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 the Palestinian Arabs are required to undertake concrete steps to combat terrorist groups and democratize Palestinian Arab society. Those obligations, which are quoted below, were supposed to have been fulfilled during Phase 1 of the Road Map, which concluded at the end of May 2003, but they were not.
This report analyzes Palestinian Arab violations of those obligations during the 17th week following the unveiling of the Road Map plan, August 19 – August 25, 2003.
I. Cease All Violence
What They Are Required to Do: The Road Map states: In Phase 1 [May 2003], the Palestinians immediately undertake an unconditional cessation of violence. They did not do so. On June 29, 2003, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Fatah issued statements saying that they would suspend attacks on Israelis for a period of 90 days if Israel ceases all counter-terror operations and releases all imprisoned terrorists.
What They Did During Week #17: During week #17, August 19 – August 25, 2003, there were at least 23 terrorist attacks or attempted attacks, in which 21 people were murdered and 140 wounded.
(During the first 17 weeks since Abu Mazen became prime minister and the Road Map was published, there have been a total of 432 Palestinian Arab terrorist attacks or attempted attacks, in which 76 people were murdered and 484 wounded.)
August 19: Suicide bomber intercepted while preparing an attack in Haifa Three shooting attacks on Israeli soldiers near Neve Dekalim Three shooting attacks on Israeli soldiers near Rafah-Yam.
August 20: Suicide bombing in Jerusalem; 21 murdered, 140 wounded Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers near the Israel-Egypt border Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Shechem (Nablus) Attack on an Israeli motorist between Psagot and Ofra Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers near Neve Dekalim Mortar rocket fired at Gush Katif.
August 21: Fifteen mortar rockets fired at Gush Katif Six rockets fired at Sderot.
August 22: Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Gaza Bomb planted in Shechem (Nablus) Motorists attacked in Samaria.
August 23: Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Gaza.
August 24: Rocket fired at Ashkelon Rocket fired at Kibbutz Zikim.
August 25: Shooting attack on Israeli civilian convoy from Netzarim Shooting attack by seaborne terrorists on Israeli Army outposts in Gaza.
II. Call for Recognizing Israel and Ending Violence
What They Are Required to Do: 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 #17: No such statement was issued. On June 4, speaking at the Aqaba summit, Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) did say we repeat our renunciation of terrorism against the Israelis wherever they might be. But PA Minister of Information Nabil Amr said (Doha Al-Jazira Television, June 14, 2003): As regards the word terrorism, I do not know why when the Palestinians denounce the word terrorism, certain people think that this means resistance. There is no text anywhere that says that the Palestinian peoples resistance is terrorism, which we denounce Yes, we denounce terrorism. Anyone who says that denouncing terrorism means denouncing resistance is doing an injustice to legitimate resistance and is in effect labeling it with terrorism.
III. Arrest, Disrupt, and Restrain Terrorists
What They Are Required to Do: 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 #17: There have been occasional media reports of small numbers of terrorists being arrested by the PA, but then quickly released. The Jerusalem Post reported on July 21, 2003, that a senior Israeli Army official said sometimes they [the PA police] arrest a militant under the most comfortable conditions possible and release him within hours. The longest a militant has been held, he said, is four days.
IV. Confiscate Terrorists Weapons
What They Are Required to Do: The Road Map obligates the Palestinian Arabs to commence confiscation of illegal weapons.
What They Did During Week #17: On August 24, 2003, in response to U.S. pressure, the PA announced that it had sealed up several underground tunnels used to smuggle weapons from Egypt to Palestinian Arab terrorists in Gaza. But Israeli government spokesman Dr. Dore Gold said: The way to deal with the tunnels, which have been the main conduit for smuggling weapons, is to blow them up, and not shovel some sand at the Rafah exit point in front of a bunch of cameras. Its more for show than it is a turning point in Palestinian security policy. (New York Times, Aug.24, 2003)
Similarly, in mid-July, there were media reports that PA security forces had confiscated 20 illegal weapons from individuals in Gaza. Israel Radio reported on July 12 that the individuals were common criminals, not terrorists. On July 14, after media reports claiming that PA policemen were searching cars for weapons, a senior PA security official denied the reports, telling the Jerusalem Post: What you saw on television was not real; it was part of a drill. We carried out an exercise with the participation of 600 policemen. Thats all. (Jerusalem Post, July 15, 2003)
V. Dismantle the Terrorist Infrastructure
What They Are Required to Do: The Road Map obligates the Palestinian Arabs to carry out the dismantlement of terrorist capabilities and infrastructure.
What They Did During Week #17: 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).
VI. End All Incitement
What They Are Required to Do: The Road Map requires that all official Palestinian institutions end incitement against Israel.
What They Did During Week #17: 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.
Palestinian Media Watch reports that on August 10, 2003, official PA Television again began broadcasting a music video showing that martyrs are rewarded with virgins in heavena video that it had broadcast hundreds of times during the past three years, and then temporarily stopped showing:
The clip begins with scenes depicting a romance which is cut short when soldiers shoot the woman in the back. The woman goes immediately to heaven, where she joyously joins other young women all dressed in identical long white gowns – the Maidens of Paradise. The maidens are dancing in water, a clear depiction of Afterlife in Islamic tradition, said repeatedly in the Koran to have flowing streams. Later on in the clip, the man visits the womans grave and the soldiers shoot him in the back as well. At the moment he falls to the ground, he immediately goes up to heaven and joins the Maidens.
PMW notes that the promise of 72 Dark Eyed Virgins has likewise been taught on PA TV by PA religious leaders, for example: When the Shahid [martyr] meets his Maker, all his sins are forgiven from the first gush of blood. He is exempted from the torments of the grave (Judgment); he sees his place in paradise, he is shielded from the great shock, and marries 72 Dark Eyed Virgins. He is an heavenly advocate for 70 members of his family, on his head is placed a crown of honor, one stone of which, is worth more than all there is in this world. [Dr. Ismail al-Radouan, PA Television, Aug. 17, 2001]
VII. End Arab States Support for Terror
What They Are Required to Do: 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 #17: There were no reports of any Arab states cutting off their support for Palestinian Arab terrorist groups.
VIII. Consolidate Security Forces
What They Are Required to Do: 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 #17: 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 Are Required to Do: 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 #17: No such steps were taken.