Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 24

QUARTERLY UPDATE ON CONFLICT AND DIPLOMACY

16 MAY–15 AUGUST 2005


COMPILED BY MICHELE K. ESPOSITO

The Quarterly Update is a summary of bilateral, multilateral, regional, and international


events affecting the Palestinians and the future of the peace process.

THE PALESTINIAN-ISRAELI CONFLICT Arabs and 16 unidentified Arab cross-border


infiltrators), 965 Israelis (including 301 IDF
At the opening of the quarter, Israel was soldiers and security personnel, 192 settlers,
moving ahead with plans to begin its unilat- 472 civilians), and 54 foreign nationals (in-
eral disengagement from Gaza and 4 West cluding 2 British suicide bombers) had been
Bank settlements around 8/15 and to com- killed since the start of the al-Aqsa intifada.
plete the process within 6–12 weeks. Israel
maintained limited coordination with the The Abbas-Bush Meeting
Palestinian Authority (PA) to assure con- From 5/16 to 5/26, Israeli and PA officials
tinued calm and the smooth transition of held coordination meetings on disengage-
authority in Gaza, with the assistance of ment or bilateral meetings with Ward every
U.S. security envoy Gen. William Ward, few days to discuss Gaza security, the trans-
Quartet economic envoy James Wolfen- fer of settlement assets, border crossing and
sohn, and Egyptian intelligence official Omar trade arrangements after disengagement,
Sulayman. the creation of a safe-passage link between
A unilateral truce agreed to by the Pales- Gaza and the West Bank, and the reconstruc-
tinian factions in 1/05 and extended in 3/05 tion of Gaza’s airport and building of a sea
through the end of 2005 remained in place port, but little if any progress was made.
but was shaky, given Israel’s failure to fol- The only significant development was Is-
low through on pledges made at the 2/8/05 rael’s declaration on 5/22 that it planned
Sharm al-Shaykh summit between Israeli PM to fully ban Palestinians from working in-
Ariel Sharon and PA Pres. Mahmud Abbas to side Israel completely by 2008 as part of
release 400 more Palestinian prisoners; turn a “deliberate process to separate the two
over security control for the West Bank cities economies.” Israel complained (5/23) that
of Bethlehem, Qalqilya, and Ramallah; and PA plans for deploying security forces in
hold a follow-up meeting between Sharon Gaza during and after disengagement were
and Abbas. (Israel had turned over security “superficial and unsatisfactory,” while the PA
control of Jericho and Tulkarm and released complained (5/25) that Israel still had not
500 prisoners last quarter in keeping with provided the PA with critical information
Sharm al-Shaykh pledges but had reinvaded on the settlement assets to be turned over
Tulkarm on 5/2; see Quarterly Update in JPS or the scope and details of its withdrawal
136.) plan. The PA emphasized (5/25) that the
Violence in the West Bank and Gaza parties needed to have a firm understanding
had eased considerably since the unoffi- of steps to be taken after disengagement—
cial truce 1/05 but threatened to rise as IDF including agreeing on a timetable for em-
maintained severe restrictions on Palestinian powering the PA in Gaza (e.g., allowing con-
movement across the territories, continued struction of a port and airport, assumption
arrest raids and house searches (particu- of border controls, economic and physical
larly targeting Islamic Jihad), and kept up reconstruction), implementing road map
house demolitions, bulldozing operations, provisions, and resuming final status talks—
and land confiscations for construction of if the disengagement were to mark a true
the West Bank separation wall. As of 5/16, at step toward a peaceful resolution of the
least 4,051 Palestinians (including 42 Israeli conflict.

Journal of Palestine Studies Vol. XXXV, No. 1 (Autumn 2005), pp. 138–161, ISSN 0377-919X, electronic ISSN 1533-8614.
C 2005 by the Institute for Palestine Studies. All rights reserved. Please direct all requests for permission to

photocopy or reproduce article content through the University of California Press’s Rights and Permissions
website, at http://www.ucpress.edu/journals/rights.htm.
QUARTERLY UPDATE ON CONFLICT AND DIPLOMACY 139

Israel and the PA were seemingly in a Bethlehem and Qalqilya to PA security con-
holding pattern in advance of a long-planned trol, and announced (6/1) plans to hold an
5/26 meeting in Washington between Abbas Abbas-Sharon meeting on 6/21; the pris-
and U.S. Pres. George W. Bush, which was oners were freed on 6/2. On 6/16, Israel
intended to counterbalance Bush’s meeting handed the PA maps of the civilian infras-
with Sharon on 4/11/05 when he praised tructure (e.g., roads, water, sewerage, elec-
Sharon’s “courageous initiative to disen- tricity networks) in the Gaza settlements.
gage” and reiterated the U.S.’s position that Meanwhile, the PA revived (5/28) a long-
“existing major Israeli population centers [in standing proposal to recruit and train a new
the West Bank and East Jerusalem] must be 5,000-member security force to serve as a
taken into account in any final status nego- buffer between Palestinians and the settle-
tiations” (see Quarterly Update in JPS 136). ments during disengagement. Wolfensohn,
At the 5/26 meeting, Abbas stressed the PA’s in consultation with Bush administration
need for assistance to build up the PA secu- officials, began drafting (ca. 6/16) an aid
rity forces’ capabilities for maintaining order package for postdisengagement Gaza rede-
and brought maps showing how Israeli set- velopment. The level of Israeli-PA security
tlement expansion and construction of the talks was upgraded (6/14), and Israeli-PA co-
separation wall were precluding chances ordination talks and bilateral meetings with
of a viable Palestinian state. Bush publicly Ward, Wolfensohn, and Sulayman continued
praised Abbas’s commitment to democracy through 6/18, without producing significant
and reminded Israel of its obligations (in- breakthroughs.
cluding halting settlement expansion and On 6/9, Israeli High Court justices voted
construction of the separation wall deep 10–1 that Sharon’s disengagement plan was
into Palestinian territory, easing restrictions legal and in the national interest. In rallying
on Palestinian movement, and pulling back public support, Sharon stressed (6/16) that
troops from West Bank population centers the disengagement was intended “to leave an
to 9/00 lines), explicitly stating that Israel area of less security importance in order to
must not undertake activity that would “prej- strengthen those with a high strategic value
udice final status negotiations with regard for us,” specifically Greater Jerusalem, the
to Gaza, the West Bank, and Jerusalem” and Galilee, and the Negev. The IDF announced
that “changes to the 1949 armistice lines (6/17) plans to begin collecting weapons
must be mutually agreed to” (see Doc. C1). from the 8,500 Gaza settlers, many of which
Privately, he reportedly pressed Abbas to it had itself distributed to strengthen the
rein in militant groups. (Sharon complained settlers’ defenses over the years; the IDF
on 5/31 that Bush did not put significant estimated that these included at least 1,872
pressure on Abbas to launch a “war on ter- M-16 assault rifles, 172 Uzi submachine guns,
ror” and dismantle the armed factions, but 990 handguns, several dozen machine guns,
the Bush administration reportedly had de- and a number of mortars. On 6/17, the
cided not to push disarmament until after IDF announced that the navy would build
Palestinian legislative council elections, so a sea barrier 950 m into the sea off the
as not to feed popular support for Hamas.) northern Gaza coast to prevent Palestinians
Bush also announced that Secy. of State from reaching Israel from Gaza.
Condoleezza Rice would visit the region in Meanwhile, Israeli-Palestinian violence
the coming weeks to encourage momentum continued at a moderate level. In the
on disengagement and to focus Israel and sharpest escalation since 2/8, the IDF on
the PA on next steps to lead “the way back 5/28 fatally shot a Hamas member in a
on the road map.” clash on the Rafah border. Hamas responded
Immediately following the Abbas-Bush (5/18) with a barrage of mortars on Jewish
meeting, the U.S. expanded (5/27) Ward’s settlements in Gaza, causing light damage
mandate from assisting the PA in rebuild- but no injuries, and the IDF hit back with
ing and reforming its security forces to air strikes against Hamas members in Gaza,
mediating between Israel and the PA on killing 1 and wounding 1. Palestinian mor-
security-related disengagement issues with tar and rocket fire on Gaza settlements,
the aim of improving disengagement coordi- the Qarni crossing, and the Israeli town of
nation. Under pressure from the U.S., Israel Sederot continued on 5/19, causing light
authorized (5/29) the release of the remain- damage but no injuries. On 5/20, the al-Aqsa
ing 400 prisoners it had pledged to free at Martyrs Brigade (AMB), Hamas, and Islamic
the 2/8 Sharm al-Shaykh summit, resumed Jihad staged a joint attack on Gaza’s Kefar
(5/30) talks with the PA on the transfer of Darom settlement, causing damage but no
140 JOURNAL OF PALESTINE STUDIES

injuries; the IDF returned fire, killing the the process, since its mandate does not al-
Hamas member, while the other 2 assailants low aid to high-income nations, like Israel;
escaped. Israel otherwise did not respond the implication was that covering the cost
in force, allowing PA Interior M Nasr Yusuf would also run contrary to the demands of
to intervene with Hamas leaders to secure international law, which states that the occu-
their commitment to restore the truce on pier must bear the cost of returning the land
5/21. A similar spike occurred on 6/7 when to its state prior to occupation.) Details re-
the IDF fatally shot an Islamic Jihad mili- mained undecided, especially regarding the
tary commander in Qabatya during an arrest removal of rubble.
raid, sparking a 90-minute clash in Qabatya Between 6/17 and 6/19, Wolfensohn also
that left 1 Palestinian dead and 9 injured, held talks with Abbas, Sharon, and Rice to
massive protests in neighboring Jenin, and finalize his proposed Rapid Action Plan for
another barrage of mortar and rocket fire in the economic aspects of disengagement,
Gaza by Islamic Jihad and Hamas that left 2 which he publicly revealed on 6/20. The
Palestinian and 1 Chinese settlement work- plan addressed 6 crucial disengagement is-
ers dead and 5 Palestinian workers injured. sues that his team would prioritize with
Hamas and the IDF continued to exchange Israel and the PA: besides the fate of settlers’
heavy fire in Khan Yunis on 6/8, leaving 2 houses already decided in principle, these
IDF soldiers injured, but both sides then were the fate of settler greenhouses, seen as
scaled down. Israeli curfews, arrest raids, a viable economic enterprise that could be
house searches and demolitions continued, transferred to the Palestinians; movement of
as did near daily attacks by Jewish settlers Palestinians and their goods into and out of
against Palestinians, particularly in Hebron Gaza; safe-passage for Palestinians to travel
(see below). Scattered incidents of Pales- between Gaza and the West Bank; reopen-
tinian fire against IDF and settler targets in ing the Gaza airport and constructing a sea
Gaza in particular also occurred. By 6/17, port; and reducing restrictions on Palestinian
the Palestinian death toll had risen to 4,075, movement in the West Bank. The plan also
while the Israeli toll remained unchanged at identified 3 additional areas of focus for talks
965. with the PA: ways of overcoming the PA’s
fiscal crisis and creating a social safety net;
Rice Visit Spurs Action refocusing the PA’s “medium-term financial
On 6/18, Secy. Rice arrived in the region platform” to serve as a basis for expanded
as planned. In meetings (6/18) in Ramal- donor financing to support Palestinian devel-
lah with Abbas and senior PA officials, she opment; and the need for the international
praised Abbas’s security efforts to date but community to fast-track additional aid to
stressed the need to do more to contain the Palestinians and identify projects that
Palestinian violence and to coordinate with would have a quick, noticeable impact on
Israel on disengagement. Abbas noted Is- the territories in the first 6 months after
rael’s refusal to be forthcoming regarding disengagement, so as to encourage Pales-
its disengagement plans and again stressed tinians to maintain calm and cooperation.
the settlement issue. In talks (6/19) with Wolfensohn also proposed that the inter-
Sharon, Rice stated that that the U.S. would national community pledge $3 b. over 3
not accept any further West Bank settlement years (FY 2006–2008) to foster Gaza recon-
construction and would not “be forced to struction and to revitalize the Palestinian
accept changes in the status quo.” (In a slight economy.
to Rice, the Israeli Housing Min. announced At the same time, Israel revived (6/20)
plans the same day to issue tenders for the talks with Egypt on deploying Egyptian bor-
construction of 300 new settlement units in der police along the Egyptian side of the
Ma’ale Adumim and 400 in Beitar Ilit.) Rafah border following disengagement to
Details of Rice’s talks on disengagement help prevent arms smuggling into Gaza and
were not released, but at the close of her thereby allow Israel to withdraw troops
visit, Rice announced (6/19) that Israel had from the Philadelphi Route on the Gaza
agreed in principle to the PA’s request to de- side of the border. Most details of an agree-
molish settler homes in Gaza to make way ment had been reached by 2/05 (see Quar-
for higher density housing while preserv- terly Update in JPS 135), but Egypt still
ing valuable infrastructure. Israel would pay resisted Israeli demands that it state in writ-
for and carry out the dismantling at an es- ing that it would assume full responsibility
timated cost of $50 m.–$60 m. (The World for preventing arms smuggling across the
Bank stated on 6/19 that it could not fund border.
QUARTERLY UPDATE ON CONFLICT AND DIPLOMACY 141

