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 3rd week following the unveiling of the Road Map plan, May 13 – May 19, 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 #3: During week #3, May 13 – May 19, 2003, there were at least 38 terrorist attacks or attempted attacks, in which 12 people were murdered and 92 were wounded. (During the first three weeks since Abu Mazen became prime minister and the Road Map was published, there were a total of 72 Palestinian Arab terrorist attacks or attempted attacks, in which 17 people were murdered and 161 wounded.)
May 13: Mortar rocket attack on Israeli soldiers in Gush Katif; ten wounded Three mortar rockets fired at an Israeli community in Gush Katif Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers near Rafah Mortar rocket attack on Sderot; three wounded Two terrorists intercepted on their way to carry out a double suicide attack near Netanya Israeli motorists attacked near Halhoul; one wounded.
May 14: Suicide bomber intercepted on his way to carry out an attack in Petah Tikvah Bomb planted near the Gush Katif town of Morag Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Gaza Mortar rockets fired at Sderot Four terrorists intercepted on their way to an attack in Netzarim Stabbing attack at the Israeli Army outpost of Gadid; one wounded Bombs, grenades, gunfire, and anti-tank missiles fired at Israeli soldiers in Gaza.
May 15: Mortar rockets fired at Neve Dekalim Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Jenin Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Shechem (Nablus) Bomb planted near the town of Morag Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers north of the Karni Junction Bombs and grenades thrown at Israeli soldiers in Gaza.
May 16: Shooting attack on Israeli motorists near Nevei Tzuf; one wounded Shooting attack on Israeli motorists in the Southern Hebron Hills district Attack on an Israeli bus near Chawara Attack on an Israeli motorist near Turmous Aiya Attempted attack on the Israeli ArmyÃ¢â‚¬â¢s Girit outpost near Rafah Mortar rocket fired at a Negev community.
May 17: Suicide bomb attack in Hebron; 2 murdered Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Shaarei Tikva; two wounded.
May 18: Suicide bomb attack on a Jerusalem bus, and a second suicide bomb attack nearby; 7 murdered, 21 wounded.
May 19: Suicide bomb attack on Israeli soldiers in Gaza; three wounded Rocket fired at Kibbutz Kfar Aza Suicide attack in Afula; 3 murdered, 48 wounded Shooting attack on Israelis near Rafiah Yam Shooting attack on an Israeli bus on the Karni-Netzarim route Grenade attack on an Israeli Army patrol near the Israel-Egypt border Two mortar rocket attacks on Jewish communities in Gaza Bomb planted in the town of Morag Mortar rocket attack on Sderot; two wounded.
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 #3: No such statement was issued by any Palestinian Arab leader.
After the suicide bombing in Jerusalem in which 7 people were murdered and 21 wounded, the PA issued a statement saying: In the wake of the suicide bombings in occupied East Jerusalem, the Palestinian leadership condemned all acts of violence perpetrated against Israeli and Palestinian civilians and called for a halt to all attacks against civilians everywhere, with no exceptions. However, the PA does not regard Israelis beyond the 1967 borders as civilians; it characterizes them as settlers and as legitimate targets for violent Arab attacks. Since the bombing took place in the French Hill section of Jerusalem, which is just beyond the 1967 border occupied East Jerusalem as the PA put it the PA would consider its victims settlers rather than civilians.
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.
In addition, 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 #3: 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 #3: 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 #3: 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 13, Israeli forces operating in Shechem (Nablus) uncovered an explosives laboratory containing 10 kilograms of TPTA explosives, chemical fertilizers, and an explosive device ready for detonation.
On May 14, Israeli forces operating in Jenin uncovered a cache that included mortar rockets, an M-16 rifle, vests for suicide bombers, and cartridges for weapons.
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 #3: 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 #3: 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 #3: 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 #3: No such steps have yet been taken.