A number of agreements (The Declaration of Principles, the Gaza and Jericho Agreement and the Interim Agreement) stipulate the establishment of a police force which will be solely responsible for the enforcement of law and order within the Palestinian Authority. The very existence of the Tanzim as an unofficial security force is forbidden by these agreements.
The Tanzim possesses firearms and does as it pleases, acting as an armed militia – with the encouragement and support of senior Palestinian Authority figures. In both the Wye Agreement and earlier agreements, the Palestinians promised to confiscate all illegal weapons. The fact that the Tanzim have so many weapons is a blatant violation of these agreements. Moreover, the Palestinian Authority itself has in its possession quantities and types of weapons exceeding those permitted by the agreements.
Attacks on Holy Sites
The security of a number of holy sites is mentioned in the Interim Agreements as being the responsibility of the Palestinian Authority. The agreements ensure that the Palestinian Authority will be responsible for the security of these sites, and that Jewish worshipers will be allowed unhindered access to them.
The Palestinians have not upheld this written agreement, have not enabled Jewish worshipers to visit the sites and have allowed mobs to destroy Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus and to burn the “Peace for Israel” synagogue in Jericho. In violating the agreements, the Palestinians have proven that they cannot be trusted to protect holy sites.
Detention of Israelis
For some time a serious phenomenon has been taking place, in which Israelis are apprehended by the Palestinians. The Interim Agreement expressly forbids the detention of Israelis and the confiscation of their firearms. During the lynching incident in Ramallah, the Palestinian policemen did not protect the safety of the Israelis. The very fact that they were arrested constitutes an illegal act, and their being taken to Ramallah for interrogation was an even more serious violation of agreements.
Palestinian Media Incitement
In all of the agreements (the Interim Agreement, the Wye Agreement and the Sharm Agreement) there is mention of the prevention of incitement to violence against Israel. The Palestinians have committed to prevent incitement to violence and terrorism.
In recent weeks we have seen that the Palestinian Authority has been using all of its official channels to disseminate inciting material — incitement to injure Jews, to damage holy Jewish sites, to kill Jews (and Americans) and to carry out acts of terror.
Release of Terrorists
In all of the agreements (a letter from Arafat to Rabin in September 1993, the Interim Agreement, the Wye Agreement and the Sharm Agreement), the most important Israeli demand on the Palestinian Authority was to combat terrorism. The Palestinians took responsibility for the territories based on a commitment to combat terrorism, knowing that without this commitment, there would be no continuation of the agreements.
Contrary to all of these commitments, the Palestinian Authority released the most notorious terrorists it was holding, who have murdered Israelis, and in so doing gave a “green light” to terror.
The Palestinian Police
The Palestinian Police force is supposed to uphold law and order within the Palestinian Authority, and having not carried out these duties, has violated all of the agreements (the Declaration of Principles, the Gaza and Jericho Agreement and the Interim Agreement). The Palestinian policemen have disappeared from the flashpoints, and allowed extremists to set the tone.
In many instances they even joined the Tanzim and fired on Israeli soldiers and civilians. This gunfire was not carried out in self defense, but rather was intended to hit and kill. Again, this is a blatant violation of all the agreements, and the Palestinian Authority is essentially participating in warfare against Israel.
Some Specific Violations
– Commitment to the peaceful resolution of the conflict and that outstanding permanent status issues will be resolved through negotiations (Arafat’s Letter to Rabin, September 9, 1993).
– Abstention from incitement, including hostile propaganda and adoption of legal measures to prevent such incitement (Interim Agreement, Article XXII).
– Adoption of all necessary measures to prevent acts of terrorism, crime and hostilities and taking of legal measures against offenders (Gaza-Jericho Agreement, Article XVIII; Interim Agreement, Article XV).
– The Palestinian Police will act systematically against all expressions of violence and terror (Interim Agreement, Annex I, Article 11.1).