A “Difficult” Sharon-Abbas Meeting (6/24) to protest Israel’s actions, the Islamic


The limited progress on disengagement Jihad leadership reaffirmed (6/23, 6/24) its
coordination was overshadowed by a dete- commitment to the unofficial cease-fire. The
rioration in the security situation coinciding crisis seemed to pass, though Israel contin-
with Rice’s visit. On 6/18, the IDF stepped ued its targeted arrest raids, and Islamic Jihad
up operations against Islamic Jihad in Gaza members continued intermittent mortar fire
following a clash that day outside Kefar (see Chronology).
Darom that left 1 Islamic Jihad member dead Over the next 3 weeks, disengagement
and an AMB member wounded. On 6/19, coordination efforts plodded along, with
Islamic Jihad and the Abu Rish Brigades (a Israel continuing to move unilaterally on dis-
local Fatah offshoot), citing Israel’s arrest of engagement, keeping coordination to the
some 300 Islamic Jihad members in the pre- bare minimum dictated by its security con-
vious 2 months, fired an antitank missile and cerns. When the chief PA disengagement co-
a rocket-propelled grenade at 2 IDF posts in ordinator, Civil Affairs M Muhammad Dahlan,
Rafah, killing 1 soldier and wounding 2; IDF complained on 7/5 that “with 45 days to go,
soldiers returned fire, killing 1 armed Pales- we can’t get an answer from the Israelis
tinian. An Islamic Jihad gunman then fatally on any serious question,” a senior Israeli
shot a Jewish settler near Tulkarm on 6/20, official involved in the process said, “He’s
prompting Israel to launch its most intensive right. . . . There is a real tension between our
arrest campaign in the West Bank since 3/05, desire to control and our desire not to be
detaining 52 Islamic Jihad members in raids responsible for Gaza.”
on 6/21 alone, as well as attempting to as- On 6/30 Israel declared the Gaza set-
sassinate a wanted Islamic Jihad member on tlements a closed military zone to enable
6/21 in violation of its 2/8 Sharm al-Shaykh the IDF to bar and remove any nonresi-
pledges. dent Israelis protesting disengagement: the
As a result, the Abbas-Sharon meeting of IDF estimated that as many as 2,000 disen-
6/21, their first since the 2/8 summit, was gagement protesters, largely hard-line West
reportedly “difficult” and ended “bitterly,” Bank settler youths, had already moved
with only minor progress. At the meeting, into Gaza settlements to block the with-
Sharon pledged that if the cease-fire were drawal. Similarly, by 6/25 the population
restored, Israel would turn over security of Sanur, 1 of the 4 West Bank settlements
control of Bethlehem and Qalqilya within 2 slated for evacuation, had grown from 38
weeks, allow more Palestinian workers into in 6/04 to 250. Inside Israel, protesters be-
Israel, and ease restrictions on Palestinian gan their first large-scale antidisengagement
movement. He also agreed to the deploy- demonstrations (6/27, 6/29; see Chronol-
ment of the new contingent of 5,000 secu- ogy). By 7/7, the deadline for settlers to
rity officers proposed by the PA (see above) request government compensation for their
but demanded that they be unarmed. The evacuation, only 396 of the roughly 1,600
leaders clashed over Sharon’s demands that families had applied. On 7/9, Israel con-
Abbas take stronger measures to disarm and firmed that it would begin disengagement
dismantle militant groups and Abbas’s call on 8/17, estimating that it would take about
for Israel to release more Palestinian pris- 2 weeks to remove all settlers from Gaza
oners (including jailed Fatah tanzim leader and a month to complete evacuations in the
Marwan Barghouti) and to reopen the Gaza West Bank.
airport. Sharon reportedly showed anger at In the absence of any formal PA-Israeli
Abbas, warning that Israel would take ac- agreement on the fate of Gaza settlement
tion to eradicate militant groups if Abbas did assets, Jewish settlers began (6/29) disman-
not, and Abbas was reportedly “furious and tling their greenhouses to prevent their trans-
disappointed” by Sharon’s tone. fer to the Palestinians—marking the settlers’
Following the meeting, Israel announced first major move to withdraw. By mid-7/05,
(6/22) that the IDF would resume target- Wolfensohn was in the process of cobbling
ing Islamic Jihad members for assassination together a deal for a consortium of wealthy
and staged a failed attempt on a group of Americans to buy the greenhouses and give
Islamic Jihad members in Bayt Lahiya later them to the PA, but by then around half had
that day. The PA immediately called for re- been dismantled by the settlers. Wolfensohn
straint on both sides and opened intensive also pressed (7/8) his $3-b. aid package at
talks with Islamic Jihad leaders in Gaza. the G-8 meeting in Scotland, where mem-
Though 1,000 Islamic Jihad supporters in ber states vowed to mobilize support for the
northern Gaza and 100s in Ramallah rallied plan but did not pledge specific amounts
142 JOURNAL OF PALESTINE STUDIES

or announce a target sum for overall G-8 Abbas declared (6/28) his government to be
pledging. in a state of emergency until the completion
Meanwhile, Ward’s team worked steadily of disengagement to prevent the PC from
behind the scenes to assess the PA’s se- going into summer recess.
curity capabilities after nearly 5 years of
intifada, to begin the long process of unify- Israel Steps Up Targeting of
ing the security forces under a centralized Islamic Jihad
command-and-control structure answerable Meanwhile, Israeli-Palestinian violence in-
to PA Interior M Yusuf, and to revive Israeli- creased, and on 7/10, the IDF staged a failed
PA security coordination mechanisms in assassination attempt against a senior Islamic
Gaza to promote calm and prevent vio- Jihad military commander in Gaza City. On
lence during disengagement. Ward noted 7/12, an Islamic Jihad suicide bomber det-
in testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations onated a device outside a mall in Netanya,
Committee on 6/30 that the Gaza security killing 5 Israelis and wounding 46, mark-
forces operated essentially as individual fief- ing the first suicide attack since the 2/25
doms, since most of their infrastructure and Tel Aviv bombing carried out by a renegade
communications equipment had been de- Islamic Jihad member. Islamic Jihad initially
stroyed by Israel; barely a third of officers denied the attack but then claimed it, rais-
routinely showed up for duty, and most op- ing speculation that this attack also may not
erated without radios, vehicles, standardized have been sanctioned by the leadership.
uniforms, reliable weapons, or ammunition; At nearly the same time as the bombing, a
even if they were permitted by Israel to stolen car broke through the fence of the
carry lethal weapons, which they were not, West Bank settlement of Shavei Shomron,
they would be seriously outgunned by the exploding and injuring the driver but caus-
militant groups they were trying to contain. ing no other casualties. The IDF determined
While there was no way that security reform that the driver was an Islamic Jihad mem-
could even approach completion by the start ber who worked as an informant for Israel;
of disengagement, some progress was possi- he had been handcuffed to the wheel of
ble. Israel and the PA agreed (7/5) to resume the car and the bomb he was carrying was
joint patrols in Gaza. Egyptian (and some detonated by cell phone. Abbas denounced
reports indicated U.S.) officers began (7/4) the Netanya “terrorist attack” as a crime
training the PA’s new 5,000 member security against the Palestinian people and promised
detail, made up of officers taken from vari- swift action. Israel immediately suspended
ous PA security branches, to maintain order all talks with the PA on disengagement and
during the Israeli withdrawal. sealed the West Bank and Gaza, vowing a
Of note: On 7/1, the State Dept. lifted its harsh response.
10/03 ban on official U.S. travel to the Gaza Over the next few days, Israel launched
Strip for Ward and Wolfensohn. This facili- (7/13) a “sustained campaign” against
tated the envoys’ work with the Palestinians Islamic Jihad and quickly widened it (7/14)
only slightly, since restrictions remained to include Hamas—marking a definitive end
requiring their team members to seek spe- to the unofficial truce that had been in place
cial advance approval to travel to Gaza or since 2/8. The IDF fatally shot (7/13) an
the West Bank, always with a heavy secu- Islamic Jihad military commander during an
rity detail, limiting maneuverability, spon- arrest raid in Nablus; conducted overnight
taneity, and overall interaction with the (7/14–15) air strikes on 4 Hamas buildings
Palestinians. in Gaza, wounding 2 Palestinians; and assas-
The only concrete result of ongoing sinated (7/15) 5 Hamas members in a missile
Israeli-PA talks was an agreement in principle strike in Gaza City and 3 in a missile strike
(7/4) that Israeli security would escort Pales- in Salfit, also killing 1 bystander and injuring
tinian convoys transporting goods between 10. On 7/16 and 7/17, Israel massed troops
Gaza and the West Bank until a safe passage and tanks on Gaza’s northern border appar-
(talks debated a sunken road or a railway ently in preparation for the IDF’s threatened
link) was completed. Meanwhile, prospects Operation Summer’s End (see Quarterly
for Israeli confidence-building steps faded, Update in JPS 136) to deal a decisive blow to
with talks on the transfer of security control the “terrorist infrastructure” in Gaza before
over Bethlehem and Qalqilya deadlocking withdrawal. Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the
by 7/4 and no noticeable improvements in AMB ramped up mortar and rocket attacks
the entry of Palestinian laborers to Israel on IDF and settlement targets in Gaza and
or freedom of movement in the territories. on towns inside Israel, killing 1 Israeli and
QUARTERLY UPDATE ON CONFLICT AND DIPLOMACY 143

wounding 15 settlers and 1 Israeli civilian Onward toward Disengagement


between 7/14 and 7/17. Because Israeli-Palestinian coordination
Concurrently, Abbas placed (7/14) PA before 7/12 had been limited, the spike in
security forces in Gaza on high alert and violence and suspension of bilateral contacts
ordered them to prevent any attacks on Is- did not greatly affect overall disengagement
raeli targets. The PA security forces honed in planning. Wolfensohn and Ward continued
on Hamas militants instead of Islamic Jihad, their mediation with both sides, U.S. Asst.
sparking serious intra-Palestinian clashes Secy. of State for Near East Affair David
in Bayt Lahiya (7/14, 7/16) and Gaza City Welch (ca. 7/13–16) and EU foreign policy
(7/15) that left 2 Palestinian bystanders dead adviser Javier Solana (7/10–15) went ahead
and 5 Hamas members and 4 PA policemen with visits to the region for disengagement
wounded and raised Hamas fears that the PA consultations, and Quartet reps. met (7/15)
was in fact launching a preemptive campaign in Jerusalem to prepare for the aftermath of
to disarm it. Fatah and Hamas opened emer- withdrawal. Indeed, at the height of chaos in
gency talks in Gaza on 7/15, but tensions Gaza, the Knesset easily voted down (7/20) 3
remained high. bills calling for disengagement to be delayed.
Fearing that the violence could jeopar- The Wolfensohn and Solana talks suc-
dize disengagement, Rice announced (7/16) ceeded in getting Israel and the PA to begin
an emergency trip to the region beginning discussing concrete ideas for border-crossing
7/22, and Sharon advisers stated (7/17) that mechanisms and movement of goods and
any push into Gaza likely would not occur people after disengagement: Israel agreed to
until after her visit. Egypt also dispatched consider allowing private contractors over-
(7/16) senior intelligence official Mustafa seen by EU customs officials to replace Israeli
Bihayri to the territories to hold intensive customs and visa agents at the Rafah crossing
meetings with the PA, all the Palestinian fac- and proposed that the existing Rafah termi-
tions, and Israel to restore the cease-fire. nal be changed to a trade crossing only and
Nonetheless, the IDF assassinated a senior that a new terminal for individuals be built
Hamas commander in Khan Yunis on 7/17 at Nitzana on the Egypt-Israel-Gaza border.
and fatally shot 2 wanted Islamic Jihad mem- This solution, which would oblige individ-
bers in an arrest raid near Jenin, while Hamas uals to enter and leave Gaza through Israel,
and the Democratic Front for the Liberation rather than directly to Egypt, would allow
of Palestine (DFLP) kept up mortar and Israel to maintain control over people en-
rocket attacks, killing 1 Palestinian and injur- tering and leaving Gaza while removing its
ing 7 settlers, 4 foreign workers, and an IDF security presence from the Strip. Israel also
soldier by 7/22. PA efforts (some coordinated agreed in principle to a 3-stage transition
with the AMB) to rein in Hamas resulted in from back-to-back to door-to-door transit
further serious intra-Palestinian clashes in Ja- of goods between Gaza and the West Bank
baliya refugee camp (r.c.; 7/19) and Gaza City based on the installation of upgraded X-ray
(7/20) that left 20 Palestinians wounded and equipment to scan vehicles’ cargo without
prompted Palestinian protests in Ramallah offloading.
(7/19, 7/20) and Jericho (7/20), calling for Alongside coordinated efforts, Israeli uni-
national unity and an end to the security lateral steps also continued. In the first indi-
chaos. Inside Israel, some 20,000 disengage- cation of the scope of withdrawal in the West
ment protesters held 3 days of demonstra- Bank, the Israeli DMin. recommended (7/12)
tions near the Gaza border 7/18–20. that after disengagement, the IDF maintain
On 7/21, thanks to Bihayri’s mediation, all posts in the area of the 4 West Bank settle-
the National and Islamic Coordinating Com- ments to be evacuated and continue to patrol
mittee for the Follow-up of the Intifada the northern West Bank, rather than turn the
(NIHC; the umbrella group representing area over to PA security control (area B sta-
all Palestinian factions) convened the PA and tus). The PA had hoped that the IDF would
senior reps. of all Palestinian factions to reaf- evacuate all military installations, redeploy
firm their pledge to the cease-fire, to remove troops, and turn over most of the Jenin area
all armed forces from the streets (except PA to PA security control. While the Israelis
security forces), and to halt provocations had never indicated that this would be the
and incitement. In response, the IDF agreed case, the announcement soured the public
(7/21) to renew disengagement coordina- mood. Sharon’s security cabinet also stated
tion with the PA. By the close of 7/21, the (7/12) that the government would officially
death toll had reached 4,108 Palestinians dissolve military rule in Gaza, in place since
and 976 Israelis. 1967, once disengagement was complete so
144 JOURNAL OF PALESTINE STUDIES

