Editor's Note: We have seen lists of PA violations many times before. We ask: Why doesn't the Israeli government insist on compliance -- indeed demand compliance? If not now, when?
Information Division, Israel Foreign Ministry - Jerusalem - March 1997
In the Note for the Record attached to the Hebron Protocol, the Israeli and Palestinian sides both
reaffirmed undertakings made in the Interim Agreement. For its part, Israel undertook to
implement the first phase of the further redeployment process, to release women prisoners who
had not yet been released, and to reopen negotiations on a range of issues including Safe Passage,
Dahaniya Airport, Gaza Port etc. Israel has complied with its undertakings in all these respects.
For its part, the Palestinian Council undertook to complete the process of revising the Palestinian
charter, to take strengthened measures to fight terrorism and prevent violence - including the
transfer of suspects, confiscation of illegal firearms, and reduction of the size of the Palestinian
police to that permitted in the Interim Agreement, and to conduct Palestinian Council activity in
the areas of Palestinian jurisdiction - and not in Jerusalem. In respect of every one of these
commitments the Palestinian side has failed to demonstrate its intention or will to comply with its
To the contrary, the Palestinian side has instead chosen to focus its energies on generating
political pressure within and outside the region, and to avoid the direct bilateral talks that are the
very basis of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, and its only hope for progress.
This document lists the most significant violations of the Israeli-Palestinian agreements, with
regard to which Israel is still awaiting compliance from the Palestinian side. It does not purport to
be a comprehensive list. It focuses only on the most prominent violations, which appear to be a
result of deliberate and continuous activity on the part of the Palestinian leadership.
1. Failure to take sufficient measures to combat terrorist activity.
The Interim Agreement (Annex I, Article II) obliges the Palestinian Council to act against all
expressions of violence and terror. This obligation was restated and strengthened in the Note for
the Record attached to the Hebron Protocol in which the Palestinian side undertook both to
combat systematically and effectively terrorist organizations and infrastructure, and to apprehend,
prosecute and punish terrorists. Notwithstanding these clear obligations, recent months have seen
a marked decline in the extent of Palestinian activity directed against terrorists. Not only has the
Council ceased to arrest individuals suspected of terrorist activity and to take measures against
the terrorist infrastructure, but it has continued to release members of terrorist groups, many of
who have been actively involved in the organization and perpetration of acts of terror.
2. Incitement to Violence
The Interim Agreement contains a specific provision (Article XXII) which not only requires the
Palestinian leadership to abstain from violence and hostile propaganda, but also obliges it to take
legal measures to prevent any incitement taking place under their jurisdiction. Nonetheless, the
Palestinian leadership frequently calls for jihad (holy war) against Israel and praises prominent
terrorists such as Yihye Ayash ("the Engineer"). issued by the Palestinian leadership, purporting
to list Israeli violations of the Interim Agreement threatened that if Palestinian demands are not
met this "will bring the region and its people back to violent confrontation and disasters, an
outcome that will be the sole responsibility of the Government of Israel". The current peace
process is based on the resolution of differences by peaceful means and the renunciation of
violence. Veiled threats of violence such as these undermine the foundations of dialogue between
the two sides. Moreover, as the September riots tragically demonstrated, the language of
incitement rarely remains in the realm of words alone.
3. Failure to Comply With Obligations in the Legal Sphere - Including Transfer of
The Palestinian side has failed to comply with the provisions of the legal annex of the Interim
Agreement in such matters as notifying Israel of Palestinian legislation, and cooperating in the
field of legal assistance. Even more significant in this area is the repeated refusal of the Palestinian
side, in direct contradiction to the express provisions of the Legal Annex, to transfer requested
terrorist suspects to Israel. Israel has to date submitted 19 transfer requests (relating to 23
individuals) to the Palestinian side and none has been complied with.
4. Failure to Amend the PLO Charter
The Palestinian side undertook to amend the PLO charter, which advocates the use of violence
and calls for the destruction of the State of Israel, in the Arafat-Rabin exchange of letters in
September 1993. Following the failure of the Palestinian side to comply with this undertaking, the
obligation was restated in the exchange of letters annexed to the Gaza-Jericho agreement and then
again in the Interim Agreement. Most recently, the Palestinian side undertook to complete the
process of changing the PLO charter in the Note for the Record attached to the Hebron Protocol.
Recent comments by the Palestinian leadership that the Charter will only be changed "after Israel
has a constitution" raise doubts about the sincerity of Palestinian intentions in this regard.
5. Palestinian Council Activity in Jerusalem
The Declaration of Principles and the Interim Agreement provide that the Palestinian Council shall
have no authority in Jerusalem during the interim period. Furthermore, the Note for the Record
attached to the Hebron Protocol, restated the Palestinian undertaking that all Palestinian Council
offices and activity would be within the areas under Palestinian jurisdiction, i.e., outside
Jerusalem. Notwithstanding these provisions, the Palestinian Council continues to exert efforts to
establish a presence in Jerusalem both by establishing offices and by making independent
Palestinian institutions subject to its authority. Such activities include attempts to make hospitals
and schools subject to Palestinian Council officials, meetings with foreign diplomats at the Orient
House and the operation of Palestinian police in Jerusalem.
