Are the Palestinian Arabs Fulfilling President Bush’s Conditions for Statehood? A Survey of Week #5: July 23 – July 29, 2002
July 29, 2002


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 fifth week following President Bush’s speech, July 23-July 29, 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 #5:

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.

E. No Closing of Bomb Factories: There were no reports of the PA shutting down any bomb factories. By contrast, Israeli forces discovered and destroyed three rocket-producing factories in Gaza on July 25.

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 #5, Israeli forces were engaged in “Operation Determined Stand,” resulting in a sharp decrease in terrorist attacks. Nevertheless, there were at least 35 terrorist attacks or attempted attacks, in which 5 people were murdered and 8 wounded:

July 22-23: Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers near the Kissufim junction…Shooting and firebomb attack on Israeli soldiers in Tulkarm…Eight mortar attacks on Jewish neighborhoods in Gaza…Shooting attack on Israeli Army position at the Tarmit Outpost in Rafiah…Bomb discovered and dismantled in Tel Aviv…Grenade attack on the Tarmit Outpost…Kassam rockets fired at Sderot…Shooting attack on an Israeli motorist near Ma’aleh Levonah; two Israelis wounded.

July 24: Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers near Ganim; two wounded…Fatah shooting attack near Paduel; one murdered, one wounded.

July 25: Two Kassam rockets fired at a Jewish neighborhood in Gaza…Mortars fired at Israeli soldiers in Gaza. July 26: Fatah shooting attack on motorists south of Hebron; four murdered, two wounded…Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers searching for bomb factories in Gaza.

July 27: Mortars fired at the town of Netzer Hazani and another Jewish neighborhood in Gaza…Attack on Israeli soldiers south of Jenin; one wounded…Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers patrolling near Kibbutz Sasa…

July 28: Attack on the funeral procession of the four Israelis murdered on

July 26…Woman terrorist intercepted west of Jenin on her way to carry out a suicide attack… Attack on motorists traveling near Karmei Tzur…An Israeli bus near Netzarim was hit and heavily damaged by Hamas’s new “Al Bana” anti-tank missile.

July 29: Mortars fired at Jewish neighborhoods in central and northern Gaza Strip…Shooting attack on Israeli motorists passing Halhoul, near Hebron…A terrorist was intercepted on his way to carry out a suicide attack near Kfar Saba…A suicide bomber and three accomplices were captured in Burkin, east of Tel Aviv, as they were preparing to carry out an attack…Mortars fired at Neve Dekalim…Shooting and grenade attack on Israeli soldiers near Rafiah.

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 #5:

The PA’s official newspapers, television, and radio continued to broadcast a steady stream of anti-Israel, anti-American, and pro-violence incitement, and PA officials continues to make inciting statements.

For example, on July 26, the PA permitted a mass Hamas rally in Gaza, at which Hamas leaders called for violence “like an earthquake” against Israel.1

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 #5: Shortly after President Bush’s speech, 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.2 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.

On July 23, the United Nations issued a study, “Human Development Report 2002: Deepening Democracy in a Fragmented World,” which warned that some authoritarian countries have held elections which appeared to be democratic but in fact did not succeed in democratizing those nations. “One multiparty election does not a democracy make,” said Mark Malloch Brown, administrator of the U.N. program which published the report. “The international cheerleaders for democracy have underestimated what it takes to build a functioning, properly rooted democracy.”3

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 #5:

The PA continues to claim that it is in the process of implementing what it describes as a “100-day reform plan,” but experts doubt that the reforms will be genuine. Robert Satloff of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy said of the plan: “While it offers promising elements of change, the plan is only likely to strengthen the unacceptable status quo.”4

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