as to underline Israel’s position (disputed left 2 Israeli civilians and 2 Palestinian gun-
by the international community) that it no men dead. Palestinian mortar and rocket fire
longer would be responsible for the Gaza lessened but did not cease.
Strip.
Given these continued efforts, Rice’s The Disengagement Process Begins
7/22–23 visit was more symbolic than sub- From the beginning of 8/05, planning
stantive. According to the parties, she did and coordination accelerated and the pieces
not engage in detailed discussion of any con- quickly fell in place for an organized Is-
tentious disengagement issues. She urged raeli evacuation of settlers. On 8/1, the PA
both sides to halt violence and increase handed Israel maps of the locations where PA
coordination; proposed holding a summit security forces would be deployed around
between Israel and Arab states after disen- the settlements during disengagement, and
gagement was complete; handed Sharon a Gaza settler leaders began collecting set-
letter from Bush pledging “American sup- tlers’ weapons. On 8/2, Israeli and PA field
port and involvement” in Israel disengage- officers began “field trips,” walking the
ment efforts; and stated that the Palestinians ground together to coordinate logistics for
must have significant freedom of movement the specifics of evacuating the settlers, keep-
within and between the West Bank and Gaza ing the Palestinian population separated, and
after disengagement. Rice also announced guarding the settlements and surrounding
that she would visit the region several more areas during the demolition of structures.
times before the end of 2005, suggesting a The PA began (8/10) deploying its 5,000-
more active U.S. role in moving the parties member disengagement security forces. By
toward road map implementation, though 8/11, 2 joint operation centers had opened
the State Dept. explicitly denied that any at Erez and Rafah to coordinate security.
“shuttle diplomacy” was planned. Israel and the PA reached (8/9) an agree-
Israeli DM Shaul Mofaz and PA Interior ment on the removal of debris from the set-
M Yusuf held the first Israeli-PA talks since tlements after their demolition (see above):
the 7/12 bombing on 7/24 but made no The PA would be allowed to salvage what
progress. Afterward, the PA complained building materials could be used for future
(7/24) that it had still not been given “one construction projects, and the IDF would
answer” to questions on withdrawal, only 3 destroy the rest, removing any hazardous de-
weeks away. On 7/25, Abbas announced that bris from Gaza (either to Israel or to Egypt, if
until disengagement was complete, he was an agreement could be reached). The World
relocating to Gaza to better guarantee that Bank would underwrite the Palestinian costs.
Palestinian violence remain low and to have The PA Planning Min. also released (ca. 8/3)
access to Gaza faction leaders if it escalated. its comprehensive land use plan for the evac-
Meanwhile, the IDF began (ca. 7/28) uated settlement areas, including provisions
constructing 2 additional fences around the for a railroad along Gaza’s border with Israel,
Gaza Strip inside Israel—1 of razor wire a new beach road and green areas along the
and 1 with electric sensors and surveillance coast, new housing for up to 250,000 peo-
cameras—to ensure Israeli security after ple, and a sea port outside Netzarim, using
disengagement. Israel said (7/31) that after the former settlement as a port staging area.
withdrawal, it would require Israelis and By 8/13, Wolfensohn had finalized the
Palestinians crossing the Israeli-Gaza border deal for half a dozen American philan-
to obtain visas. thropists to put up $14 m. (including
Despite the commitment to the unof- $500,000 of Wolfensohn’s own money) to
ficial cease-fire on 7/21, Israeli-Palestinian buy the settlement greenhouses still stand-
violence continued at a moderate level. The ing and reportedly to rebuild the others. He
IDF continued arrest raids targeting Islamic also stated (8/4, 8/10) that he had made sig-
Jihad (see Chronology), assassinated an Is- nificant progress on key issues related to
lamic Jihad member in Tulkarm on 7/28, border crossings and movement of goods
arrested Islamic Jihad’s West Bank leader and people, and hoped to have “many of
Shaykh Ibrahim Fayyad on 7/31, and fired these issues” solved by the completion of
missiles at Palestinian gunmen in Bayt Lahiya Israel’s withdrawal by the end of the year,
on 7/24 in what may have been an assas- including a timetable and a mechanism for
sination attempt. Clashes (7/24) between international guarantees for implementa-
the IDF and members of the AMB, Islamic tion. USAID had been tasked with evaluating
Jihad, and the Palestinian Resistance Com- the efficiency of a sunken road versus a
mittees (PRCs) at Gaza’s Kissufim crossing rail link as a safe passage and expected to
QUARTERLY UPDATE ON CONFLICT AND DIPLOMACY 145

complete its assessment in “several months.” wing settlers in various locations in south-
Israel had agreed that work on a sea port ern Gaza simultaneously began marching
could begin immediately but indicated that toward Gush Katif to block troops but were
it would not permit the airport to reopen for prevented from reaching the settlement bloc
2–3 years. Wolfensohn stressed that the suc- by Israeli forces. Other settler youths slashed
cess of the PA’s 3-year development plan for tires of several army jeeps, sprayed dishwash-
Gaza would rest on the degree of freedom of ing liquid on windshields to limit visibility,
movement into and out of Gaza afforded by and spread nails on roads to delay convoys
Israel after disengagement, as well as on con- of movers, but no serious violence was re-
tinued PA reforms. He also noted that the PA, ported. In the West Bank, the last residents
donors, and UN had agreed that the pack- of Ganim (est. 1983, pop. 172) and Kadim
age of “quick-impact economic programs” (est. 1983, pop. 169) left voluntarily.
for the first 6 months after disengagement Also on 8/15, Israel and Egypt initialed
should focus on job creation, infrastructure, a protocol for the deployment of 750 Egyp-
housing, water, sewerage, community devel- tian border police along the Philadelphi
opment, and credit provision services. Route and sent it to the Knesset for ratifica-
On 8/7 the Israeli cabinet authorized tion. Under the arrangement, the Egyptians
(16–5) the IDF to begin the first stage of dis- would be equipped with armored person-
engagement. By that date, 90% of the West nel carriers, rocket propelled grenades, as-
Bank families had applied for compensation sault rifles, light machine guns, jeeps, and
and 20% had evacuated, and 60% of Gaza quad bikes; they would be allowed to erect
families had filed for compensation but few only unfortified observation towers. In ad-
had left. The next day, the IDF began deliver- dition, 30 members of the Egyptian navy
ing letters to the 1,600 settler families in the would patrol the coast around the clock.
25 Gaza and West Bank settlements slated for The Multinational Forces and Observers mis-
evacuation, telling them that they had until sion in Egypt would play a role (no details
8/15 to leave their homes and receive full released) in overseeing the Egyptian contin-
compensation; those who remained until gent, which Israel expected to be in place by
8/17 would be forcibly removed, would not the end of the year. Israel also agreed (8/8) to
be allowed to return to collect their belong- recognize a 3-mile area of water off Gaza as
ings (which would be packed and shipped Palestinian territorial waters after the IDF’s
by the IDF), and would not receive full com- withdrawal from the Philadelphi Route.
pensation. (Individual letters were delivered Meanwhile, Israeli-Palestinian violence
to many, if not most, settlements. Seeking continued at the same level (see Chronology
to avoid clashes, the IDF decided not to for details). In a major incident on 8/4, an IDF
deliver notices in the most hard-line Gaza soldier who had deserted 2 months earlier to
settlements of Dugit, Katif, Kefar Darom, protest disengagement opened fire on a bus
and Netzarim and delivered “bulk” eviction in the Israeli Palestinian town of Shafa ‘Amr,
orders to others.) Israel also agreed (8/8) to killing 4 Israeli Palestinians and wounding
evacuate the families of 40 Palestinian col- 20 before a mob beat him to death. In the
laborators from Dahaniyya in Gaza to Israel territories, the IDF continued to conduct
and give them temporary residency. Inside arrest raids and fire on residential areas,
Israel, 25,000 disengagement protesters held including in Khan Yunis, the al-Mawasi area
2 days of demonstrations in Sederot 8/2–3, near Gush Katif, and Rafah; to bulldoze West
70,000 protested at the Western Wall 8/10, Bank land for construction of the separation
and 150,000 gathered in Tel Aviv on 8/11. wall; and to patrol in Palestinian villages,
On 8/14, the PA completed deployment towns, and camps. Jewish settler attacks
of 7,500 security forces across Gaza to pre- on Palestinians occurred almost daily, while
vent Palestinians from approaching the set- Palestinian mortar and rocket fire dropped
tlements. At midnight that night, the IDF off significantly, ceasing by 8/6.
sealed the Gaza Strip, making it illegal for
Israelis to enter and tightened restrictions on Intifada Data and Trends
Palestinian movement. On 8/15, the Israeli Deaths doubled this quarter: at least 78
cabinet approved the second stage of dis- Palestinians and 14 Israelis were killed (com-
engagement. The IDF then declared the pared to 39 Palestinians and 7 Israelis last
northern West Bank a closed military zone quarter), bringing the toll at 5/15 to at least
and began going door-to-door in Gaza set- 4,129 Palestinians (including 46 Israeli Arabs
tlements asking residents to leave within and 17 unidentified Arab cross-border in-
48 hours. During the day, some 1,000 right- filtrators), 979 Israelis (including 304 IDF
146 JOURNAL OF PALESTINE STUDIES