6. Conduct of Foreign Relations
Article IX of the Interim Agreement provides that the Palestinian Council will not have powers and responsibilities in the sphere of foreign relations. Notwithstanding this prohibition, the Palestinian Council continues to conduct foreign relations. In particular:
a. It has entered into numerous international agreements with foreign states or international
organizations in such spheres as air transport, telecommunications, and postal arrangements.
b. It has sought to have individuals abroad recognized as diplomatic representatives of the
Council. To date, Israel is aware of 7 countries in which PLO representatives have sought
admission as ambassadors of the Palestinian Council or of "Palestine".
c. It has permitted representatives of foreign states to establish diplomatic representations within
the areas under its jurisdiction.
d. It has attempted to prejudice the final status negotiations by presenting the Palestinian areas as
a state in international fora
7. Size of Palestinian Police
Under the terms of the Interim Agreement, the Palestinian police at this stage should comprise no
more than 24,000 policemen (a further 6000 may be recruited at a later stage). The obligation to
comply with these restrictions on the size of the police was restated in the Note for the Record
attached to the Hebron Protocol. Despite this, in practice the Palestinian police consists of over
In addition, the Interim Agreement provides that every candidate for recruitment to the police
must be notified to Israel, which has the right to object. In practice, only 18,000 Palestinian
policemen have been notified to and approved by Israel. In other words, the employment of over
10,000 Palestinian policemen is in breach of the Agreement. Many of those recruited to the
Palestinian police without Israel's approval are individuals who have been wanted for terrorist
activity in the past. Over the last year, over 20 Hamas fighters involved in terrorist activity were
recruited into the Palestinian forces.
In the Hebron area, in which the Hebron Protocol permits a maximum of 400 policemen, some
1500 Palestinian police are operating, many of them armed with rifles which both in type and
quantity violate the provisions of the Hebron Protocol.
8. Failure to Confiscate Illegal Arms
The Interim Agreement (Annex I, Article II) provides that the Palestinian Council is obliged to
confiscate all illegal arms. This provision was restated as a Palestinian obligation in the Note for
the Record attached to the Hebron Protocol. Notwithstanding these provisions, the Palestinian
Council has only confiscated a token number of arms from among the tens of thousands of illegal
weapons in the areas under its authority. This problem has become even more acute since the
September riots in which members of the Palestinian police gave police weapons to Palestinian
9. Arrest and Interrogation of Israelis
The Palestinian police frequently arrests and interrogates Israelis situated in the areas under the
jurisdiction of the Palestinian Council. In 1996 over 100 Israeli citizens were arrested by the
Palestinian Police. It will be recalled that the Declaration of Principles and the Interim Agreement
provide that the Palestinian Council will not have any authority in relation to permanent status
issues - including Israelis. The only situation in which the Palestinian police is permitted to take
any action in respect of Israelis is where an Israeli in the territory under Palestinian jurisdiction is
committing a crime against a person or property. In such a case the police may detain him in place
pending the arrival of the Israeli police, and are required to notify the Israeli authorities
10. Abuse of VIP Privileges
Palestinian VIP's continue to abuse their privileges and use their vehicles to transport individuals
whose entry into Israel is prohibited. In addition, despite numerous Israeli protests, Palestinian
VIP's continue to bring bodyguards with unlicensed weapons into Israel.
11. Movement of Palestinian Police Outside Area A Without Prior Coordination.
Notwithstanding the provisions of the Security Annex of the Interim Agreement, the Palestinian
police continues to operate outside Area A without prior coordination in Israel. In 1997 there
have been some 35 occurrences of unauthorized police activity every month.
12. Unauthorized Construction of Dahaniye Airport
The Palestinian side continues to establish facts on the ground with regard to the construction of
an airport. Such construction has been effected in direct violation of the Interim Agreement and
subsequent agreements between the two sides. In addition, the Palestinian side continues to refuse
to accept the provision in the Interim Agreement that the airport will be subject to the same
arrangements, including security arrangements, as other international passages. Furthermore, in
direct contravention of the Interim Agreement the Palestinian side has concluded a number of
international agreements with foreign states in the field of aviation. Notwithstanding these
violations, the issues relating to the airport are currently under negotiation between the two sides.
13. Unauthorized Construction of Gaza Port
The Interim Agreement provides that all aspects relating to the establishment of a port in the Gaza
Strip are to be discussed and agreed between the two sides. Notwithstanding this proviso, the
Palestinians have commenced construction work on an old wharf in the Gaza Strip with the
declared intention of making this into a port. Only after an order issued by Israel prohibited the
entry of construction materials to this area, did the Palestinian side refrain from acting in violation
of the agreement. Pursuant to the Note for the Record attached to the Hebron Protocol, the two
sides have resumed negotiations on the issue.
14. Failure to Enforce Visitors Permit Requirements
Contrary to the provisions of the Interim Agreement the Palestinian side has not taken any steps
to expel from the areas under its jurisdiction visitors who have exceeded the period of their
visitor's permit. It is estimated that the failure to expel such unlawfully present individuals has
resulted in some 31,000 individuals currently remaining in the territories. Moreover, in two recent
cases it was discovered that such unlawfully present individuals were employed by the Palestinian
15. Breaches of Agreement Provisions in Civilian Spheres
The Palestinian Council continues to breach the provisions of the Civil annex of the Interim
Agreement. Among the most frequent violations are the failure to enforce building permits,
unauthorized activity in Area C, particularly in relation to garbage and sewage disposal, and the
exercise of enforcement procedures outside the jurisdiction of the Council.