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.
(On September 6, 2003, Abbas resigned; the next day, Arafat replaced him with Ahmed Qurei, speaker of the PAs Legislative Council and number three man in the PLO.)
The Road Map requires the Palestinian Arabs 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 22nd week following the unveiling of the Road Map plan, Sept.23 – Sept.29, 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.
What They Did During Week #22: During week #22, Sept. 23 – Sept. 29, 2003, there were at least 19 terrorist attacks or attempted attacks, in which 3 people were murdered and 9 wounded.
(During the first 22 weeks since the Road Map was issued, there have been a total of 539 Palestinian Arab terrorist attacks or attempted attacks, in which 96 people were murdered and 543 wounded.)
September 23: Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers near Ofra Attempted attack on an Israeli Army outpost in northern Gaza Bombs planted near Morag Three shooting attacks on Israeli soldiers in southern Gaza.
September 24: Terrorists intercepted on their way to an attack near Morag Mortar rockets fired at Israeli Army positions in Gaza Terrorist intercepted in Kalkilyeh.
September 25: Attack on Border Guard officers south of Jerusalem; one wounded Shooting attack on Israeli Army construction workers near the Kisufim Crossing Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Al-Bureij (Gaza); one murdered, six wounded.
September 26: Shooting attack in Negahot; two murdered, including a 7-month old baby; two wounded Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers near Ganei Tal Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers near Atzmona Anti-tank rockets fired at an Israeli Army position near Neve Dekalim.
September 27: Mortar rockets fired at Jewish neighborhoods in Gaza.
September 28: Mortar rockets fired at Jewish neighborhoods in Gaza.
September 29: Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers near Rafah.
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 #22: No such statement was issued. On June 4, speaking at the Aqaba summit, then-Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) said, we repeat our renunciation of terrorism against the Israelis wherever they might be. But PA Minister of Information Nabil Amr explained (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 #22: In July 2003, there were several 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. There have been no additional reports of arrests since July.
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 #22: 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) There have been no subsequent reports of any tunnel shutdowns.
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) There have been no subsequent reports of any confiscations.
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 #22: 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 #22: 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.
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 #22: There were no reports of any Arab states cutting off their support for Palestinian Arab terrorist groups. On the contrary, the Palestinian Arab newspaper Jerusalem Times reported on September 18, 2003, that Jordan, which had previously acceded to a U.S. request to refrain from dealing with Hamas leaders and Hamas support groups and to freeze their bank accounts, has now retracted its decision.
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 #22: 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 #22: No such steps were taken.