soldiers and security personnel, 195 set- Israeli civilian contractor, 1 Israeli civilian, 5
tlers, 480 civilians), and 55 foreign nationals Palestinian workers, and 5 foreign workers
(including 2 British suicide bombers). injured; there was light to moderate property
The PA Interior Min. reported (7/14) that damage in 10 incidents. On 7/21 a rocket
between 3/1/05 and 6/30/05—the period of aimed at Gush Katif hit Khan Yunis, killing
greatest Palestinian calm following the 2/8 1 Palestinian; and on 8/2 a rocket aimed
Sharm al-Shaykh summit—46 Palestinians at Sederot fell in northern Gaza, killing 1
had been killed ( JPS figures are 47), 462 in- Palestinian and wounding 9.
jured, and 1,249 arrested. The IDF reported House demolitions were up slightly this
(7/24) that between the 7/12 Netanya bomb- quarter. The IDF continued to suspend
ing and 7/24 it arrested 95 Hamas and Islamic “punitive” home demolitions (see Quar-
Jihad members. terly Update in JPS 136), citing the lull in
This quarter, Israel carried out 10 clear as- Palestinian violence that followed the 2/05
sassinations (up from 1 last quarter), killing Sharm al-Shaykh summit, but continued bull-
1 bystander and wounding 10. Those assassi- dozing houses built without permits or in
nated this quarter were: Hamas’s Asbir Abu the way of the West Bank separation wall.
Assi (7/15), ‘Assim Abu Ras (7/15), Hamad These included 16 in East Jerusalem (plus a 2-
Adah (wounded 7/15, died 7/22), Amjad story and a 3-story building on 6/15), 13 near
Arafat (7/15), Muhammad Ayyash (7/15), Hebron, 10 in Jiftlik near Jericho, 6 in Nablus,
Samir Dawahqa (7/15), ‘Adil Haniyyeh 4 near Bethlehem, 1 in Qabatya, and 1 in
(7/15), Muhammad Mar‘ai (7/15), and Sa‘id Qalqilya. In addition, the IDF demolished 22
Siyam (7/17); and Islamic Jihad’s Mu‘ayyad structures in Khirbat Tana (pop. 450) near
Musa. The killing of AMB northern Gaza Nablus on 7/5, leaving only 2 buildings and
cmdr. Ahmad Abu Zayid on 8/1 may have the village’s 200-year-old mosque standing.
been an assassination. The IDF also at- While the IDF continued to confiscate
tempted to assassinate at least 3 Islamic and bulldoze wide tracts of Palestinian land
Jihad members (6/21, 6/22, 7/10) and 1 for construction of the separation wall, other
Hamas member (7/17), also wounding 2 by- bulldozing nearly ceased. Five dunams (d.; 4
standers. An incident on 7/24 may have been d. = 1 acre) were reported cleared in Khan
a failed assassination attempt. Yunis on 6/22.
During the quarter, there was 1 Pales- Jewish settler violence against Palestini-
tinian suicide bombing (the same as last ans remained a near daily occurrence this
quarter) claimed by Islamic Jihad that killed quarter. Incidents included settlers tem-
5 and injured 46 (compared to 5 killed porarily occupying Palestinian homes (6/27,
and about 22 injured last quarter). Three 2 on 6/29), beating or otherwise attacking
other incidents in which Palestinian gun- Palestinians (5/19, 5/20, 5/21, 5/23, 5/31,
men attacked Israeli targets may have been 6/18, 2 on 6/26, 6/28, 6/29, 6/30, 7/15, 7/22,
intended suicide attacks insofar as the at- 7/23, 7/25, 7/29, 7/30, 8/1, 2 on 8/6, 8/7,
tackers did not expect to survive: a joint 8/13), vandalizing houses (5/26, 5/28, 6/12,
operation by the AMB, Hamas, and Islamic 6/16, 6/25, 6/26, 6/27, 6/28, 7/2, 7/13, 7/15,
Jihad against Kefar Darom on 5/20; a joint 7/22, 7/24, 8/12, 8/15), setting fire to prop-
AMB–Islamic Jihad attack on an IDF post out- erty (5/26, 6/8, 6/26, 6/27, 7/13, 8/4, 8/15),
side Kefar Darom on 6/18; and an Islamic destroying crops and uprooting trees (5/16,
Jihad attack on Morag settlement on 7/6. In 5/17, 2 on 5/26, 6/15, 6/18, 6/26, 6/27, 7/25,
these incidents, 2 Islamic Jihad members and 2 on 7/30), bulldozing land (5/17, 5/29),
1 Hamas member were killed, an AMB and an blocking roads and stoning cars (6/30, 7/2,
Islamic Jihad member were wounded, and 4 7/13, 7/19, 2 on 8/14), and poisoning (ca.
AMB members and 1 Islamic Jihad member 6/1, 6/14) or stealing (5/23) livestock. In ad-
escaped unharmed; no Israelis were injured. dition, settlers killed 1 Palestinian (7/26) and
Palestinian use of mortars, rockets, and injured 8 (6/2, 6/18, 7/1, 2 on 7/7, 7/15) in
roadside bombs remained high, targeting deliberate hit and run incidents, and shot and
primarily Israeli soldiers and settlers in Gaza wounded 11 Palestinians (5/31, 8/6, 8/10).
and, to a lesser degree, Israeli towns just In an incident on 6/29, 40 settlers protest-
across the Gaza border in Sederot and the ing disengagement and chanting “Death to
Negev (see Chronology for details). Casual- Arabs” attacked a group of Palestinians and
ties in these strikes were markedly higher IDF soldiers in Gaza’s Mawasi area abutting
than in previous quarters, leaving 1 Israeli, 3 Gush Katif, severely beating a Palestinian in
Palestinian settlement workers, and 1 foreign what observers described as a near lynching.
worker dead; 17 settlers, 12 IDF soldiers, 1 Gangs of settlers also attacked international
QUARTERLY UPDATE ON CONFLICT AND DIPLOMACY 147

peace activists making solidarity visits to Bank land for construction of the separation
Palestinians in Hebron (5/21, 5/28), caus- wall and related bypass roads, settlement
ing damage to Palestinian residences but no expansions, and military outposts. The total
serious injuries. Of 73 reported incidents, included 27,796 d. around Hebron, 10,000 d.
half occurred in Hebron, with the remain- around Ramallah, 5,595 d. around Jerusalem
der occurring around Gaza (12), Bethlehem (predominantly Bayt Duqu, Bayt Hanina, Bayt
(6), Nablus (4), Qalqilya (3), Ramallah (3), Surik, al-Jib), 5,075 d. in the Jordan Valley,
Salfit (2), Tulkarm (2), and Jerusalem (1). 4,939 d. around Tulkarm, 2,133 d. around
Most incidents in Gaza (e.g., 6/9, 6/18, 6/26, Jenin, 1,675 d. around Salfit, 832 d. around
2 on 6/28, 6/29, 6/30, 7/6, 8/14, 8/15) and Qalqilya, and 770 d. around Bethlehem.
a handful near the West Bank settlements of On 7/10, a year and a day after the Interna-
Homesh (e.g., 8/12, 8/14) were essentially tional Court of Justice (ICJ) declared the wall
protests against disengagement. illegal and called for its immediate disman-
The Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics tlement (see Doc. A3 in JPS 133), the Israeli
reported (6/8) that Israel built almost twice cabinet gave final approval to the route of
as many settlement housing units in the first the separation wall though Jerusalem, in-
quarter of 2005 (564 units) as during the cluding plans for 11 passages in the wall
same period in 2004 (308 units). segment around the city; Sharon at the same
The UN International Labor Organization time ordered construction to be acceler-
(ILO) reported (5/27) that Palestinian unem- ated. Israel estimates that 55,000 Palestinian
ployment (i.e., people without a job actively residents of East Jerusalem will be cut off
looking for work) had reached a record from the rest of the city, while the wall will
224,000 in 2004 (up from 203,000 in 2003); encompass 30,000 Jewish settlers living in
among Palestinians age 15–24, unemploy- Ma’ale Adumim. Israel did not release the
ment was 40%; half of all men and 10% of exact route of the wall or say what changes
all women in the West Bank and Gaza were have been made from earlier plans. Under
actively employed in 2004; 57% of wage the final plan, a portion of Greater Jerusalem
earners failed to earn enough to raise their (including the Palestinian neighborhoods of
family above the poverty line; and 1.8 m. ‘Anata, Kufr Aqab, Qalandia, and Shu‘fat r.c.)
Palestinians were living below the poverty would be outside the wall.
line. The ILO blamed Israeli closures for
the increase. The ILO also noted that some Independent Initiatives
150,000 West Bank Palestinians had lost jobs The Israeli daily Ha’Aretz revealed on
as a result of separation wall construction. 5/31 that a group of Israelis and Palestini-
As of 7/2, the Palestine General Federation ans, including 3 senior government officials
of Trade Unions in Gaza put the unemploy- and foreign experts—together called the
ment rate at 65% and the poverty rate at Aix Group after Aix-en-Provence, where the
75%. group was formed in 7/02—were drafting
Of note: The Israeli daily Ma’ariv carried an economic road map (ERM) to ensure that
(6/3) a report based on interviews with IDF Israel’s unilateral disengagement does not
soldiers confirming that the IDF carried out “unilaterally establish final status economic
“eye for eye” reprisal attacks on PA police issues.” The ERM would be implemented
officers in 2002 in retaliation for the 2/19/02 with phase 3 of the road map (negotiation
killing of 6 IDF soldiers at a checkpoint of final status) to ensure creation of a viable
outside Ramallah by a lone AMB gunman and economically independent Palestinian
who escaped. The IDF never investigated state. The plan calls for removal of internal
the reprisal killings because, according to the closures within the West Bank and Gaza; cre-
New York Times (6/4), they were “part of a ation of a secure, reliable link between the
series of operations against terrorism in line West Bank and Gaza; establishment of a se-
with Israeli Army orders and procedures.” cure, efficient, and reliable border regime;
and implementation of an “urgent recov-
Separation Wall ery program” for Gaza. The plan envisions 3
Construction on Israel’s separation wall phases: phase 1 (“rescue phase”): free flow
in the West Bank continued, with monitors of goods inside the territories and abroad,
reporting that most construction this quarter free labor movement in the territories and
was concentrated around Jerusalem. The a stable level of Palestinian labor inside
Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Israel, and uninterrupted fiscal transfers from
Campaign reported (7/14) that since 1/1/05, Israel to the PA consistent with a “modified”
the IDF had confiscated 58,814 d. of West (unclarified) version of the Paris Protocol;
148 JOURNAL OF PALESTINE STUDIES

phase 2: redevelopment of the Palestinian the Egyptian security delegation normally


economy; phase 3: movement to full Pales- charged with facilitating disengagement is-
tinian economic sovereignty and a free trade sues made a special trip to Gaza (5/23–28)
agreement with Israel. Among those partic- to mediate a resolution between Fatah and
ipating as observers were PA Cabinet Secy. Hamas. As a result, Fatah and the NIHC urged
and Chief of Staff Samir Huleileh, Nego- the CEC to postpone the revote until ten-
tiation Support Unit legal adviser Nisreen sions with Hamas eased, which the CEC did
Abbas, Israeli Trade Min. official Gaby Bar, on 5/30. A new date had not been set by the
director of Dep. PM Ehud Olmert’s office end of the quarter. By 6/28, newly elected
Yishay Sorek, the World Bank’s Sebastien municipal officials were in place in all areas
Dessus, the IMF’s Joel Toujas-Bernate, and where the 5/5 voting was uncontested, with
European Commission principal administra- the incumbent municipal officials remaining
tor Bernard Philippe. Although the group has in place in the 4 contested districts.
no official standing, participants hope that
the contacts could build Israeli-Palestinian Legislative Elections
trust and influence policy formation moving In a bid to force legislative elections to
forward. be held as planned on 7/17, the PC rejected
further amendments to the election law and
INTRA-PALESTINIAN DYNAMICS sent the bill to Abbas on 5/18 for ratifica-
tion as is, calling for increasing the number
Elections of PC seats from 88 to 132, with 88 mem-
By the opening of the quarter, the PA had bers to be elected on a constituency basis
held three rounds of municipal elections and 44 to be chosen from party lists (see
(12/23/04, 1/27/05, 5/5/05) and planned at Quarterly Update in JPS 136). Abbas refused
least one more round for 8/05. Results of the to sign the bill on 5/23, and when several
5/5/05 elections had not been released due rounds of Fatah Revolutionary Council (FRC)
to Fatah accusations of Hamas vote rigging meetings in Ramallah failed to produce an
in Bayt Lahiya, Bureij, and Rafah in Gaza and agreement on the draft between Abbas and
the theft of several ballot boxes in Attara the Fatah deputies that dominate the PC,
in the West Bank, raising the possibility of he announced (6/4) the postponement of
revotes in those districts. Legislative council parliamentary elections until at least 11/05
elections, planned for 7/17, were in jeopardy to leave more time to resolve differences.
because the Palestinian Council (PC) had Hamas strongly protested (6/4) the move,
failed to decide on amendments to the PA calling it a ploy aimed at giving Fatah more
elections law by 5/15 to give the Central time to halt political infighting and restore
Election Commission (CEC) the 2 months its popular support. The fact that Abbas’s de-
necessary to prepare for the balloting (see cision came so soon after his meeting with
Quarterly Update in JPS 136). Bush on 5/26 also raised speculation that the
U.S. applied pressure to delay elections. Offi-
Municipal Elections cially the White House stated “no comment”
The PA set (7/19) the fourth round of when asked, though unnamed diplomats
municipal elections for 132 local authori- were quoted (al-Ahram 6/10) as stating that
ties in the West Bank and Gaza (mostly small “the news was greeted in the White House
villages) for 9/29 and the fifth round (consid- with responses that ranged from ‘quiet re-
ered the most important because it includes lief to elation’.” The source further stated
the cities of Hebron, Nablus, Khan Yunis, that the EU and Egypt had also been qui-
and Gaza City) for 12/8. On 8/15, the CEC etly pushing for the delay, hoping that the
postponed until 11/05 elections in 27 of PA’s consolidation of its rule in Gaza after
the 132 municipalities set for 9/29 because disengagement could “win back” support
their proximity to the settlements slated for from Hamas. Abbas made (6/8) a special trip
evacuation under disengagement. to Gaza to consult with the NIHC on the
After thousands of Hamas supporters elections, but Hamas and Islamic Jihad sent
demonstrated (5/23) in Gaza City against low-level delegations in protest, precluding
a PA court ruling (5/19) calling for par- substantive talks.
tial recounts of ballots in Bayt Lahiya and On 6/18, the PC passed (43–13) a new
Bureij, the CEC ordered (5/24) full revotes draft election law raising the number of
to be held on 5/31 in Attara, Bayt Lahiya, seats from 88 to 132, with 50% elected in
Bureij, and Rafah. When Hamas denounced constituencies and 50% chosen from party
(5/24) the ruling and threatened to boycott, lists. At the close of the quarter there was no
QUARTERLY UPDATE ON CONFLICT AND DIPLOMACY 149

