Are the Palestinian Arabs Fulfilling President Bush’s Conditions for Statehood? A Survey of Week #29: Jan. 7 – Jan. 13, 2003
News
January 14, 2003


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 29th week following President Bush’s speech, January 7 through January 13, 2003.



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.” (Middle East Newsline, September 17, 2002)


What They Did During Week #29:


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 Israeli forces searching homes in Khan Yunis, Gaza, on January 1 found a cache of weapons including pipe bombs, a Kalatchnikov rifle, and ammunition, and soldiers operating east of Tulkarm uncovered a variety of weapons and bombs stored by terrorists.


E. No Closing of Bomb Factories: There were no reports of the PA shutting down any bomb factories.


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: During week #29, Jan.7, 2002 – Jan.13, 2003, there were at least 36 terrorist attacks or attempted attacks, in which two people and murdered and eight wounded:


January 7: Soldiers attacked in Shechem (Nablus); one wounded …Firebomb attack on soldiers in Tulkarm … Shooting attack on Israeli Border Police in Gaza … Shooting attack on Israeli motorists in northern Gaza … Anti-tank missiles were fired, and grenades were thrown at soldiers in Gaza … A Fatah Tanzim terrorist was captured near Shechem (Nablus) on his way to carry out a terrorist attack.


January 8: Shooting attack on Electric Company workers near Jenin … Terrorist intercepted on his way to an atatck in Neve Dekalim … Three mortar attacks on Jewish neighbhorhoods in Gush Katif … Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Tzaideh … Firebomb attacks on Israeli motorists in Al Khader, south of Jerusalem.


January 9: Attack on Israeli Border Police in Baka el-Sharqiya; one wounded … Shooting attack on Israeli motorists near Peduel … Shooting attack on Israeli motorists near Ganei Tal … Shooting attack on Israeli motorists near Abu Dis … Shooting attack and grenades thrown at an Israeli Army position near Neve Dekalim … An 88-pound bomb was discovered and dismantled near the Karni Crossing … A terrorist attempted to plant a bomb near Nahal Oz … Shooting attack on an Israeli Army outpost near Netzarim … Shooting attack on the community of Ganei Tal, in southern Gaza … Shooting attack on an Israeli army outpost near Neve Dekalim.


January 10: In two separate incidents, terrorists were captured near Bethlehem while preparing to carry out attacks … Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers near Neve Dekalim … Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers near Rafiah.


January 11: Two terrorists were intercepted on their way to an attack in Netzarim … Mortar fired at an Israeli neighborhood in southern Gaza … Shooting attack on an Israeli Army patrol in Shechem (Nablus) … Shooting attack on an Israeli Army force near Neve Dekalim … Grenade attack on an Israeli Army outpost near Rafah … Grenade attack on an Israeli soldiers near Rafah … Shooting attack on a civilian convoy traveling to Netzarim.


January 12: Bomb attack on Israeli soldiers in Gaza; one wounded … Shooting and grenade attack on an Israeli force near Rafah.


January 13: Terrorist attack in the town of Gadish; one murdered, three wounded … Shooting attack on an Israeli Army patrol near Nitzana; one murdered, two wounded.



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 #29: 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, the official website of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade of Yasir Arafat’s Fatah movement, http://www.idf.il/newsite/images/0108-1p1.jpg reported the movement’s celebrations of the January 5, 2003 suicide bombing which murdered 23 Israelis, stating:


“[Headline]: The Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades in Jenin are celebrating the success of the suicide attack. Eyewitnesses have reported that a dozens of the movement’s activists, members of the Fatah movement in Jenin and the refugee camp, have begun to shoot in the air from happiness at the success of the double suicide attack that took place on Sunday [5 Jan. 2003] in Tel Aviv. They said that the Al Aqsa activists sang through a megaphone, songs that praise the terrorists groups and fired shots in the air. They added that members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades read a message in which they emphasized [the fact] that the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades claimed responsibility [for the suicide bombings in Tel Aviv]. The message stated that ‘those who denounce the dead, should first and foremost denounce the traitors and spies” [meaning – criticism against the stance of senior leaders of the Fatah and Palestinian Authority who disclaimed responsibility for the attack]. They emphasized that ‘we will strike every place and everywhere and at any time until the occupation is eradicated.’”


The web site contains a section dedicated to the suicide bomber Samer El-Nuri: http://www.idf.il/newsite/images/0108-1p3.gif
It reads:


“[Fatah emblem] the National Palestinian Liberation Movement
[sign of the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades]
The Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades
The suicide bomber, the hero Samer El-Nuri
Hero of the [suicide] attack [in Tel Aviv]


Source http://www.fateh.tv/sameralnouri.htm


Below is the page dedicated to the suicide bomber Bruak Halifa: http://www.idf.il/newsite/images/0108-1p4.gif


Here is the translation:
“[Fatah emblem] the National Palestinian Liberation Movement
[sign of the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades]
The Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades
The suicide bomber, the knight Bruak Halifa
Hero of the [suicide] attack [in Tel Aviv]
Source http://www.fateh.tv/buraqkhalafa.htm



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 #29:


After previously announcing that it will hold elections for chairman of the PA and members of the Palestinian Legislative Council on January 20, 2003, the PA subsequently declared that those elections will be indefinitely postponed because Israeli forces are continuing to pursue terrorists in various parts of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. Even if those elections are eventually held, it remains to be seen if they will be free and fair, as President Bush has required, 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 #29:


Despite President Bush’s conditions, corruption continues to be the norm in the Palestinian Authority. The Jerusalem Post reported on January 2, 2003: “Palestinian Authority officials and institutions in the Gaza Strip are involved in stealing basic food supplies and medicine provided by United Nations Reliefs and Works Agency (UNRWA) and Arab countries, according to documents seized by the IDF during a recent raid on the Protective Security Service headquarters in Gaza City.


“The documents show that PA officials have been selling the food and medicine on the black market since 1996. Food distributed by UNRWA to residents of refugee camps in the Gaza Strip have made their way to private merchants, who are selling them on the black market.


“The documents also indicate that large supplies of medicine and other equipment donated by Arab countries as humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people were being sold at private pharmacies and other markets in the Gaza Strip. (…)


“[M]ost of the thefts were taking place at the Rafah border crossing and that PA Minister of Supplies Abu Ali Shahin is responsible. Shahin is one of the top leaders of Fatah in the Gaza Strip and one of Arafat’s confidants.


“The Rafah crossing is controlled by the Preventive Security Service, which is cooperating with Shahin in stealing humanitarian aid, the sources said, noting that Shahin is being referred to by many Palestinians as the “minister of theft’”




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