Are the Palestinian Arabs Fulfilling President Bush’s Conditions for Statehood? A Survey of Week #43: April 15, 2003 – April 21, 2003
April 22, 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 43rd week following President Bush’s speech, April 15 – April 21, 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 #43:

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 operating in Rafah on April 16 found a trove of weapons in a terrorist’s home that included a vest with grenades, bullets, and other weapons.

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 #43, April 15 – April 21, 2003, there were at least 30 terrorist attacks or attempted attacks, in which 5 people were murdered and 25 were wounded:

April 15: Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Shechem (Nablus); one murdered, two wounded … Shooting attack at the Karni Checkpoint between Gaza and the Negev; two murdered, seven wounded … Missile fired at Israeli motorists on the Karni-Netzarim road … Attack on Israeli soldiers south of Hebron … Shooting attack near the ancient Maccabim graves, a popular hiking site; one murdered, one wounded.

April 16: Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Gaza.

April 17: Four suicide attackers intercepted while preparing attacks.

April 18: Shooting attack in Jenin; one Israeli wounded … Bombs discovered near Shaked … Attack on Israeli police near the Temple Mount … Bombs discovered on the Beit Haggai road … Attacks on Israeli motorists at the Yakir Junction … Shooting attack on the Israeli Army post near Gadid … Firebomb attack in Jaber; one Israeli wounded.

April 19: Suicide bombers captured in Tulkarm while preparing an attack.

April 20: Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in the Shaked Industrial park; three wounded … Firebombs thrown at Israeli motorists between Kfar Saba and Kedumim … Suicide bomber intercepted in Shechem (Nablus) … Mortar rocket fired at an Israeli Army outpost in northern Gaza … Mortar rocket fired at an Israeli Army outpost in southern Gaza.

April 21: Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Rafiah; one murdered, three wounded … Three missiles fired at Sderot; one wounded … Mortar rockets fired at Jewish neighborhoods in Gaza … Shooting attack on an Israeli army vehicle in Jenin … Bomb attack on the town of Peduel … Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Kadim … Attacks on Jews in Hebron’s Gross Square.

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 #42:

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, Palestinian Media Watch reports that official PA television is broadcasting a new video, which includes the following scenes:

1. It opens with a laughing girl on a swing, which turns into a burning swing and burning child’s rocking horse. The implication is that Israelis attack children at play, leaving behind burning swings and burning rocking horses.

2. A father reads his young son a section from the Koran calling to fight the enemies.

3. The father hands his young son a stone to throw at Israelis. 4. A bomb is hidden [by Israel] inside a soccer ball and blows up when a child kicks it.

5. Actors depict Israeli soldiers murdering an elderly man by shooting him in the head.

6. A mother and her infant are blown up by Israeli soldiers.

A second new video on PA Television teaches young children that throwing stones at Israelis is a way to defend their mother’s honor. In one scene young boys throw stones at a glass window with Jewish symbols: the word Israel in Hebrew, a star of David, an Israeli flag and an Israeli soldier. Immediately after the window and the Jewish symbols are smashed, all the flames on a Menorah are extinguished.

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 #43:

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 19, 2003, Arafat’s number two man, Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu Mazen) became 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.”

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.”

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 #43:

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

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