Are the Palestinian Arabs Fulfilling President Bush’s Conditions for Statehood? A Survey of Week #44: April 22, 2003 – April 28, 2003
April 28, 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 44th week following President Bush’s speech, April 22 – April 28, 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 #44:

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 searching a wadi northeast of Jerusalem on April 26 found and seized a one-ton cache of chemicals used to prepare bombs.

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 #44, April 22 – April 28, 2003, there were at least 24 terrorist attacks or attempted attacks, in which 1 person was murdered and 25 were wounded:

April 22: A suicide bomber was captured in Kalkilya while preparing to carry out an attack … Terrorists from Nahlin captured after throwing firebombs at Israeli motorists … Firebomb attack on Israeli motorists near Hizme; one wounded … Firebomb attacks on Israeli motorists in the Hebron region … Attack on a Border Policeman in Jerusalem; one wounded … Shots fired at Israeli soldiers manning the Rama checkpoint near northern Jerusalem … Shots fired at an Israeli Army position near Kadim … Rocket fired at Israeli soldiers near the Israel-Egypt border.

April 23: Bomb dismantled in the Sharon region … Mortar rocket fired at an Israeli army position near Gadid … Three rockets fired at an Israeli Army outpost near Netzarim … Rocket fired into Sderot … Terrorist killed while preparing a bomb in his home in Hebron.

April 24: Suicide bombing at the Kfar Saba train station; one murdered, 17 wounded.

April 25: Shots fired at Israeli soldiers in Jenin; one wounded … Terrorists captured after attacking Israeli motorists near Beitar Illit.

April 26: Shots fired at Israeli soldiers in Gaza.

April 27: Terrorist intercepted on his way to carry out an attack in Itamar.

April 28: Shots fired at Israeli soldiers in Shechem (Nablus); five wounded … Shots fired at Israeli soldiers in Kalkilya … Rockets fired at Neve Dekalim … Attacks on Israeli motorists in eastern Jerusalem … Shots fired at Israeli soldiers near Talmon … Firebomb attack on Israeli soldiers 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 #44:

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 April 18, 2003 broadcast a sermon by Sheikh Ibrahim Mudayris, from the Ijlin Mosque in Gaza, in which he said that the Palestinian Arabs’ “hearts are bleeding painfully over what happened in Iraq. I know that your hearts were wounded by the fall of Baghdad … The children and women of Iraq are being butchered … America organizes the systematic destruction of Iraq. America organizes the looting, plundering, and destruction operations.” He conclude with a prayer for Allah to give victory for the Iraqis and the Palestinian Arabs “against the Jews, Britain, and the United States, and their allies.”

On the same day, PA Radio broadcast a sermon by Sheikh Yusuf Abu-Sneinah, in the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, in which he said: “Tomorrow, Iraq will witness a civil war encouraged by imperialist circles, because the United States wants to mutilate Iraq, wipe it off the map, plunder its resources, and achieve security for Israel.”

Palestinian Media Watch reported that on April 24, 2003, PA Television began broadcasting a new “hate-filled music video” which “has Arabic speaking actors portraying a fictitious torture of a Palestinian prisoner by an Israeli soldier. This has been broadcast numerous times daily as part of the special PA TV broadcasting for ‘Palestinian Prisoners Day’ which was marked this week in the PA.”

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 #44:

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 are visiting) Judea, Samaria, Gaza, the Golan, the Old City section of Jerusalem (where the Jewish Quarter, Western Wall and Temple Mount are situated), and such Jerusalem neighborhoods 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.” Also, 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 #44:

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

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