Brief assessment of the Palestinian Authority's (PA) record on compliance with its commitments under the October 23, 1998 Wye River Memorandum

Source: Israel Government Press Office, February 2, 1998

1. Fighting Terrorism

=== Obligation ===

The Wye agreement requires the PA to "take all measures necessary in order to prevent acts of terrorism" and to wage a "comprehensive... continuous and constant" campaign against the "terrorists, the terror support structure, and the environment conducive to the support of terror." The PA must also submit a security work plan detailing the measures they intend to take against terror organizations.

=== Status of Compliance ===

The PA has refused to wage a comprehensive campaign against terror groups and their infrastructure:

* No steps have been taken to disarm and disband terror groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad. PA Minister and senior Palestinian negotiator Dr. Nabil Shaath recently acknowledged, "There are no provisions for dismembering Hamas or the Islamic resistance or their offices... or any of the things Israel considered the infrastructure of terrorism." (quoted in the Palestinian weekly The Jerusalem Times, December 18, 1998).

* The PA submitted only a partial security work plan for November lacking in detail, and they failed to submit a work plan for December.

* Terrorists detained by the Palestinian police are rarely interrogated on matters relating to Israel, and little effort is made to glean information from them.

* In recent weeks, some 60 terrorists have been released from prison by the PA, including senior members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, as well as terrorists who have been involved in attacks in which Israelis and Americans were killed. Among those released: Ziad Abu al-Ghal, head of the Islamic Jihad's military wing in Gaza; Mehdi Inbatawi, one of Islamic Jihad's leading figures in Judea and Samaria; Abdallah Shami, an Islamic Jihad leader in Gaza who publicly called for the murder of President Clinton prior to the latter's December 1998 visit to the region; Hassam Alimani, a senior Hamas terrorist and arms dealer; and Jihad Suwiti, a senior Hamas terrorist who served as deputy to Hassan Salameh, the mastermind of the February-March 1996 wave of suicide bombings in Israel.

* The PA has re-instituted its "revolving door" policy of detaining terrorists for brief periods, only to release them quietly shortly thereafter.

Conclusion: The PA is violating its obligation to combat terror and detain fugitives.

2. Confiscation of Illegal Weapons

=== Obligation ===

The Wye agreement obligates the PA to establish a legal framework for the collection of illegal weapons held by civilians and to implement a comprehensive campaign to confiscate such weapons. The PA agreed that the Israeli-Palestinian Joint Security Committee would convene to formulate the modalities for issuing weapons licenses to civilians. Additionally, the PA must collect and dispose of weapons used by its own security forces which are prohibited by the Oslo Accords.

=== Status of Compliance ===

The PA did issue a decree on the subject of weapons possession, but:

* There has been no campaign undertaken to confiscate illegal weapons. Tens of thousands of unlicensed arms and munitions are circulating freely in PA-controlled areas, and uncontrolled smuggling and illicit manufacturing have added to the numbers.

* The PA has refused to discuss the modalities for issuing weapons licenses in the Joint Security Committee with Israel.

* The Palestinian security forces possess various weapons prohibited by the accords such as mortars, land-mines and grenade launchers, and the PA has refused to dispose of them.

* The PA also has quantities of weapons exceeding the limits permitted by the agreements.

Conclusion: PA is violating its obligations regarding the confiscation of illegal weapons.

3. Reducing the Size of the Palestinian Police

=== Obligation ===

The Wye agreement requires the PA to reduce the size of its police force to the number permitted under the Oslo Accords and to transfer to Israel a list of recruits. Under Oslo, the PA is permitted to deploy no more than 30,000 policemen in the areas under its control.

=== Status of Compliance ===

* The PA has refused to transfer the list of its police recruits to Israel, and it continues to employ dozens of Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists as policemen.

* At least 12 wanted fugitives, including several who have killed American and Israeli citizens, are known to be serving in the Palestinian Police.

* By its own admission, the PA has some 40,000 policemen on its payroll, which is 10,000 over the limit under the accords.

Conclusion: PA is violating its obligations regarding the size of the Palestinian police.

4. Inciting Violence and Organizing Riots

=== Obligation ===

The Wye agreement requires the PA to "take all measures necessary in order to prevent acts of terrorism, crime and hostilities directed against the Israeli side... and to prevent incitement."

=== Status of Compliance ===

In November and December 1998, Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction of the PLO planned and organized mass riots in Judea, Samaria and Gaza to pressure Israel to release Palestinian terrorists from prison. Rioters clashed with Israeli security forces and attacked Israeli civilians. One of these riots evolved into a near-lynching of an Israeli soldier, a passerby in the area. Senior Palestinian leaders have openly called for the use of violence against Israel, as the following examples illustrate:

* On January 24, 1999, Fatah Central Committee member Saher Habash delivered a speech in the name of Chairman Arafat in which he declared, "The agreements will not liberate the land. Every centimeter requires a struggle, and the land requires blood... We must continue the struggle for which the martyrs fell..." (quoted in the official PA newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda, January 25, 1999)

* On January 11, 1999, official Palestinian Authority television broadcast a 4-year old girl chanting, "My rights - I shall taken them. I shall take them with a machine gun and a knife. I shall return soon..."

