Are the Palestinian Arabs Fulfilling President Bush’s Conditions for Statehood? A Survey of Week #31: Jan. 21 – Jan. 27, 2003
News
January 30, 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 31st week following President Bush’s speech, January 21 through January 27, 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 #31:


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 combat helicopters operating in Gaza on January 23 located and destroyed workshops used for bomb-making, and Israeli forces operating in Gaza on January 25 located and destroyed more than 100 lathes used to produce Kassam missiles and mortars.


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 #31, Jan.20, 2002 – Jan.27, 2003, there were at least 42 terrorist attacks or attempted attacks, in which 3 were murdered and 6 wounded:


January 21: Shooting attack on Israeli motorists on the road near Alfei Menashe, east of Kalkilye … In the largest attempt bombing in Israel’s history, a car-bomb containing between 300 and 400 kilograms of explosives was intercepted between Afula and Hadera on its way to be detonated in an Israeli city … Anti-tank rocket fired at Israeli motorists leaving Netzarim … Kassam rockets fired at a Jewish neighborhoods in northern Gaza … Kassam rockets fired at a Jewish neighborhoods in central Gaza … Shooting attack on an Israeli Army bus near the Tarmit outpost … Shooting attack on an Israeli Army bus near Kerem Shalom … Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Neve Dekalim.


January 22: Attack on an Israeli bus in Jaffa late this morning; one wounded … A bomb to be used in an attack on Israeli soldiers was discovered in Tulakrm … Shooting and bomb attacks on Israeli soldiers in Khan Yunis.


January 23: Shooting attack on an Israeli bus in the Beit Aryeh-Peduel region … A terrorist disguised as a woman was intercepted on his way to carry out an attack near Alei Sinai … Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Gaza … Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in the Hebron hills; three murdered … Firebombs thrown at Israeli motorists on the Jerusalem-Maale Adumim road … Shooting attack on an Israeli motorist traveling near Shilo … Shooting attack on road workers north of Alfei Menashe … Mortar rocket fired at the town of Dugit … Two shooting attacks on Israeli soldiers in Hebron … Shooting and grenade attack on Israeli soldiers in southern Gaza … Attempted bomb attack north of Karni … Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Jaljilya … Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Zeitun … Shooting attack and grenades thrown at Israeli soldiers in Rafah.


January 24: Mortar rockets fired into the town of Siderot; one wounded … Mortar rocket fired at a kibbutz south of Ashkelon … Three terrorists intercepted on their way to carry out an attack near Mount Eval … Bomb attack on an Israeli Army vehicle near Nitzanit … Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Jenin.


January 25: Shooting, anti-tank missiles, and bombs used against Israeli soldiers in Gaza … Two mortar rockets fired at Neve Dekalim … Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Khan Yunis; one wounded … Shooting attack on an Israeli motorist near Morag … Shooting attack on an Israeli Army patrol near the Israeli-Egyptian border.


January 26: Bomb-laden donkey used to attack Israeli motorists in Gush Etzion; one wounded … Bomb attack on Israeli Border Police jeep in Gush Etzion.


January 27: Two mortar rockets fired at Israeli soldiers in Gaza … Shooting attack on an Israeli Army patrol in Gaza … Shooting attack at an Israeli Army outpost in Gaza … Shooting attack on Border Policemen in Jenin; 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 #31:


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, on January 24, official PA Television broadcast a sermon by Sheikh Ibraim al-Mudayris, speaking from the Khalil al-Wazir mosque in Gaza, in which he said: “O Allah, clean our country from the filth of the Jews.”


Also on January 24, official PA Radio broadcast a sermon by Sheikh Ikrimah Sabri, the PA-appointed Mufti of Jerusalem, speaking from the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, in which he said: “Threats to Iraq are escalating these days. What is prepared for Iraq will also affect other Islamic countries. Anything contrary to this reality is false and deception. All this takes place under the pretext of fighting terrorism. The West is misusing terrorism by trying to link it to our great Islamic religion. It is necessary to clarify the meaning of terrorism.” He denounced “the killing of thousands of innocent people in Afghanistan as terrorism,” and said that “current preparations to attack Iraq amount to terrorism.” He continued: “It is time for Arabs and Muslims — rulers and ruled — to close their ranks and block the planned US-British aggression against Iraq or any country in the Islamic world. Any aggression against any Islamic country is an aggression against the whole Islamic nation. The Islamic nation should wake up before it is too late. Under Islamic law, Muslims are prohibited from supporting any war against Iraq.” He concluded: “O Allah, protect Iraq and the people of Iraq.” (Translation courtesy of FBIS.)



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 #31:


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 #31:


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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