Are the Palestinian Arabs Fulfilling President Bush’s Conditions for Statehood? – A Survey of Week #10: August 27 – September 2, 2002
News
September 5, 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 tenth week following President Bush’s speech, August 27-September 2, 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 #10:


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, on August 28, Israeli forces thwarted an attempt to smuggle large amounts of weapons and explosives into PA-controlled Gaza, via the Mediterranean sea in barrels.


E. No Closing of Bomb Factories: There were no reports of the PA shutting down any bomb factories. By contrast, on August 28, Israeli forces uncovered and destroyed a large bomb factory in Jenin.


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 #10, Israeli forces were engaged in “Operation Determined Stand,” resulting in a sharp decrease in terrorist attacks. In addition, on August 19, Israel reached an agreement with the PA to withdraw Israeli troops from Gaza and Bethlehem in exchange for a halt to Palestinian Arab terrorism in those areas. Nevertheless, there were at least 42 terrorist attacks or attempted attacks (many of them in Gaza) during the week of August 27-September 2, in which 12 people were wounded:



August 27: Mortar fired at a Jewish home in Gush Katif … An armed terrorist intercepted at the Peirot Junction outside Kalkilya, on his way to ambush Israeli motorists … Firebomb attack on Israeli soldiers in Shechem (Nablus); one wounded … Bomb discovered and dismantled outside Shaarei Tikvah … Mortar fired at a kindergarten in Gush Katif … Shooting attacks on Israeli Army positions in Neveh Dekalim and Khan Yunis … Anti-tank missile fired at an Israeli Army position near Tel Katifa … Two suicide bombers arrested in northern Samaria on their way to carry out an attack … Firebombs thrown at an Israeli motorist near Nevei Tzuf.


August 28: Mortar fired into a home in Gush Katif; three children injured … Mortar fired into Neve Dekalim … Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers near Tel Katifa … Shots fired at an Israeli motorist near Peduel … Anti-tank rocket fired at Israeli soldiers in Gaza … Shots fired at Israeli Army outposts in Gaza … Bomb attack on Israeli soldiers at the Tel Katifa outpost … Shooting attacks on Israeli soldiers near Gadid … Shooting attacks on Israeli soldiers at the Tarmit outpost near Rafiah.


August 29: Five mortar attacks on Jewish towns in Gaza … Later, another mortar attack on Neve Dekalim.


August 30: Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Jenin; three wounded … Shooting attack on Jews in Har Bracha; four wounded … Shooting attack on Jewish worshippers near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron; one wounded.


August 31: Anti-tank grenades thrown and shots fired at Ganei Tal … Kassam rockets, aimed at the Erez Industrial Park, discovered and dismantled.


September 1: Teenage terrorist intercepted with a bomb on his way to carry out an attack in the Hebron-Gush Etzion area … Bomb discovered and dismantled near Kisufim … Shooting attack on soldiers near Jenin … Rocket fired at the northern Gush Katif community of Netzarim .. Bomb discovered and dismantled in Shechem (Nablus) … Four terrorists intercepted trying to cut their way through the fence of a Jewish neighborhood in Gaza.


September 2: Terrorist intercepted in Kod, west of Jenin, while preparing a suicide attack … Terrorist attempted to stab an Israeli soldier at the Baka el-Sharqiya Checkpoint in northwestern Samaria … Arson attack on a southern Mekorot Water Company facility … Four separate shooting attacks on Israeli motorists in Samaria.



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 #10:


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, Israel Radio reported on August 31 that PA Cabinet Secretary Ahmad Abdul Rahman “called for all Palestinians to carry out attacks against Israel”.



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 #10: 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.1 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 August 23, PA cabinet minister Saeb Erekat said that the Bush administration proposed that the PA parliament choose a prime minister, who would rule in place of Arafat, rather than have general elections for leader of the PA. Erekat said: “We told them that this is not your busyiness. We were shocked during the discussions that the American side is speaking about changing the law of elections.”2



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 #10:


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.”3


1 New York Times, June 27, 2002.
2 Associated Press, August 23, 2002.
3 Middle East Newsline, July 9, 2002.




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