* On December 1, 1998, Abu Ala, the speaker of the Palestinian parliament, told a rally of Palestinians: "The leadership that threw stones is ready to return and use stones to free the people and the land." (quoted in The New York Times, December 3, 1998) The next day, a Palestinian lynch mob attacked an Israeli vehicle near Ramallah, stoning the car and nearly killing its passengers.

* On November 15, 1998, Yasser Arafat addressed a rally in Ramallah, where he said, "Our rifles are ready and we are ready to raise them again if anyone tries to prevent us from praying in holy Jerusalem... There are agreements and they better be carried out, because the 'generals of the stones' [i.e. intifada rioters] are ready..." (quoted in the Palestinian daily Al-Ayyam, November 16, 1998)

Conclusion: The PA is violating its obligation to prevent anti-Israel incitement and violence.

5. General Incitement and Hostile Propaganda

=== Obligation ===

The Wye agreement obligates the PA to issue a decree prohibiting incitement and to establish a mechanism which would "act systematically against all expressions or threats of violence or terror."

=== Status of Compliance ===

On November 19, 1998, the PA published a decree against incitement. The decree contains inconsistencies and makes no reference to terrorism, as required by the Wye agreement. The PA has failed to implement the decree. Senior Palestinian officials and the Palestinian media continue to engagein anti-Semitic and anti-Israel incitement, as the following examples illustrate:

* On December 25, 1998, PA Minister for Refugee Affairs Abdallah Hourani said he expects, and is looking forward to, the demise of the State of Israel. He told the Palestinian weekly The Jerusalem Times: "I don't see Israel surviving much longer and people shouldn't be quick to lose faith regardless of the difficulties, because I can't imagine a country's rise and fall taking only 50 years. People have to be patient... Our day is coming. Crusaders ruled our land for 242 years, and Israel is like a tree planted in improper soil. It will never thrive."

* A November 7, 1998 article in the official PA newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda, said, "Corruption is part of the nature of the Jews... the Jews were subjected to losses and expulsion as a result of their wickedness and their despicable acts."

* A November 3, 1998 religious program broadcast on official Palestinian Authority television asserted, "the Jews are the seed of Satan and the devils.... The Jews do not believe in God...They have distorted the faith and exchanged the gift of God for heresy, rebellion and prostitution, and distorted the Torah...."

Conclusion: The PA is violating its obligation to halt incitement and hostile propaganda.

6. Bilateral Security Cooperation with Israel

=== Obligation ===

The Wye agreement requires the PA to engage in "full bilateral security cooperation" with Israel that is "continuous, intensive and comprehensive".

=== Status of Compliance ===

The PA has refused to allow its security services to cooperate fully with Israel. The cooperation that does exist is spotty. The PA has restricted itself to primarily responding to Israeli tips on planned terrorist actions and it refrains from volunteering intelligence, sharing information, taking the initiative against the terror infrastructure and interrogating detainees.

Conclusion: The PA is violating its obligation to maintain full bilateral security cooperation with Israel.

7. Refraining from Unilateral Measures

=== Obligation ===

The Wye agreement reaffirms the commitment undertaken in the Oslo accords to refrain from steps that would alter the status of Judea, Samaria and Gaza (such as a declaration of statehood or annexation). Both sides are obligated to negotiate the final disposition of the territories.

=== Status of Compliance ===

Palestinian leaders have repeatedly stated their intention to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state on May 4, 1999, when the Interim Period ends. Addressing a rally in Nablus on November 14, 1998, Yasser Arafat said, "We will declare our independent state on May 4, 1999 with Jerusalem as its capital, yes Jerusalem, the eternal capital of our state, whether they like it or not. Now we are on our land and we are regaining this holy land inch by inch until we set up our state in 1999."

Conclusion: The PA is violating the Wye agreement by threatening to adopt unilateral measures.

8. Amending the Palestinian Charter

=== Obligation ===

The Wye agreement required the PA to convene the Palestinian National Council (PNC) and other Palestinian bodies to reaffirm the letter sent by Chairman Arafat to President Clinton detailing the changes to the PLO Charter which called for Israel's destruction.

=== Status of Compliance ===

On December 14, 1998, in the presence of President Clinton, the PNC and other bodies reaffirmed Chairman Arafat's letter by a show of hands.

Conclusion: The PA fulfilled its Wye agreement obligation regarding the Palestinian Charter.

9. Reactivating the Interim Committees

=== Obligation ===

The Wye agreement provided that Israel and the PA would reactivate the standing committees established by the Oslo Accord to address various issues.

=== Status of Compliance ===

Several of the committees have been meeting on a regular basis, but the PA has refused to convene the Joint Legal Committee and the Standing Cooperation Committee despite repeated Israeli requests.

Conclusion: The PA is violating its obligation to convene the Interim Committees.

Israeli Obligations

* Israel completed protocol on Gaza airport on 20 November 1998. Airport opened.

* Israel opened Karni industrial zone in Gaza on 14 December 1998.

* Israel implemented first stage of further redeployment (total of 491.4 square kilometers transferred).

* Israel ready to complete opening of southern route of Safe Passage.

* Israel has conducted eight rounds of negotiations on Gaza port.

* Israel has designed a team for the People-to-People Committee. PA refuses to convene.

* Israel has requested convening the Legal Committee. PA has not responded to Israeli request to convene.

* Israel has convened the Joint Economic Committee (Israel agreed to a Palestinian request for refund of purchase tax on Israeli products).