Are the Palestinian Arabs Fulfilling President Bush’s Conditions for Statehood? A Survey of Week #13: September 17 – September 23, 2002
September 23, 2002

A Survey of Week #13: September 17 – September 23, 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 thirteenth week following President Bush’s speech, September 17-23, 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, began 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 #13:

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 18, Israeli forces in Gaza City located and destroyed seven structures used to produce weapons including Kassam rockets, and exploded a large laboratory for the production of explosives. On September 23, Israeli troops in Gaza destroyed thirteen metal workshops, which were used to produce Kassam rockets—bringing to 58 the number of rocket-manufacturing plants discovered and destroyed in Gaza since September 1, 2002.

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 #13, Israeli forces were engaged in “Operation Determined Stand,” resulting in a sharp decrease in terrorist attacks. Nevertheless, during Sept.17-23, 2002, there were at least 24 terrorist attacks or attempted attacks, in which 9 people were murdered and 66 wounded:

September 17: Bomb discovered and dismantled in Hebron … Bomb attack on an Israeli Army convoy south of Tulkarm … Shooting attack on an Israeli Army patrol west of Jenin … Israeli businessman murdered in El-Azaria, east of Jerusalem.

September 18: Suicide bombing at an Israeli police checkpoint; one killed, two wounded … Shooting attack by Fatah on an Israeli motorist near Himanit, south of Um el Fahm; one killed, one wounded … Shooting attack on Israeli motorists between Shavei Shomron and Einav … Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers near Kfar Tamun, east of Jenin … Suicide bomber intercepted near Shechem [Nablus].

September 19: Suicide bombing in Tel Aviv; 6 dead, 55 wounded … Shooting and bomb attack on Israeli soldiers in Gaza City; three wounded.

September 20: Several mortar shells fired at an Israeli Army outpost near Rafiah Yam (Gaza) … Mortar fired at another Jewish neighborhood in Gush Katif.

September 21: Shooting attack on Jerusalem’s Gilo neighborhood … Attack on the security guard in front of the Ateret Cohanim Yeshiva in Jerusalem’s Old City; one injured.

September 22: Two armed Arabs intercepted on their way to attack a Jewish neighborhood in Gush Katif

September 23: Shooting attack on Jewish worshippers in Hebron; one man was killed and his three children were injured…Bomb attack on an Israeli Army force near Neve Dekalim … Shooting attack on Israeli Army outpost near Neve Dekalim … Shooting attack on an Israeli motorist on the road near Baka el-Garbiya …Grenade attack on Israeli soldiers in Rafiach…Shooting attack on the Israeli town of Sanur…Shooting attacks on Israeli soldiers searching for terrorists in Gaza… Bomb attack on Israeli soldiers searching for terrorists in Gaza.

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 #13:

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 continued to make inciting statements.

For example, Arafat’s Fatah held a rally in Gaza on September 16 at which they burned American and Israeli flags.

On September 22, official PA Television broadcast scenes of mass street violence, accompanied by the song “Where Are the Masses,” the lyrics of which declare:

“Where are the masses? / Where is the Arab nation? / Where is the Arab rage? / Where is the Arab blood? / Where is the Arab honor?” … Allah is with us, He is stronger than the Zionists / … Call upon the armies, for my voice has not reached them / We are the possessors of the Rights / We are to Revolution, and they are infidel possessors of the elephant / We are the generation of the Rights, generation of the revolution, Allah’s flock of Attack Birds / Therefore thrust upon them stones, stones from Hell!”

(Translation 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 #13: 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 #13:

The PA continues to claim that it is in the process of implementing what it describes as its “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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