Are the Palestinian Arabs Fulfilling President Bush’s Conditions for Statehood? – A Survey of Week #12: September 10 – September 16, 2002
News
September 16, 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 twelfth week following President Bush’s speech, September 10-16, 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.


The Bush administration has also said that in rebuilding its police and security forces, the PA must reform them so that they fight against terrorists instead of taking part in terrorism. The training, under the supervision of U.S., Egyptian, and Jordanian security officials, is scheduled to begin on September 19, 2002; however, Israel has protested the fact that at least 100 of the 150 PA security officers participating in the course “were involved in attacks on Israeli civilians.”1



What They Did During Week #12:


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, on September 6, Israeli helicopters struck a weapons factory in the Gaza city of Khan Yunis; on September 12, Israeli forces destroyed six workshops in the Gaza city of Rafah where Kassam rockets were being manufactured; on September 14, Israeli forces uncovered and destroyed a large explosives factor in the village of Azna, south of Jenin; and on September 15, Israeli forces destroyed a weapons plant in Rafah where mortars and Kassam rockets were being made and eight weapons-producing lathes located in local homes. On September 16, Israeli forces located and destroyed nine rocket-producing workshops in the Khan Yunis area.


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 #12, Israeli forces were engaged in “Operation Determined Stand,” resulting in a sharp decrease in terrorist attacks. Nevertheless, there were at least 34 terrorist attacks or attempted attacks during the week of September 10-16, in which 7 people were wounded:



September 10: Bomb attack on Israeli soldiers near Shechem (Nablus) … Dozens of grenades were hurled at an Israeli Army patrol near Rafiah … Mortar rocket fired at a Jewish community in Gaza … Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Ramallah … Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers near the northern Shomron community of Sa-Nur … Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza; two soldiers wounded.



September 11: Shooting attack in the northern town of Charish, east of Hadera … Bomb attack on an Israeli motorist in Charish … Shooting attack on Israeli Border Policemen near Shechem (Nablus); two wounded … Attack on an Israeli motorist near Kiryat Arba … Grenade attack on Israeli soldiers in Hebron … Two mortar attacks on a Jewish community in Gush Katif … Firebomb attack on Israeli soldiers near Bir Zeit.



September 12: Mortar rocket lands between two western Negev communities … Shooting attack between Avnei Heifetz and Einav; one Israeli motorist wounded … Bomb attack on an Israeli Army patrol near Bir Zeit … Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Tulkarm; one wounded … Mortar fired into Kibbutz Sa’ad … Missile fired at an Israeli bus near Netzarim.



September 13: Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Jenin … Grenade attack on Israeli soldiers in Gaza … Two shooting attacks on the Jewish neighborhood of Tel Romeida, in Hebron … Terrorists intercepted on their way to carry out an attack in the Netanya-Herzliya area … Bomb discovered and dismantled near an Israeli Army outpost in Jenin.



September 14: Kassam rocket and mortars fired at a Jewish community in Gush Katif, followed by three hours of shooting by terrorists.



September 15: Shooting attack on Border Policemen near Tulkarm … Shooting attack on an Israeli Army helicopter near Tulkarm.



September 16: Attack on worshippers heading home from prayer services in Jerusalem’s Gilo neighborhood; one injured … Attack on Israelis making their way towards the Western Wall … Grenade thrown at Israeli soldiers at the Gush Katif junction … Shooting attack on an Israeli motorist on his way to Beit El … Shooting attack on an Israeli Army vehicle near the Bir Zeit bridge overpass, north of Ramallah and Beit El.




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 #12:


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, Israeli troops searching PA schools in Ramallah—some of them under the auspices of the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA)— on September 9 found that the classrooms were filled with “posters glorifying suicide attacks, armed struggle, and leaders of the terrorist wing of Hamas.” See: http://www.idf.il/newsite/hebrew/010-4.jpg http://www.idf.il/newsite/hebrew/010-5.jpg http://www.idf.il/newsite/hebrew/010-3.jpg http://www.idf.il/newsite/hebrew/010-2.jpg



On September 10, official PA television broadcast ten minutes of films calling expressly for attacking the Israeli “enemy.” The films featured footage of Arafat himself and other Palestinian Arab leaders carrying weapons during attacks on Israel. The chant “Oh, masses of the occupied land, go forward with the revolution against the enemy” was repeated dozens of times in a song that featured a mixture of celebratory martial music that played over pictures of Palestinian youths throwing burning gasoline bombs, rocks and firing rifles. (Translation courtesy of Prof. Michael Widlanski of Hebrew University and themedialine.com)


On September 11, the official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida published two cartoons harshly ridiculing the U.S. One showed Uncle Sam running in fright from the date “September 11” attached to a pair of legs; the other portrayed the fatalities from the 9/11 attacks as “victims of American imperialism.” Several days earlier, the newspaper published cartoons depicting George Bush and Tony Blair as Nazis, and portraying the U.S. war on terror as a cover for American policy to seize Arab oil (Translations courtesy of Palestinian Media Watch.)



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 #12: The PA has announced that it will hold elections for chairman of the PA and members of the Palestinian Legislative Council on January 20, 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.



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 #12:


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 Middle East Newsline, September 17, 2002.
2 New York Times, June 27, 2002.
3 Middle East Newsline, July 9, 2002.




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