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 were required to have undertaken 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 5th week following the unveiling of the Road Map plan, May 27 – June 2, 2003, which also marks the conclusion of Phase 1 of the Road Map.
I. Cease All Violence
What They Were Required to 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 #5: During week #5, May 27 – June 2, 2003, there were at least 44 terrorist attacks or attempted attacks, in which 4 people were wounded. (During the first five weeks since Abu Mazen became prime minister and the Road Map was published, there have been a total of 142 Palestinian Arab terrorist attacks or attempted attacks, in which 17 people were murdered and 168 wounded.)
May 27: Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Jenin; one wounded Stabbing attack on Israeli soldiers at the Taibah checkpoint, east of Tulkarm Two terrorists intercepted trying to attack Kibbutz Erez Bomb planted along the Gaza Strip security fence Mortar rocket fired at a Jewish neighborhood in Gush Katif Shooting attack and grenades thrown at Israeli soldiers near Rafah Three rocket attacks on the town of Sderot; two wounded Another rocket attack on Sderot Two mortar rocket attacks on Neve Dekalim Bomb attack on a road near Kibbutz Nahal Oz Attacks on Israeli motorists north of Kiryat Arba Anti-tank rocketed fired at Ganei Tal.
May 28: Mortar rocket fired at Sderot Four rocket attacks on Jewish neighborhoods in Gaza Bomb attack on Israeli soldiers near Netzarim Two bombs planted in northern Gaza.
May 29: Suicide bomber intercepted in Gaza Three mortar rocket attacks on Jewish neighborhoods in Gaza Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Jenin; one wounded.
May 30: Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Gaza.
May 31: Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers near the Israel-Egypt border Shooting attack on an Israeli Army base in Gush Katif Shooting attack on an Israeli Army outpost near Neve Dekalim Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers near Gadid.
June 1: Five mortar rocket attacks on Gadid Shooting attack and grenades thrown at Israeli soldiers in southern Gaza Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers north of Balata (near Shechem/Nablus) Bomb planted on a road near Jenin Attack on Israeli Army jeep south of Hebron.
June 2: Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Gaza Bomb attack on Israeli tank near Beit Hanoun Explosive device discovered near Jewish home in Hebron.
II. Call for Recognizing Israel and Ending Violence
What They Were Required to 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 #5: No such statement was issued by any Palestinian Arab leader.
III. Arrest, Disrupt, and Restrain Terrorists
What They Were Required to 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 #5: There were no reports of any arrests of terrorists by the Palestinian Authority.
IV. Confiscate Terrorists Weapons
What They Were Required to Do During May 2003: The Road Map obligates the Palestinian Arabs to commence confiscation of illegal weapons.
What They Did During Week #5: There were no reports of the PA seizing any terrorists weapons.
V. Dismantle the Terrorist Infrastructure
What They Were Required to 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 #5: 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 20, Israeli forces operating in Gaza on May 28 uncovered a weapons-producing factory in an abandoned building.
VI. End All Incitement
What They Were Required to Do During May 2003: The Road Map requires that all official Palestinian institutions end incitement against Israel.
What They Did During Week #5: 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.
A program on official PA Television on May 27, 2003, featured Ismail Elbakai, a scholar who declared that Jews who died during the Holocaust were killed as a result of the war, and not due to a prior plan. It is possibly true that Hitler planned the extermination of disabled Germans. It is likely that these things are true, I dont know. This is the historical truth: the true Nazi Holocaust. I apologize for using the word Holocaust. This is a word that they try to attach only to the Jews who were killed, but I use this expression in the human sense. It can also be used to refer to the Palestinians and the suffering that the Israelis [have caused] them. The Palestinians also have their own private Holocaust, and this is also true of the Gypsies, etc The Holocaust enterprise forced the Swiss government to approve [the sum of] one billion and 250 million dollars. [Why do] so many of the Swiss support Palestinian rights..? Because Swiss society is very hurt by having discovered the robbery [of the Jews].
In a sermon broadcast on PA Radio on May 23, 2003, a PA-appointed clergman, Sheikh Yusuf Abu-Sneninah, speaking in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, denounced Tyrannical America, accused Israel of aggression, and said: O Allah, destroy the enemies of Muslims, for they are within your power. (Translation courtesy of FBIS.)
The PA permitted a mass Hamas rally at A-Najah University in Shechem (Nablus) on May 28, 2003, in which students chanted We are all ready to be martyrs, and blew up a large wooden replica of an Israeli bus and an Israeli automobile. (Jerusalem Times, May 29, 2003)
On International Childrens Day, June 1, 2003, PA chairman Yasir Arafat held a meeting with children in Ramallah in which he encouraged the children to be shahid (die for the cause), noting that one shahid who dies for the sake of Jerusalem has the power equal to 40 of the enemy dying. (Ehud Yaari, Israel Television, June 1, 2003)
VII. End Arab States Support for Terror
What They Were Required to 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 #5: There were no reports of any Arab states cutting off their support for Palestinian Arab terrorist groups.
VIII. Consolidate Security Forces
What They Were Required to 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 #5: 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 Were Required to 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 #5: No such steps have yet been taken.