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. None of those conditions were fulfilled.
In March 2003, Yasir Arafat chose Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), the number two man in the PLO since the 1960s, as the new prime minister of the Palestinian Authority. Mazen took office on April 29, 2003. Less than a day later, the Bush administration unveiled its Road Map plan, which set forth conditions that the Palestinian Arabs must fulfill prior to the creation of a Palestinian Arab state.
The Road Map stipulates that during the month of May 2003, the Palestinian Arabs must undertake a series of concrete steps to combat terrorist groups and democratize Palestinian Arab society. Those obligations are quoted below.
This report analyzes Palestinian Arab violations of those obligations during the 1st week following the unveiling of the Road Map plan, May 6 – May 12, 2003.
I. Cease All Violence
What They Must Do During May 2003: The Road Map states: In Phase 1 [May 2003], the Palestinians immediately undertake an unconditional cessation of violence.
What They Did During Week #2: During week #1, May 6 – May 12, 2003, there were at least 12 terrorist attacks or attempted attacks, in which 2 people were murdered and 5 were wounded:
May 6: Shooting attack near Achiyah; one murdered, two wounded, including a six-year old girl Three mortar rockets fired at Neve Dekalim.
May 7: Shots fired at Israeli soldiers in Gaza Seven mortar rockets fired at crowds celebrating Independence Day in Gush Katif.
May 8: Shots fired at Israeli soldiers in Gaza.
May 9: Shots fired at Israeli soldiers in Gaza.
May 10: Shots fired at Israeli soldiers in Gaza.
May 11: Shooting attack near Ofra; one murdered Katyusha rockets fired at Sderot; three wounded.
May 12: Shots fired at Israeli soldiers in Gaza Bomb planted near Rafah Suicide bomber intercepted in Shechem (Nablus) while preparing an attack.
II. Call for Recognizing Israel and Ending Violence
What They Must Do During May 2003: The Road Map obligates the Palestinian Arabs to issue an unequivocal statement reiterating Israels right to exist in peace and security and calling for an immediate and unconditional cease-fire to end armed activity and all acts of violence against Israelis anywhere.
What They Did During Week #2: No such statement was issued by any Palestinian Arab leader. In his first speech as prime minister, delivered before the Palestinian Legislative Council on April 29, 2003, Abu Mazen made reference to the need to end the Arab-Israeli conflict peacefully but did not issue an unequivocal statement about Israels right to exist in peace and security. Nearly all references to Israel in his speech referred to Israeli aggression and the like. Nor did Abu Mazens speech call for an end to violence against Israelis anywhere; he said: We denounce terrorism by any party and in all its shapes and forms both because of our religious and moral traditions and because we are convinced that such methods do not lend support to a just cause like ours, but rather destroy it. However, since Abu Mazen and other PA officials have never regarded the murder of Israelis as terrorism but rather as legitimate resistance, his statement cannot be considered a call to Palestinian Arabs to stop murdering Israelis.
Moreover, as recently as March 3, 2003, Mazen told the newspaper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat that the murder of Jews beyond the pre-1967 border is legitimate because it constitutes an act of opposition to the occupation.
III. Arrest, Disrupt, and Restrain Terrorists
What They Must Do During May 2003: The Road Map obligates the Palestinian Arabs to undertake visible efforts on the ground to arrest, disrupt and restrain individuals and groups conducting and planning violent attacks on Israelis anywhere.
What They Did During Week #2: There were no reports of any arrests of terrorists by the Palestinian Authority.
IV. Confiscate Terrorists Weapons
What They Must Do During May 2003: The Road Map obligates the Palestinian Arabs to commence confiscation of illegal weapons.
What They Did During Week #2: There were no reports of the PA seizing any terrorists weapons. In his first speech as prime minister, delivered before the Palestinian Legislative Council on April 29, 2003, Abu Mazen said the unauthorized possession of weapons, with its direct threat to the security of the population, is a major concern that will be relentlessly addressed. He did not say the weapons would be confiscated; he did not even call on Hamas and Islamic Jihad to surrender their weapons. Moreover, the phrase unauthorized provides a potential loophole, since the PA could authorize Hamas and Islamic Jihad to possess weapons.
V. Dismantle the Terrorist Infrastructure
What They Must Do During May 2003: The Road Map obligates the Palestinian Arabs to carry out the dismantlement of terrorist capabilities and infrastructure.
What They Did During Week #2: The PA did not outlaw Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah, or any other terrorist groups; there were no reports of the PA shutting down any bomb factories or terrorists training camps; the PA continued to ignore Israels 45 requests for the extradition of terrorists; 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).
By contrast, on May 6, Israeli forces uncovered and destroyed an explosives lab in a village north of Shechem (Nablus).
VI. End All Incitement
What They Must Do During May 2003: The Road Map requires that all official Palestinian institutions end incitement against Israel.
What They Did During Week #2: The PAs 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. In addition, there was no change in the PAs policy of inciting support for terror by publicly praising terrorists, naming streets after them, and paying salaries to imprisoned terrorists and their families. Moreover, in his first speech as prime minister, delivered before the Palestinian Legislative Council on April 29, 2003, Abu Mazen called the terrorists imprisoned in Israel heroes and demanded that they be set free.
VII. End Arab States Support for Terror
What They Must Do During May 2003: The Road Map states that during May 2003, Arab states cut off public and private funding and all other forms of support for groups supporting and engaging in violence and terror.
What They Did During Week #2: There were no reports of any Arab states cutting off their support for Palestinian Arab terrorist groups.
VIII. Consolidate Security Forces
What They Must Do During May 2003: The Road Map obligates the Palestinian Arabs to undertake consolidation of security authority, free of association with terror and corruption; and all Palestinian security organizations are consolidated into three services reporting to an empowered interior minister.
What They Did During Week #2: The Israeli daily Haaretz reported on May 5, 2003, that five different PA security organizations, including Force 17 and the General Intelligence, remain under the direct command of Chairman Yasir Arafat and have not been consolidated under the control of the Interior Minister. Military Intelligence, the National Security Forces, and the naval forces are also under Arafats control. Only the remaining two security agencies are under the Interior Minister. Arafats five are under the control of a newly-created agency, the National Security Council, chaired by Arafat and his close aide Hanni al-Hassan.
IX. Institute Democratic Reforms
What They Must Do During May 2003: The Road Map requires the Palestinian Arabs to undertake a number of steps to transform their brutal, corrupt dictatorial regime into a full-fledged democracy, including action on a credible process to draft constitution for Palestinian statehood; the holding of free, open, and fair elections; and steps to achieve genuine separation of powers, including any necessary Palestinian legal reforms for this purpose.
What They Did During Week #2: No such steps have yet been taken.