word on whether it had been sent to Abbas. 6/18, 44 of 83 active PC members signed
He did, however, ratify (8/14) an amendment a petition demanding that Qurai‘ face a
to the Basic Law calling for presidential and hearing on what they termed his “unsatisfac-
legislative elections to be held every 4 years. tory policy-making” and threatened to call
Meanwhile, the CEC, which had re- a no-confidence vote if he did not agree.
opened voter registration throughout the Qurai‘ defended his government’s record in
territories 5/7–21 in preparation for leg- a closed-door PC session on 7/7, without
islative elections, extended the registration outlining specific plans for reform or secu-
period to 5/27 after Israeli border police rity. He challenged PC members to proceed
raided (5/22) CEC registration centers in with a no-confidence vote if they believed
Nabi Samuel outside Jerusalem and in Har- he was not doing his utmost. The PC did not
malah near Bethlehem, detaining and check- follow through.
ing the IDs of staff. Abbas issued (6/22) a presidential decree
As of 8/15, Abbas had secured the PLO ordering all Palestinians convicted in PA se-
Executive Committee’s agreement to hold curity courts, particularly those given death
legislative elections in 1/06 but had not sentences, to be retried in civil court. The PA
settled on a precise date. went ahead, however, with 4 executions of
convicted murderers (3 by hanging, 1 by fir-
Reform Efforts and Governance ing squad) on 6/12, marking the first time in
Following his emergency angioplasty in 3 years that the PA had carried out the death
Amman on 6/1, Abbas proposed (6/3) to the penalty. A fifth murderer was hanged on
FRC that the post of PA VP be created to 7/27. The PA courts reportedly have handed
assure smooth governance in case the pres- down 73 death sentences since the PA’s in-
ident is incapacitated. After the FRC agreed ception, of which 10 (including these 5)
(6/6) in principle, Abbas sent a letter to the have been carried out. As many as 50 of the
PC requesting an amendment to the Basic 73 were convicted of collaboration.
Law. The PC debated the matter on 7/28 but PA Atty. Gen. Hussein Abu Assi instructed
did not reach a decision. The DFLP protested (6/28) PA police to detain more than 5
(6/6) that the post of VP was unnecessary former PA officials on charges of misuse of
since provisions exist in the Basic Law for public funds. Some of the officials may have
the PC speaker to take over and for elections to be extradited from Arab countries. On 8/1,
to be held within 60 days if the president unidentified assailants threw a grenade at
is incapacitated, as occurred smoothly after Abu Assi’s Gaza City home, causing damage
Arafat’s death. There was some speculation but no injuries.
that Abbas moved to create the post in or- The PA announced (6/8) a salary increase
der to bring his rival, Fatah chairman and of 8% for all public sector employees be-
PLO Political Dept. head Faruq Qaddumi, in- ginning in 7/05. After 3 weeks of observing
side the PA and under his authority, thereby occasional strike days, some 10,000 Pales-
making it more difficult for Qaddumi to chal- tinian health workers in PA government
lenge him within Fatah as was increasingly clinics started an open-ended strike on 7/30,
the case (see below). Rumor suggested that demanding an increase in pay; it was not
Abbas may in fact have offered the posi- clear whether they were covered by the 6/8
tion to Qaddumi when they met in Tunis increase or if the strike was precipitated
to discuss their differences on 5/31 but that because they were excluded from it.
Qaddumi turned him down.
After the PC approved a new diplomatic National Unity and Power Struggles
law, PA FM Nasser al-Kidwa announced Given the PA’s increased coordination
(6/27) that major staffing changes in Pales- with Israel on disengagement and postdis-
tinian embassies worldwide, affecting some engagement scenarios, Abbas (in his various
122 diplomatic officers, would be imple- roles as PA pres., PLO chairman, and se-
mented in 2/06. Qaddumi, in his role as PLO nior Fatah official) increasingly sought dur-
Political Dept. head, protested that the em- ing the quarter to create a mechanism for
bassy staffing decisions were the purview of bringing factions other than Fatah, partic-
the PLO, not the PA, making the diplomatic ularly Hamas, into the Palestinian decision-
law and Kidwa’s actions illegitimate. making process to give them a vested inter-
On 6/14, PM Qurai‘ threatened to sus- est in (and responsibility for) the outcome
pend all government functions if lawless- of decisions. With time running out, ef-
ness in the PA areas (see below), especially forts begun last quarter to bring Hamas and
by PA security officers, did not cease. On Islamic Jihad into the PLO (see Quarterly
150 JOURNAL OF PALESTINE STUDIES

Update in JPS 136) were apparently set PA security services without advance writ-
aside in favor of creating a temporary na- ten approval of the Interior Min. On 8/4
tional unity government to remain in place (Arafat’s birthday), the PA opened a 2-week
through disengagement until legislative long “victory festival” in Gaza City to cel-
elections. ebrate disengagement, with speeches by
To this end, Abbas proposed (ca. 6/28) Abbas, Qurai‘, and Dahlan calling for na-
expanding the PA cabinet to give seats to the tional unity and encouraging Palestinians
Islamist groups. The Fatah Central Commit- not to take any actions that could “jeopar-
tee (FCC) (7/2) and the NIHC (7/4) endorsed dize the national image.” On 8/13, Hamas
the idea, but Islamic Jihad rejected (7/2) it opened its campaign with a press confer-
on the grounds that it could not join a body ence in Gaza City by 10 of its founding mem-
using the Oslo accords as its terms of refer- bers and senior political leaders (publicly
ence, and Hamas rejected (7/4) it as a ploy together for the first time in recent mem-
to make it accountable for PA mistakes while ory) to hail the forthcoming disengagement
denying it real power and said it would wait as the result of Palestinian resistance. The
to participate in legislative elections. The leaders also vowed to continue armed strug-
idea was never acted upon by the PC it- gle until all occupied Palestinian territories
self. Instead, Hamas called (7/9, 7/11) for are liberated, repeated their refusal to dis-
forming a joint committee of all Palestinian arm, and stated that Fatah (which dominates
factions to oversee security and maintain or- the PA) cannot be the sole decision-making
der in Gaza during and after disengagement, party. Hamas also released (8/13) the contact
but the PA rejected this (7/9, 7/11) on the information of 34 multilingual spokesmen
grounds that there could be only one author- hired to give press interviews to foreign
ity in the territories and that consultations journalists regarding the disengagement.
among factions could continue within the Fatah did not hold party primaries on
framework of the NIHC. After further meet- 5/27 as planned to select 132 candidates for
ings, Abbas made a concession, allowing the the PC elections; according to the Guardian
factions to form (8/15) a joint committee (6/10), they were canceled “due to bitter op-
to oversee the PA’s disposition of the set- position from Fatah’s ‘old guard’ leadership.”
tlement land evacuated. (The PA expected Immediately after Abbas delayed legislative
5% of the land to revert to individual Pales- elections on 6/4, the FRC postponed (6/5)
tinian ownership and the rest to fall under indefinitely the 6th General Conference set
PA jurisdiction as state land.) for 8/4 that was to elect a new Fatah lead-
Throughout these discussions Abbas and ership (see Quarterly Update in JPS 136),
senior PLO officials maintained high-level citing logistical difficulties in bringing Fa-
contacts with the Damascus-based opposi- tah members from abroad for a vote and
tion groups, the factions in Lebanon, Syrian disagreements over voting procedures.
pres. Bashar al-Asad, and Lebanese pres. The FCC met (6/30–7/2) in Amman to
Emile Lahoud to ensure that no party felt discuss the General Conference but did not
threatened or excluded from the process. set a new date. Members agreed that local
These contacts included high-profile meet- and then regional Fatah elections should
ings in Damascus (6/29, 5/22, 7/4, 7/7) and be held first to reform the lower levels of
Lebanon (7/8–9). the movement. In a reversal of position, the
As disengagement approached, the PA FCC agreed that the current Fatah leadership
and Hamas launched rival media campaigns should have “the opportunity to select its
to take credit for Israel’s withdrawal from candidates” for the legislative elections be-
Gaza. The PA opened its campaign, with fore the General Conference is held. Abbas
$1.7 m. of financing from the UN Devel- pledged meanwhile to make “real” reforms
opment Program, on 7/21. The initiative in the PA (including allowing the “younger
included a special press office to handle in- generation” to take part in decision making
ternational journalists’ queries and 10,000s and investigating corruption) and to crack
of flags, banners, mugs, bumper stickers, down on Palestinian gangs hampering ef-
and posters with the slogan “Today Gaza, forts to restore stability in the territories. At
Tomorrow the West Bank and Jerusalem.” the end of the quarter, the General Confer-
The PA simultaneously banned the display ence was not expected to be held until at
of any flag but the Palestinian flag, began re- least 4/06.
moving all factional flags from public spaces The day the FCC decisions were an-
in Gaza, prohibited PA employees from crit- nounced, Fatah head Qaddumi opened (7/2)
icizing the PA, and banned reporting on the a media office in Khan Yunis charged with
QUARTERLY UPDATE ON CONFLICT AND DIPLOMACY 151

providing information to local Palestinians 7/28), or firing in the air (6/2). AMB mem-
about the Fatah leadership abroad; some 150 bers also held demonstrations (e.g., 6/2,
armed AMB members held a parade in cele- 6/15, 7/2, 8/9, 8/13) demanding to be inte-
bration. (Qaddumi apparently took the step grated into the security forces or provided
without consulting Abbas, even though they with PA jobs. (On 6/22, the PA announced an
had met in Amman on 6/29 to iron out differ- agreement to bring some 700 Palestinian mil-
ences prior to the FCC meeting; no details of itants from Nablus, mostly AMB members,
their talks were released.) On 7/16, gunmen into the security services if they turned in
associated with an unnamed Fatah splinter their weapons.)
group set fire to the new media office, caus- Some politically motivated attacks were
ing some damage, and fired on PA security carried out by unknown groups. In the most
forces in the area. On 8/1, the Khan Yunis serious incident, Palestinian gunmen fired
office head Sulayman al-Farah announced (6/22) on a building in Balata r.c. where PM
that Qaddumi had ordered him to recruit Qurai‘ was giving a speech and detonated
a 1,500-man force to help the PA maintain a roadside bomb as he and his convoy left
order during disengagement; anyone could the area, causing no damage or injuries;
join and receive a monthly stipend, whether no group claimed responsibility. Unknown
or not a Fatah member, as long as they assailants detonated a bomb outside the Gaza
pledged allegiance to the PA. On 8/7, the PA City home of PA Higher Judicial Council
arrested Farah on charges of building a local head Zuhayr Surani (causing damage but
militia. Qaddumi reportedly issued (8/7) a no injuries) and threw a grenade at the
handwritten statement threatening harsh ac- home of Atty. Gen. Abu Assi (as mentioned
tion if Farah were not released immediately. above). Unidentified gunmen ambushed and
Palestinian gunmen kidnapped 2 UN work- beat (7/12) senior PA Interior Min. official
ers on 8/8 to exchange for Farah, but PA Ibrahim Salama in Ramallah and wounded
security forces stormed their hideout, freed (8/1) 2 PA military intelligence officers in a
the workers, and refused to release Farah. drive-by shooting in Gaza City.
On 6/1 in Yabad, near Jenin, 48 DFLP In addition, unidentified gunmen fa-
members announced their mass resignation tally shot (5/29) Palestinian journalist Samir
from the DFLP, complaining that the party Rantisi, an aide to former PA information
had ignored local concerns for at least 8 minister Yasir ‘Abid Rabbuh; the PA sus-
years. pected a criminal motive, while the family
Meanwhile, lawlessness and infighting believed he was killed because of involve-
continued to escalate. As PA security forces ment in an investigation into corruption
attempted to assert their authority in Gaza, on the part of certain unnamed PA offi-
preventing mortar fire and cracking down cials. Palestinian gunmen fatally shot (6/3)
on the display of illegal weapons in pub- Fatah regional head Ali Faraj and his brother,
lic, they occasionally clashed violently with charging that Faraj had ordered their father’s
armed militants (5/18, 6/9, 6/10, 6/23, 7/14, killing as a collaborator in 1991.
7/15, 7/16, 7/19, 7/20) and angry bystanders For the first time this quarter, Palestini-
(5/18, 7/16, 7/19) who protested their use ans kidnapped foreigners as bargaining chips
of force against fellow Palestinians. The in internal Palestinian disputes. In addition
incidence and severity of these clashes es- to the incident involving Sulayman al-Farah,
calated after the PA stepped up efforts to most individuals were taken by families seek-
contain militant groups following the 7/12 ing to free relatives jailed by the PA and were
suicide bombing noted above. In addition, released within hours, after the PA agreed
rival PA security groups exchange fire in to review the cases: these kidnappings in-
Ramallah and Rafah (both on 5/26), leav- volved 2 international aid workers in Bureij
ing 1 wounded; and rival AMB factions ex- r.c. (7/13), 2 foreign UN workers in Khan
changed fire in Ramallah (6/12), leaving 2 Yunis (8/8), and a French journalist in Gaza
wounded. (8/14; not released until 8/22). The security
As in previous quarters, there were a forces also negotiated the release (7/29) of
number of demonstrations by members of 2 foreign UN workers kidnapped by a family
the PA security forces protesting the reorga- seeking the PA’s intervention to free their rel-
nization of the security branches as part of ative, a PA military intelligence officer, taken
Abbas’s reform efforts. While some protests hostage by PRC members in a separate po-
were peaceful (e.g., 7/30), most involved litical dispute on 7/28. In addition, armed
raiding or vandalizing PA offices (6/1, 6/4, Palestinians in fatigues raided (7/24) the
6/5), temporarily detaining PA officials (6/3, Rafah apartment of 3 American International
152 JOURNAL OF PALESTINE STUDIES

