Are the Palestinian Arabs Fulfilling President Bush’s Conditions for Statehood? A Survey of Week #28: Dec. 31, 2002 – Jan. 6, 2003
January 6, 2003


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 28th week following President Bush’s speech, Dec. 31, 2002 through January 6, 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 #28:

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 #28, Dec.31, 2002-Jan.6, 2003, there were at least 35 terrorist attacks or attempted attacks, in which 25 people and murdered and 125 wounded:

December 31: Anti-tank missile fired at Israeli soldiers and civilian workers in the Rafiah area near the Israel-Egypt border; three wounded … Shots fired and grenades thrown at the Israeli Army’s Tarmit outpost in Gaza … Attack on an Israeli Border Police jeep in eastern Jerusalem … Shooting attack on an Israeli bus south of Jerusalem … Shooting attack on Israeli motorists near Hawara, south of Shechem (Nablus) … Shooting attack on an Israeli Army outpost near Neve Dekalim … Grenade thrown at an Israeli Army outpost near Neve Dekalim … Grenades thrown at Israeli soldiers along the Israel-Egypt border, near Rafah.

January 1: Fatah terrorists shot to death a 73 year-old Israeli man in the Jordan Valley … Attack on Israeli motorists near Kiryat Arba; one wounded … Terrorists intercepted on their way to an attack in Elei Sinai … Three shooting attacks on Israeli soldiers along the Israel-Egypt border, near Rafah … Shooting attack on Israeli Border Police in Tulkarm … Shooting attack on Israeli Border Police in Shechem (Nablus) … Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Rafah; two wounded … Firebomb attack on Israeli soldiers in Tulkarm; one wounded.

January 2: Suicide bomber intercepted on his way out of Shechem (Nablus) to attack a Jewish target … Shooting attack on workers north of Tulkarm … Shooting attack on the Jewish town of Psagot … A terrorist was killed in Ramallah while preparing a bomb for an attack on Jews … Bomb attack on Israeli soldiers in Gaza; two wounded … A terrorist invaded a home in the town of Moshav Maor and was killed before he could harm anyone … Three teenage terrorists intercepted while attempting to infiltrate Elei Sinai … A heavily-armed terrorist was intercepted near Nahal Kaneh.

January 3: Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Gaza.

January 4: Three heavily-armed terrorists intercepted trying to cross the Israel-Egypt border … Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Jenin; five wounded … Attack on an Israeli security guard at Kibbutz Na’an, near Rehovot; one murdered.

January 5: Suicide bombing in Tel Aviv; 22 murdered, 110 wounded … Shooting attack on an Israeli Army base near Nevei Dekalim; one wounded … Shooting attack on a bus on the Tunnels Road, near Jerusalem. January 6: Two shooting attacks on Israeli soldiers in Shechem (Nablus).

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 #28:

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.

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 #28:

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 #28:

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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