Thursday, December 26, 2002


From Naomi Ragen:

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

1. "dismantle the terrorist infrastructure,"
2. "end incitement,"
3. "elect new leaders not compromised by terror," and
4. unequivocally embrace democracy and free-market economics.

This report analyzes Palestinian Arab actions during Dec. 17 - Dec. 23, 2002, the 26th week following President Bush's speech. .......

1. "Dismantle the Terrorist Infrastructure"

What They Must Do: President Bush said that the Palestinian Arabs must "engage in a sustained fight against the terrorists and dismantle their infrastructure." Those terms were previously defined in the Oslo and Wye accords as including arresting and imprisoning terrorists; shutting down bomb factories; seizing terrorists' weapons; extraditing terrorists to Israel; punishing factions of the PLO that engage in terrorism; and outlawing terrorist groups.

The Bush administration has also said that in rebuilding its police and security forces, the PA must reform them so that they fight against terrorists instead of taking part in terrorism.

The training, under the supervision of U.S., Egyptian, and Jordanian security officials, began on September 19, 2002; however, Israel has protested the fact that at least 100 of the 150 PA security officers participating in the course "were involved in attacks on Israeli civilians." (Middle East Newsline, September 17, 2002)

What They Did During Week #26:

A. No Terrorists Arrested: There were no reports of terrorists being arrested or imprisoned.

B. No Terrorists Extradited: The PA continued to ignore Israel's 45 requests for the extradition of terrorists.

C. No Terror Groups Outlawed: The PA did not outlaw Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah, or any other terrorist groups.

D. No Terrorists' Weapons Seized: There were no reports of the PA seizing terrorists' weapons. By contrast, in Rafiah on December 22, Israeli forces discovered ready-to-detonate bombs in a private house, and an entrance to a tunnel to Egypt that was used for smuggling weapons to the PA.

E. No Closing of Bomb Factories: There were no reports of the PA shutting down any bomb factories.

F. No Punishing of PLO Terror Factions: 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).

G. New Terrorist Attacks: Throughout Week #26, Israeli forces were engaged in "Operation Determined Stand," resulting in a sharp decrease in terrorist attacks. Nevertheless, during Dec.17-Dec.23, 2002, there were at least 17 terrorist attacks or attempted attacks, in which 1 person was murdered and 5 wounded:

December 17:
* A terrorist with an explosives belt was intercepted while trying to attack the Israeli Army's "Tarmit" outpost near the Egyptian border

* Shooting attack near the Egyptian border; two senior officials of the Defense Ministry's Construction Department were wounded

* Shooting attacks on Israeli soldiers near the Egyptian border

* A bomb discovered in Hebron

* Shooting attack on Israeli motorists near Netzarim

Attack on Israeli Army vehicles in the Central Region.

December 18:
* Firebomb attack on Israeli soldiers in Shechem (Nablus); two wounded

* Shooting attack on an Israeli motorist near Morag

* Bombs found near Morag

* Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Rafiah.

December 19:
* Bomb discovered in the Morag greenhouse.

December 20:
* Shooting attack on Israeli motorists near Netzar Hazani; the town's rabbi was killed.

December 21:
* Grenade attack on Israeli soldiers near Morag; one wounded

* Shooting attack on a German diplomat in Jenin.

December 22:
* Two Hamas terrorists intercepted near Jenin on their way to carry out an attack

* Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Gaza.

December 23: * Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Rafiah. ...........

2. "End Incitement"

What They Must Do: President Bush stated that the Palestinian Arabs must "end incitement to violence in official media, and publicly denounce homicide bombings."

What They Did During Week #26: The PA's 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.

For example, at a PA-sponsored ceremony in Gaza on December 18, titled "Palestine and Iraq in the Same Trench," 25 families of Palestinian Arab "martyrs" received grants from Saddam Hussein totaling $280,000.

Sketches of Arafat and Saddam Hussein appeared together on a poster beside the Iraqi and PA flags. During the ceremony, support was expressed for Iraq in its coming battle with the United States and one of the speakers, the poet Omar Halil Omar, "praised the role of Iraq and the Commander Saddam Hussein, and stressed that Iraq's land will be a graveyard for the American soldiers," according to the official PA newspaper Al-Hayat Al- Jadida, Dec. 19, 2002, as quoted by Palestinian Media Watch. .........

3. "Elect New Leaders Not Compromised by Terror"

What They Must Do: President Bush stated that the Palestinian Arabs must hold "fair multiparty elections by the end of the year, with national elections to follow," in which they "elect new leaders, leaders not compromised by terror."

What They Did During Week #26: The PA has announced that it will hold elections for chairman of the PA and members of the Palestinian Legislative Council on January 20, 2003, IF Israel withdraws from various parts of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. (New York Times, June 27, 2002)

It remains to be seen whether those elections, if held, will be free and fair, as President Bush has urged, or will be marred by ballot-stuffing and intimidation of voters and potential non-PLO candidates, as were the last PA elections, in 1996. .......

4. "Build Democracy Based on Tolerance and Liberty"

What They Must Do: President Bush said that the Palestinian Arabs must "build a practicing democracy based on tolerance and liberty," with "a new constitution" and "a truly independent judiciary. He said they must "confront corruption," and "the Palestinian parliament should have the full authority of a legislative body." They must implement "market economics," and create "a vibrant economy where honest enterprise is encouraged by honest government."

In addition, there must be "an externally supervised effort to rebuild and reform the Palestinian security services" with "clear lines of authority and accountability and a unified chain of command."

What They Did During Week #26:

* The PA continues to claim that it is in the process of implementing what it describes as its "reform plan," but experts doubt that the reforms will be genuine. Robert Satloff of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy said of the plan: "While it offers promising elements of change, the plan is only likely to strengthen the unacceptable status quo." (Middle East Newsline, July 9, 2002)

* On October 29, 2002, Arafat announced the appointment of a new cabinet; however, 16 of the 19 cabinet members had likewise been members of the outgoing cabinet. (New York Times, October 30, 2002)

* Furthermore, on October 29, 2002, the PA announced it had condemned to death an Arab human-rights worker (Heidar Mahmoud Hussein Ghanim, an employee of the leftwing Israeli group B'tselem) for "spying for Israel." ..................

Sent by Naomi Ragen