Solidarity Movement workers, kidnapped 1 Tell us which one is the most important.
of them (a 75-year-old man) and held him at a
local school for an hour before releasing him West Bank Gaza Total
unharmed and without explanation. Uniden- a. Spread of
tified gunmen also harassed and threatened unemployment
(5/18) UNRWA workers in Fara‘ r.c. and and poverty 30.2% 40.4% 34.0%
fired (8/7) on the offices of the International b. Continuation
Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Khan of the
Yunis. In light of the attacks, the ICRC tem- occupation
porarily shut (8/8–15) its Gaza offices, and and daily
the UN moved (8/14) all nonessential for- practices 36.8% 25.8% 32.6%
eign staff in Gaza to Jerusalem until further c. Internal
notice. anarchy/chaos 8.9% 6.7% 8.0%
Palestinian lawyers staged (6/4) a one- d. Spread of
day strike to protest the PA’s failure to corruption/
protect judges, prosecutors, and defense lack of
lawyers from increasing vigilantism. Simi- internal
lar demonstrations were staged by lawyers reforms 22.8% 26.6% 24.2%
in Ramallah (6/16) and judges in Gaza e. Others
(8/6). (specify) 1.0% 0.4% 0.8%
f. No opinion 0.4% 0.2% 0.3%

PALESTINIAN OPINION 3. If we consider the following political


factions/parties, which one is the most
The following data are excerpted able to:
from a poll conducted by the Pales- a. Improve economic conditions?
tinian Center for Policy Survey and
Research (PCPSR) on 9–11 June 2005. West Bank Gaza Total
Results are based on a survey of 1,320 a. Hamas/Islamic
men and women from the West Bank Jihad 30.4% 39.1% 33.7%
and Gaza. The poll, the 16th in a se- b. Fatah 46.9% 44.9% 46.2%
ries, was taken from PCPSR’s Web site c. Leftist list
at www.pcpsr.org. (DFLP, PFLP,
PPP, and
1. If you participate in the legislative al-Mubadara) 3.9% 0.8% 2.7%
elections and if you were asked to vote d. New lists that
for a factional list, for which of the might include
following would you vote? independents
and others 8.2% 4.5% 6.8%
West Bank Gaza Total e. Other lists
a. Hamas and (specify) 10.5% 10.7% 10.6%
Islamic Jihad b. Fight corruption and implement
list(s) 30.9% 36.2% 33.0% reforms?
b. Fatah list 44.7% 43.2% 44.1%
c. Leftist list West Bank Gaza Total
(DFLP, PFLP, a. Hamas/Islamic
PPP, and Jihad 43.0% 53.5% 47.0%
al-Mubadara) 4.4% 1.2% 3.1% b. Fatah 38.9% 32.5% 36.5%
d. New lists that c. Leftist list
might include (DFLP, PFLP,
independents PPP, and
and others 8.7% 5.8% 7.6% al-Mubadara) 3.5% 0.8% 2.5%
e. Other lists d. New lists that
(specify) 3.2% 4.4% 3.7% might include
f. No opinion 8.1% 9.0% 8.4% independents
and others 6.8% 4.6% 6.0%
2. The following is a list of problems e. Other lists
confronting the Palestinians today. (specify) 7.8% 8.5% 8.0%
QUARTERLY UPDATE ON CONFLICT AND DIPLOMACY 153

c. Push the peace process forward? b. Support 29.5% 25.1% 27.8%


c. Oppose 43.3% 42.1% 42.9%
West Bank Gaza Total d. Definitely 15.7% 19.0% 16.9%
a. Hamas/Islamic oppose
Jihad 20.0% 24.4% 21.7% e. No opinion 2.5% 2.0% 2.4%
b. Fatah 64.4% 65.9% 64.9%
c. Leftist list
(DFLP, PFLP, 7. Who came out the winner in the
PPP, and ongoing armed conflict that started in
al-Mubadara) 2.1% 0.6% 1.5% September 2000 between Israel and the
d. New lists that Palestinians?
might include
independents West Bank Gaza Total
and others 4.8% 3.4% 4.3% a. Israel 22.2% 9.1% 17.3%
e. Other lists b. The
(specify) 8.7% 5.7% 7.6% Palestinians 25.0% 50.4% 34.5%
c. Both 4.7% 5.1% 4.9%
4. Do you see Sharon’s plan to evac- d. Neither 46.8% 33.4% 41.8%
uate the Israeli settlements from Gaza e. No opinion 1.3% 2.0% 1.6%
as a victory for the Palestinian armed
struggle against Israel?

West Bank Gaza Total 8. What are your expectations regarding


a. Definitely yes 30.8% 43.8% 35.7% the future of the peace process if Hamas
b. Yes 36.7% 35.6% 36.3% wins the majority of the PC seats in the
c. No 23.6% 14.1% 20.1% legislative council?
d. Definitely no 6.5% 4.8% 5.9%
e. No opinion 2.2% 1.6% 2.0% West Bank Gaza Total
a. The peace
5. If Israel disengages fully in the Gaza process will
Strip, including the evacuation of all slow down or
settlements and the Philadelphi Route, stop 38.1% 41.5% 39.3%
and if it lifts the air and sea blockade on b. The peace
the Gaza Strip, would you under these process will
conditions support or oppose carrying accelerate 27.4% 33.2% 29.6%
out armed attacks against Israeli targets c. The peace
from the Gaza Strip? process will
not be affected 27.8% 18.4% 24.3%
West Bank Gaza Total d. No opinion 6.8% 6.9% 6.8%
a. Definitely
support 7.4% 6.1% 6.9%
b. Support 23.5% 23.1% 23.4% 9. What are your expectations regarding
c. Oppose 53.9% 51.6% 53.1% the future of democracy in Palestine if
d. Definitely Hamas wins the majority of the PC seats
oppose 11.4% 16.8% 13.4% in the legislative council?
e. No opinion 3.8% 2.4% 3.3%

6. Palestinians are currently debating West Bank Gaza Total


the issue of the collection of arms from a. Democracy will
armed Palestinian groups and factions, become better 37.7% 53.8% 43.7%
stipulated in the road map as a PA com- b. Democracy
mitment. Do you support or oppose will become
such a collection of arms? worse 19.6% 24.1% 21.3%
c. Democracy
West Bank Gaza Total will not be
a. Definitely affected 34.2% 15.8% 27.3%
support 9.0% 11.5% 9.9% d. No opinion 8.5% 6.3% 7.7%
154 JOURNAL OF PALESTINE STUDIES

FRONTLINE STATES ity of seats. Such expectations did not mate-


rialize, mainly because of the late entry into
JORDAN the elections of the Maronite leader General
Michel Aoun, who had led an insurrection
Jordan remained in close contact with
against the Syrian presence in 1989–90 and
Israel and the PA regarding disengagement
who returned from exile in France after the
throughout the quarter but played no ma-
Syrian withdrawal (see Quarterly Update in
jor role. Israeli DM Mofaz informed King
JPS 136). Aoun, who criticized not only the
Abdallah that Israel would be willing to al-
Syrian presence but also the anti-Syrian op-
low Jordan to send a handful of Badr Brigade
position for being “part of the system” and
officers to the West Bank to help train PA
corrupt, split the Christian vote. When the
security forces, but there was no follow-up.
final election results were released on 6/20,
As of 7/5, Israel was in talks with Jordan
the anti-Syrian ticket captured 72 of the total
regarding deporting 2 Palestinians with Jor-
128 parliamentary seats, the Aoun slate won
danian citizenship who had been held in
21 seats, and the pro-Syria Hizballah-Amal-
Israeli prison since 2003. Israel did not in-
independent slate took 35 seats (Hizballah
form Jordan until 6/05 that the men were
itself winning 14 seats, up from 12 in the
being held. Their deportation was delayed
previous government). Still, the new balance
in a dispute over whether Israel or Jordan
of power forced President Emile Lahoud to
would pay their transportation fees to the
name (6/30) Fuad Saniora, an anti-Syrian op-
border.
position member and former Hariri aide, as
The Israeli-Jordanian Economic Cooper-
prime minister. Saniora’s new cabinet, inau-
ation Forum met (ca. 7/4) in Germany to
gurated 7/19, was dominated by opponents
promote joint tourism projects and encour-
of Syria but included for the first time a
age stronger bilateral economic relations.
Hizballah member (as energy minister).
Talks focused on facilitating visas for Jorda-
While Saniora was trying to form a gov-
nian businessmen and tourists seeking to
ernment, the U.S. accused Syria (7/15) of
enter Israel and shortening delays at border
trying to influence its composition by clos-
crossings. This was the third meeting of the
ing (ca. 7/1) Syria’s borders to Lebanese
forum, which is held under the auspices of
imports, threatening 50,000 Lebanese jobs
the Peres Center for Peace.
and costing Lebanon $300,000/day in eco-
nomic losses, to force Lahoud to veto 3 pro-
LEBANON
posed cabinet slates before allowing him to
Lebanon continued to feel the effects approve the 7/19 slate. Syria denied (7/15)
of the 2/14/05 assassination of former PM this, claiming the restrictions were the re-
Rafiq Hariri and the withdrawal, under stiff sult of new security measures to prevent
international pressure, of Syrian military infiltrations to Iraq through Syria, but the
and intelligence forces from the country. restrictions were removed on 8/1.
Lebanon’s focus continued to be internal, Rice made a surprise visit to Lebanon
and it did not play a role this quarter in on 7/22 to express solidarity with the new
Israeli-Palestinian affairs. government, meeting with Aoun, Hariri,
Lebanese parliamentary elections—held Lahoud, and Saniora. She warned Syria to
in different regions of the country in 4 stop interfering in Lebanon and stated that
rounds: Beirut on 5/29 (voter turnout 27%), the U.S. would not deal with the Hizballah
South Lebanon on 6/5 (voter turnout 45%), members elected to parliament. Hours after
Mount Lebanon and the Biqa‘ Valley on her visit, a bomb exploded on a busy street
6/12 (voter turnout not reported), and Biqa‘ in a Christian section of Beirut, wounding 12
Valley and northern Lebanon on 6/19 (voter Lebanese; no group claimed responsibility.
turnout 49%)—were strongly affected by the On 6/27, 2 months after Syria completed
Hariri assassination and the backlash against its withdrawal from Lebanon, reportedly
Syria. Many had expected the anti-Syrian triggering the exodus of 10,000s of foreign
coalition comprising the Sunni-dominated workers, Lebanon announced that it would
Future Party headed by Saad Hariri (son partially lift the 1983 ban prohibiting Pales-
of Rafiq), the Democratic Coalition headed tinian refugees from being employed in a
by Druze leader Walid Junblatt, and the wide range of jobs and professions. Under
Lebanese Forces headed by jailed Christian the plan, Lebanese-born Palestinians regis-
ex-militia leader Samir Ja‘ja‘ (imprisoned tered as refugees would be permitted to hold
since 1994; released 7/26/05 after a parlia- unskilled jobs in the private sector as well
mentary pardon), to win an absolute major- as clerical and secretarial jobs, though the
QUARTERLY UPDATE ON CONFLICT AND DIPLOMACY 155

ban on Palestinians in certain professions in an area controlled by Israel’s Lebanese al-


