Are the Palestinian Arabs Fulfilling President Bush’s Conditions for Statehood? A Survey of Week #38: March 11, 2003 – March 17, 2003
March 17, 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 38th week following President Bush’s speech, March 11 – March 17, 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.

A report by the Israeli Foreign Ministry on February 20, 2003, revealed: “Documents found recently in the Gaza offices of the Palestinian Preventive Security Service (PPSS) expose not only the corruption and mismanagement of the Palestinian Authority, but also reveal the channeling of PA funds toward the financing and implementation of terrorist operation.

“Among the documents found during the IDF’s Operation Guardian Fortress in Gaza were hundreds of receipts along with photocopies of cheques and other documents. These relate to the transfer of sums of money, ranging from hundreds of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars, to senior and lower-level operatives and other elements. These funds, originating from the budgets of the Preventive Security apparatus and its independent sources of income were used not only for preventive security (such as intelligence gathering and preventive operations) but also to finance and initiate terrorism.”

The Bush administration has also said that in rebuilding its police and security forces, the PA must reform them so 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 Sept. 19, 2002; however, Israel has protested the fact that at least 100 of the 150 PA security officers in the course “were involved in attacks on Israeli civilians.” (Middle East Newsline, Sept. 17, 2002)

What They Did During Week #38:

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, Israeli forces

E. No Closing of Bomb Factories: There were no reports of the PA shutting down any bomb factories. By contrast, Israeli forces operating in Khan Yunis on March 11 uncovered an explosives lab containing some 50kg of explosives, pipe bombs and other explosives at various stages of preparation.

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 #8, March 11 – March 17, 2003, there were at least 20 terrorist attacks or attempted attacks, in which 1 person was murdered and 2 were wounded:

March 11: Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Gaza.

March 12: Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Tzaide; one murdered, one wounded … Rocket fired at Kfar Aza … Firebomb attack on an Israeli police station in eastern Jerusalem … Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Kalkilya …

March 13: Two terrorists intercepted on their way to carry out an attack in Samaria … Firebomb attack on the Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Homa … A terrorist was captured in Kabatiya while preparing to carry out a suicide attack.

March 14: Two terrorists caught on their way to carry out an attack in Gaza … Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Jenin.

March 15: Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Gaza.

March 16: Terrorists intercepted on their way to an attack in Itamar … Missile fired at Kfar Darom … Shooting attack on Israeli motorists near Bethlehem … Firebomb attack on Israeli motorists near Marda … Attack on Israeli soldiers in Hebron; one wounded.

March 17: Mortar rocket fired at Kibbutz Kissufim … Rocket fired at Sderot … Terrorist intercepted on her way to carry out an attack in Jerusalem … Two terrorists killed while preparing a suicide bomb in Tulkarm.

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 #38:

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, official PA Television on March 14, 2003 broadcast a live sermon by Sheikh Ibrahim Mudayris in the Sheikh Ijlin Mosque in Gaza, inv hich he said: “O Allah, support us against our enemies. O Allah, destroy our enemies. O Allah, destroy America and Israel. O Allah, shake the land under their feet.”

On the same day, official PA Radio broadcast a live sermon from the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, in which Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, the PA-appointed Mufti of Jerusalem, denounced the “criminal United States” and “rancorous Britain.”

He added: “We appeal to Arabs, Kurds, Turks, Indians, Pakistanis, Malaysians, Indonesians, and others to stand as one rank, stop the aggression, and cleanse their territories of US military occupation. The Arab and Islamic rulers must benefit from the international stand against aggression by deterring the United States from carrying out its possible war…O Allah, make the plots of the aggressors backfire on them. O Allah, annihilate them to the last man. O Allah, protect Al-Aqsa Mosque from every evil. O Allah, protect Iraq and its people.”

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 #38:

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. On March 12, 2003, Arafat announced that he had appointed his number two man, Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu Mazen) as prime minister of the PA. While PA officials claimed this fulfilled President Bush’s requirement for “new leaders not compromised by terror,” Abbas told the Arab newspaper Alsharq Al-Awsat on March 3, 2003: “We didn’t talk about a break in the armed struggle … It is our right to resist. The Intifada must continue and it is the right of the Palestinian People to resist and use all possible means in order to defends its presence and existence. I add and say that if the Israelis come to your land in order to erect a settlement then it is your right to defend what is yours.”

The interviewer then asked: “Including using arms?” Abbas replied: “All means and arms as long as they are coming to your home, as this is the right to resist. The restriction applies only to ‘Shahada -Seeking’ [suicide] operations and going out to attack in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. There is no justification to go out [of the territories] to fight the army.”

Thus Abbas supports murdering all Jews in the territories, both soldiers and civilians whom he defines as “settlers”—that is, Jews who reside in (or happen to be visiting) Judea, Samaria, Gaza, the Golan, the Old City section of Jerusalem (where the Jewish Quarter, Western Wall and Temple Mount are situated), and Jerusalem neighborhoods such as Gilo, Ramat Eshkol, French Hill, and the Hebrew University campus.

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 #38:

Despite President Bush’s conditions, corruption continues to be the norm in the Palestinian Authority.

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