IV. “Build Democracy Based on Tolerance and Liberty”


What They Must Do: President Bush said that the Palestinian Arabs must “build a practicing democracy based on tolerance and liberty,” with “a new constitution” and “a truly independent judiciary. He said they must “confront corruption,” and “the Palestinian parliament should have the full authority of a legislative body.” They must implement “market economics,” and create “a vibrant economy where honest enterprise is encouraged by honest government.” In addition, there must be “an externally supervised effort to rebuild and reform the Palestinian security services” with “clear lines of authority and accountability and a unified chain of command.”



What They Did During Week #2:


On July 2, media reports stated that Arafat had fired Jibril Rajoub, chief of the PA Preventive Security Force in Judea-Samaria; Ghazi Jabali, the PA Chief of Police; and Mahmoud Abu Marzouk, the civil defense chief. Some reports claimed that Arafat had also fired Tawfiq Tirawi, head of PA Intelligence. The Washington Post reported, “It is not clear whether [Rajoub] was fired as part of an internal power struggle, or if he was removed from office as part of an overall effort to reform the authority’s security services, as Arafat has stated.”5 Similarly, the New York Times reprted that “the clash [between Arafat and those whom he fired] appeared to have more to do w ith political rivalry than reform.”6


An additional indication that the episode may have been more a shuffling of portfolios than genuine reform was the fact that Jabali was offered the position of Adviser on Police Affairs to Arafat, and Rajoub was offered the position of governor of Jenin, while the current governor of Jenin, Zuhair Manasra, was offered Rajoub’s job.


1 Translation courtesy of Palestinian Media Watch.
2 Translation courtesy of Palestinian Media Watch.
3 Washington Post, July 3, 2002.
4 New York Times, June 27, 2002.
5 Washington Post, July 7, 2002.
6 New York Times, July 8, 2002.




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