(legal, medical, etc.) remained in place. In lies the Phalange in exchange for information
another development, when Abbas visited on missing Israeli pilot Ron Arad (downed
Lebanon 7/8–9 to meet with Lahoud and over Lebanon in 1986). Quiet talks mediated
leaders of the Palestinian factions, Lahoud by Germany were last reported in 8/04 (see
reportedly agreed to declare an amnesty for Quarterly Update in JPS 133).
wanted Palestinians. However, neither the
SYRIA
lifting of the ban on work restrictions nor
the amnesty occurred, reportedly because of Syria continued to come under stiff inter-
suspicions that Palestinians were behind the national pressure in the wake of the 2/14/05
attempted assassination of Lebanon’s outgo- assassination of former Lebanese PM Rafiq
ing pro-Syrian DM and dep. PM Elias Murr Hariri.
in a car bombing in Beirut on 7/12. No one On 5/20, Syrian amb. to the U.S. Imad
claimed responsibility for the attack, which Mustapha announced that in the previous
wounded Murr and killed 2 bystanders. week, Syria had “severed all links” with
Other bombings related to Lebanese- the U.S. military and CIA because of “un-
Syrian tensions this quarter included car just American allegations” that Syria was
bomb assassinations in Beirut of anti-Syrian not doing enough to halt the flow of insur-
al-Nahar columnist Samir Kassir on 6/2 and gents and money into Iraq. Mustapha said
former leader of the Lebanese Communist that Syria had reached the point at which
Party George Hawi, an opponent of Syria’s “we thought, why should we continue to
presence in Lebanon, on 6/21. A booby- cooperate” when the U.S. was seen as be-
trapped car exploded near a Beirut hotel on ing deliberately provocative. The same day,
7/1, killing a passerby. No group claimed U.S. Secy. of State Rice, in her address to
responsibility for any of the incidents. the World Economic Forum in Amman, reit-
Sporadic violence was reported on the erated accusations that Syria was “allowing
Israel-Lebanon border this quarter. The IDF its territory to be used to organize terror-
fired (5/21) warning shots across the bor- ist attacks against innocent Iraqis” and was
der at shepherds who strayed too close to continuing to meddle in Lebanon despite
IDF positions in the disputed Shaba‘ Farms withdrawing its intelligence and military
area. In response, Hizballah fired 8 missiles forces (see Quarterly Update in JPS 136).
at the IDF position, causing no damage or UN Secy.-Gen Kofi Annan declared (5/23)
injuries. The IDF retaliated with heavy ma- that a UN monitoring team had verified that
chine gun fire directed at facing residential Syria had withdrawn all its troops and intelli-
areas; no casualties were reported. On 6/29, gence officials from Lebanon. On 6/9, how-
Hizballah fired at least 15 mortars at 3 IDF ever, a senior U.S. official, speaking with
posts in Shaba‘ Farms, killing 1 IDF soldier government permission but on condition
and wounding 5. The IDF responded with that he not be identified by name or agency,
air strikes and artillery fire, killing at least cited “a variety of credible Lebanese sources”
1 Hizballah member. The IDF and Hizballah to allege that Syrian intelligence officers had
traded fire again on 6/30 (leaving 1 Hizbal- returned to Lebanon and were basing them-
lah member wounded) and 7/12 (causing selves in Palestinian refugees camps, which
no damage or injuries). On 7/28, Hizballah are not fully under Lebanese government
pledged to keep the border with Israel quiet control, and that Syria had drawn up a “hit
during the disengagement from Gaza; no list” targeting senior Lebanese officials and
further incidents were reported through the figures opposed to its presence in Lebanon.
end of the quarter. U.S. intelligence officials said (6/9) that the
Also of note: Without explanation, official’s charges could not immediately be
Israel officially called off (8/9) the last stage substantiated, and the State Dept. admit-
of the prisoner release agreed with Hizbal- ted (6/9) that no one in the administration
lah in 1/04 (see Quarterly Update in JPS had actually seen a hit list or been able in-
131), which was to have been completed by dependently to verify that one existed. A
4/26/04. Under the deal, Israel was to release spokesman for the unnamed senior official
Lebanese prisoner Samir Kantar (considered explained (6/9) that the U.S. “thought it
by Israel to have “blood on his hands” for his would be useful to make this [information]
participation in a 1979 Palestinian Liberation public as a deterrent to the Syrians” but
Front raid into Israel) and provide informa- that it could not be transparent because of
tion regarding 4 missing Iranians (including “diplomatic sensitivities” and the need to
2 diplomats) kidnapped in Lebanon in 1982 protect intelligence sources. In light of the
156 JOURNAL OF PALESTINE STUDIES

U.S. claims, denied by Syria, Annan agreed Accountability Act (see Quarterly Update in
(6/10) to send the UN verification team back JPS 131) and that Bush agreed to consider
into Lebanon to confirm that Syrian intelli- under an executive order he signed in 5/05
gence had left the country, and dispatched (see Quarterly Update in JPS 132).
UN special envoy Terje Larsen, charged with U.S.-based Syrian opposition leaders
overseeing UN Res. 1559 implementation, meeting (6/18–19) in Washington set up
to meet (6/12) with Pres. Asad. a “Syrian national council” (participants
Israel reported (6/3) that Syria had test considered but decided against the more
fired 3 Scud missiles with air-burst warheads, provocative title “transitional governing
one of which landed in Turkey, and warned council”). Bush political adviser Richard
that Syria could outfit the Scuds with chem- Perle and Dept. of Defense Middle East spe-
ical weapons for strikes against the Jewish cialist Harold Rode attended the sessions.
state. Syria denied (6/4) test firing any Scuds, Perle addressed the group, encouraging
saying that the accusations were meant to them to guide the future of Syria, saying
put international pressure on Syria and that their meeting marked a historic moment
the shrapnel that fell in Turkey was from that “one day, you will remember.” Asked
old missiles fired during routine military by participants the level of U.S. seriousness
training. The U.S. confirmed (6/3) Israel’s in ousting the Syrian regime, Perle report-
account. edly (al-Sharq al-Awsat 7/6) said that regime
At an international conference on Iraq change should be led by Syrians themselves
in Brussels on 6/22, Rice focused pressure and that the greater the move to do so,
on Syria, blaming Damascus for aiding the the greater the chance the U.S. would pro-
Iraqi insurgency and demanding that it take vide effective support. He also reportedly
immediate steps to halt insurgents, stating acknowledged the Bush administration’s in-
“Let’s not have more words about what they terest in removing the Syrian Ba‘th Party,
[the Syrians] are prepared to do. Let’s have seeing it (incorrectly) as the twin of the
action.” Rice refused to meet with a Syrian Ba‘th Party in Iraq. The Syrian opposition
delegation to the conference. The next day, figures also held side meetings at the State
Rice told the G-8 FMs meeting in London that Dept., attended by 10 U.S. officials repre-
Syria bore major responsibility for regional senting the State Dept., Defense Dept., and
instability in the Middle East. Afterward, a White House. The Defense Dept. confirmed
State Dept. official speaking on condition of (7/6) the meetings took place.
anonymity stated (6/23) that in light of talks On 7/11, a new party called the Coalition
in London and Brussels and the U.S.’s own of Free Patriots was announced in Syria. The
intelligence information and ongoing diplo- group reportedly is made up of middle-class
matic contacts, the Bush administration be- and bourgeois industrialists and business-
lieved there was “international consensus” men.
that Syria was promoting violence in Iraq
and Lebanon and against Israel.
REGIONAL AFFAIRS
On 7/6, another U.S. official speaking
anonymously stated that recent intelligence
RELATIONS WITH ISRAEL
showed that Syria was providing “barracks-
like housing,” weapons, money, passports, Israeli FMin. spokesman Liur Ben Dur
and training for Moroccans, Saudis, Yemenis, stated (7/12) that Israel hoped to “take ad-
and others who wanted to go to Iraq to fight vantage of the positive effect of the disen-
American forces. Syria denied the charges. gagement plan in Gaza in order to push
Meanwhile, to increase pressure on Syria, forward the normalization of relations with
the U.S. froze (6/9) the U.S. assets of a Syrian Arab and Islamic countries”—which the
company and 2 Syrian officials (unnamed) U.S. has long advocated as a way of moving
on the grounds that they acted on behalf of the peace process forward (e.g., see Quar-
former Iraqi pres. Saddam Hussein’s govern- terly Update in JPS 130). As of mid-7/05,
ment. On 6/30, it froze the assets of Syrian Israel reportedly was holding “semi-secret”
intelligence officials Rustum Ghazali (chief talks with several Arab countries (including
of Syrian military intelligence in Lebanon) Bahrain, Kuwait, and Morocco) regarding
and Ghazi Kanaan (former chief of military opening or expanding diplomatic relations.
intelligence in Lebanon and former interior Qatar, Morocco, Oman, and Tunisia have sus-
minister) for meddling in Lebanese affairs. pended ties with Israel since the outbreak of
Freezing assets was one of the options that the intifada; Egypt, Jordan, and Mauritania
Congress recommended in the 12/03 Syria have full diplomatic relations.
QUARTERLY UPDATE ON CONFLICT AND DIPLOMACY 157

The tourism ministers of Israel and the met (6/19) with reps. of the Conference of
UAE met (5/22) on the sidelines of the World Presidents of Major American Jewish Orga-
Economic Forum in Amman to discuss ways nizations (CMPAJO) to assure them that the
to promote tourism in the region. The meet- White House had rejected Abbas’s demands
ing came a week after Israel reported (and to move into final status talks quickly af-
the UAE denied) plans to open an economic ter disengagement, stating that the U.S. was
interest section in Dubai in the near future. “opposed to skipping over stages in the road
The Israeli tourism minister also met with map and would insist that Abbas dismantle
his Jordanian and Palestinian counterparts. the terrorist infrastructure.”
The Algerian government allowed the An Israeli delegation officially submitted
first group visit by some 130 Algerian-born (7/11) a request for $2.2 b. over 3 years to
French Jews returning to Algeria for the first help defray the cost of disengagement. If
time since they fled when independence approved, it would mark the largest 1-time
was declared in 1962. The group visited aid grant to Israel since 1992, when the
their hometown and made a pilgrimage to U.S. provided $3 b. to compensate Israel
the tomb of a 14th century Jewish sage for damages caused by Saddam Hussein’s
that was recently renovated by the Algerian missiles during the 1991 Gulf War. One-third
government. of the $2.2 b. would be used to help cover
Egypt and Israel signed (6/30) a 15-year, the costs of the IDF redeployment from
$2.5-b. deal for Egypt to sell 1.7 b cubic Gaza; the other two-thirds would be used
meters of natural gas per year to the Israel to develop the Galilee and Negev to house
Electric Corporation starting in 10/06. the evacuated settlers. At the same time,
Israel began (7/11) a series of conference
INTER-ARAB HIGHLIGHTS calls with major U.S. Jewish organizations
The Arab League held (7/18–21) meet- to urge them to support disengagement
ings on the Palestinian situation, focusing “unequivocally”; Israel noted that there was a
on the separation wall and disengagement. “very strong right-wing American influence”
No new positions or significant statements on the anti-disengagement movement in
were released. Reps. from Egypt, Jordan, Israel and that many U.S. Jewish groups
Lebanon, the PLO, and Syria attended. had not taken a public stand on the issue,
In an interview with Dubai TV on 7/12, expressing concern that their ambivalence
Abbas called on Arab states to grant citizen- could make it harder to secure the $2.2 b. in
ship to Palestinian refugees, saying it would aid from Congress.
not undermine the right of return. Aware that Palestinians would have to see
Egypt and the PA signed (6/29) a mem- an immediate improvement in their condi-
orandum of understanding (MOU) to coop- tions following disengagement for calm to
erate on oil and natural gas exploration off be maintained and peace efforts to move for-
the Gaza coast. Egypt and the PA also signed ward, the U.S. made several small but signif-
(7/22) a MOU to study building a natural gas icant gestures to the PA. In his meeting with
pipeline to Gaza. Abbas on 5/26, Bush announced that the U.S
would give the PA $50 m. in direct aid for
construction of homes, schools, and roads
INTERNATIONAL
in Gaza; the money was set aside for the
Palestinians in the original FY 2005 budget
UNITED STATES
but had not been allocated or disbursed. On
U.S. efforts on the peace process this 5/20, USAID launched a $12 m. road recon-
quarter primarily involved facilitating im- struction project to create 500 Palestinian
plementation of Israeli disengagement from jobs and improve movement of Palestinians
Gaza. Though the U.S. repeated hopes that and goods across the West Bank, focusing on
disengagement would be the first step to- roads in Hebron, Jenin, Ramallah, Tubas, and
ward reviving road map implementation Tulkarm. USAID also opened (6/1) an Office
and final status talks aimed at reaching an of Transition Initiatives (USAID/OTI) branch
agreement on a two-state solution, officials for the West Bank and Gaza, with satel-
made a point of not pressuring Israel re- lite offices in Gaza City, Hebron, Jerusalem,
garding further steps. For example, while Nablus, and Ramallah. The USAID/OTI pro-
Secy. of State Rice was touring the region gram offers grants of $10,000–$100,000 for
(6/17–23) to promote the revival of road projects that “promote good governance and
map implementation after disengagement, youth empowerment” by improving coor-
National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley dination among the PA, municipal councils,
158 JOURNAL OF PALESTINE STUDIES

and citizens groups and increasing youth AIPAC policy dir. Steve Rosen and se-
participation in social, political, and eco- nior analyst Keith Weissman were indicted
nomic life, particularly if the projects foster (8/4) on charges of conspiring to gather and
“multiple viewpoints.” disclose classified national security informa-
The Pentagon said (6/20) that it had tion to journalists and an unnamed foreign
curtailed its weapons technology transfers to power (i.e., Israel). The men allegedly were
Israel in light of its dispute over Israel’s arms in contact with 3 U.S. government officials,
sales and suspected transfer of proprietary including Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin,
U.S. radar technology to China (see Quarterly who was charged on 5/4 with passing clas-
Update in JPS 136). Israel canceled (6/26) sified information; the other 2 U.S. officials
its controversial contract with China and were not named in the indictment. Mean-
agreed in principle to sign a MOU with the while Franklin was further charged (5/24)
U.S. giving the U.S. significant discretion with possessing classified documents con-
over the terms of future Israeli arms exports. cerning al-Qa‘ida, Osama Bin Laden, and
The U.S. said that joint security projects Iraq. While the official indictments last quar-
and transfers of defense equipment to Israel ter did not give many details regarding the
would remain frozen until the MOU is signed. classified material involved (see Quarterly
Negotiations on a text continued through the Update in JPS 136), sources close to Rosen
end of the quarter but were not completed. said (5/22) that the initial charges regarded
Israel annoyed the U.S. by postponing a visit “threats to Israeli operatives who were work-
to Washington in late 7/05 by DM Shaul ing in northern and southern Iraq.”
Mofaz to iron out the final details. Israeli amb. to the U.S. Danny Ayalon vis-
The American Israel Pubic Affairs Comm. ited (5/17) convicted spy for Israel Jonathan
(AIPAC) held its annual policy conference in Pollard in prison, in what Pollard denounced
Washington 5/22–24. In opening the event, as a show meeting meant to bolster right-
AIPAC announced that its membership had wing support for Sharon, in decline because
nearly doubled in the past 4 years to 100,000 of the disengagement plan. According to
and that this year’s conference, attended Israeli FM Silvan Shalom (5/9), Sharon’s gov-
by 5,000 members, was the largest held, ernment agreed in 4/05 to step up high-
noting that its “political gala” banquet on profile visits to Pollard, beginning with
5/23 would be “the largest annual seated Ayalon’s trip, as a first step in increasing
dinner in Washington” attended by “more lobbying for his release (see Quarterly Up-
members of Congress than almost any other date in JPS 136). Ayalon is the most senior
event, except for a joint session Congress Israeli official to have visited Pollard.
or a State of the Union address.” Sharon The trial of former Florida professor Sami
addressed the conference on 5/24, calling al-Arian, charged in federal court as the
on the PA to follow through on its security American leader of a terrorist organization
reform pledges. (Islamic Jihad), opened in Tampa on 6/5.
During his visit to the U.S. (5/22–25), Arian’s lawyers argue that he is being perse-
Sharon lobbied for support for his disen- cuted for airing his anti-Israel views, which
gagement plan among American Jewish or- are protected under the First Amendment.
ganizations. To this end, he addressed (5/22) The prosecution acknowledges that the gov-
1,000s of Jewish leaders in New York at an ernment’s investigation, which began in
event sponsored by the CPMAJO, the United 1993, has turned up no evidence directly
Jewish Appeal–Federation of New York, and linking Arian or his associates to any spe-
the United Jewish Communities; and met cific terrorist attack, though it claims that he
(5/23) with the Israel Bonds forum in New raised money “so they [Islamic Jihad] could
York, where he pledged that Israel would kill more people.” As a prominent Muslim
keep Ariel, Gush Etzion, and Ma’ale Adu- leader, Arian met with many senior U.S. offi-
mim settlement blocs “forever” and that cials, including Pres. Bill Clinton and George
there would be no final status talks until W. Bush (before his election as pres.). He was
the PA disarmed militant groups. Abbas sim- arrested soon after the 9/11 attacks under
ilarly met (5/26) with Jewish leaders during the provisions of the newly passed Patriot
his visit to Washington to stress his suc- Act.
cess in reducing Palestinian violence and the A federal court in Brooklyn sentenced
need for coordination on disengagement. (7/28) prominent Yemeni cleric Shaykh
Jewish leaders said they were pleased with Muhammad Ali Hassan al-Moayad to the
Abbas’s words and hoped his actions would maximum 75 years in prison after convict-
follow. ing him in 3/05 of conspiracy to support
QUARTERLY UPDATE ON CONFLICT AND DIPLOMACY 159

terrorism (i.e., al-Qa‘ida and Hamas). The nicipal councils and had opened channels
FBI lured Moayad from Yemen to Germany to Hizballah since Lebanese parliamentary
in 1/03, where German authorities arrested elections, saying such talks would continue;
him and extradited him to the U.S. The FBI’s and senior German officials met with Hamas
case initially rested on an informant’s testi- leaders Mahmud Zahhar in Gaza and Shaykh
mony that Moayad had boasted of personally Hassan Yusuf in the West Bank on 6/18. Israel
delivering $20 m. to Osama Bin Laden before expressed concern (6/16) that the EU and its
9/11. When those charges proved difficult member states were making a “substantial
to substantiate, focus shifted to charges that shift” in their policies on Hamas and Hizbal-
the shaykh (operating from Yemen) oversaw lah, but the EU denied this, stressing that
efforts to fundraise for Hamas in Brooklyn practical contacts with elected representa-
mosques; the jury ruled the charges were tives from Hamas and Hizballah were almost
true and constituted material support for inevitable and that none of the individuals
terrorism, ignoring defense arguments that that officials met appeared to have been in-
Moayad was operating within the law in volved in militant activity. (Indeed, Israel’s
Yemen, where Hamas is legal. Civil Administration officials stated [5/27,
A Washington Post report released 6/12 5/26] that they had been working closely
showed that of the 330 suspects charged with Hamas members elected to municipal
by the Justice Dept. with connections to a councils on issues regarding provision of ba-
terrorist group since institution of the Patriot sic services, stating “such interactions do
Act, 180 have been cleared. Of the 142 with not contradict Israel’s policies” provided the
a “demonstrated connection to a terrorist individuals did not themselves take part in
group,” the largest subset (39 individuals) attacks on Israelis.) EU diplomats did state
was linked to Palestinian groups, compared (7/2) that they would be less likely to put
to 35 persons linked to al-Qa‘ida, 9 to Iraq- Hizballah on the EU terrorism list following
related groups, and 9 to the Taliban. Of the 39 its strong showing in Lebanese elections.
individuals actually convicted of terrorism After the elections, Conflicts Forum,
or national security crimes, 9 were linked to headed by Alistair Crooke, the former British
Palestinian groups, 14 to al-Qa‘ida, 5 to the MI6 official and security liaison between EU
Taliban, and 2 to Iraq-related groups. foreign policy chief Javier Solana and Pales-
tinian Islamist groups, organized 2 days of
RUSSIA
meetings in Beirut bringing U.S. and EU
Russia’s involvement in the peace process figures with access to decision-making cir-
this quarter was limited largely to participa- cles together with senior Hamas (7/23) and
tion in Quartet consultations. Israeli FMin. Hizballah (7/24) political leaders. (Prelim-
Dir. Gen. Ron Prosor held (7/13) talks in inary talks were held in Beirut in 3/4; see
Moscow with Russian FM Sergey Lavrov and Quarterly Update under “Lebanon” in JPS
Dep. FM Aleksandr Saltanov on bilateral re- 136.) The sessions were meant to foster bet-
lations and the peace process, during which ter understanding among Western experts
Russia urged Israel to coordinate closely with of Islamist groups, their worldviews, and
the PA on disengagement. goals. The Hamas and Hizballah delegations
As of early 6/05, Russia was reportedly stressed their desire for democratic elec-
urging that an international conference be tions, political reform, and anticorruption
held on the sidelines of the opening of the measures within their societies, as well as
UNGA session in New York in 9/05 to show their aims for strengthening their political
that diplomatic activity was continuing after legitimacy, integration into the political pro-
the initial phase of disengagement imple- cess, and ties with Western governments.
mentation. Russia proposed that the meet- Sharon made (6/27–29) a trip to France,
ing comprise senior government officials of where he met with French pres. Jacques
the Quartet states, plus Israel, the PA, Egypt, Chirac. Both leaders hailed the visit as
Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and perhaps others. marking a reconciliation between Israel and
France after months of tensions over accu-
EUROPEAN UNION
sations by Israel that French foreign policy
The EU revealed (6/16) that low-level has a pro-Arab bias (see Quarterly Updates
EU officials had held formal contacts with in JPS 133, 134).
Hamas members since PA municipal elec-
UNITED NATIONS
tions got underway. Britain similarly ac-
knowledged (6/7) that mid-level diplomats The new UN special envoy for the peace
had met Hamas members elected to mu- process, Alvaro de Soto, appointed in 5/05,
160 JOURNAL OF PALESTINE STUDIES

made his first visit to the region beginning on aims to “deprive Palestinians of their right to
7/10. He replaced long-time special envoy return to their homeland or establish their
Terje Larsen, who was moved to the position independent state on Palestinian soil and
of special envoy overseeing implementation nowhere else” should be confronted as “a
of UN Res. 1559 in 1/05 (see Quarterly plot against the Palestinian people as much
Update in JPS 135). as a plot against Jordan.”
Israeli FM Shalom met with UN Secy.- UNRWA also began (8/14) a major field
Gen. Kofi Annan on 6/3 to request that the survey of 4.5 m. Palestinian refugees in
UN consider allowing Israel a rotating seat camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West
on the UN Security Council (UNSC) in an Bank, and the Gaza Strip to provide 62
effort to “normalize our status” at the UN. donor countries and 30 international refugee
Nominations for rotating seats are usually organizations with solid data on the needs of
put forward by the 5 regional groupings. Palestinian refugees. The project will begin
Israel had been allowed to join the Western with the 1.8 m. refugees in Jordan, then
Europe and Others grouping in 2000 on spread to other host countries and finally
condition that it not seek a UNSC seat, or the occupied territories.
any other rotating seat, for at least 2 years UNICEF issued (7/8) an emergency ap-
(see Peace Monitor in JPS 116). peal seeking $8.2 m. for health services and
Israel gained two important positions in educational and psychological support for
the UN, however. Israeli amb. to the UN Dan Palestinian children in the occupied territo-
Gillerman was elected (6/13) as one of 21 ries. UNICEF’s original funding appeal, made
VPs to the 60th UNGA session, and Israel’s in 1/05 for $12.7 m., had already been in-
Meir Itzchaki was elected (7/27) as one of 4 creased to $14.2 m., but as of 7/05 only $5.1
vice chairman of the UN Disarmament Com- m. had been received.
mittee. Israel heralded Gillerman’s election The UN’s World Food Program received
as a “historic moment,” even though Israeli (8/1) $10 m. from the EU toward a new
diplomat Abba Ebban held the post in the 2-year, $80-m. program to provide food aid
early 1950s. VPs are responsible for running to 135,000 poor Palestinians in Gaza and
UNGA discussions in the president’s absence 344,500 in the West Bank. The U.S. has
and deciding on the daily agenda. already given $1 m. to the program, which
A UNSC debate (7/21) on the situation in the UN hopes to launch in 9/05.
the Middle East was dominated by criticism
TURKEY
of Israel’s separation wall in light of the 1-year
anniversary of the ICJ’s ruling of the wall as Israeli, Palestinian, and Turkish business-
illegal and Israel’s 7/10 approval of the final men met (6/8) in Jerusalem to discuss ways
wall route (see above). The UNSC also called of boosting economic cooperation and joint
on Israel and the PA to show restraint and projects. This was the second meeting of
curb violence in advance of disengagement, what is called the Ankara Forum; the first
in hopes that disengagement would pave the meeting was held 4/27–28/05. The PA and
way to a just peace. Turkey also signed (7/14) a new tourism
UNRWA named (6/27) acting UNRWA agreement, but no details were released.
commissioner-gen. Karen Abu Zayd as head
VATICAN
of the UNRWA for a 3-year term. Abu Zayd
previously served many years in the UN Hu- On 7/25, Israel summoned the Vatican
man Rights Commission. In one of her first ambassador to demand an explanation of
public statements, Abu Zayd commented why newly inducted Pope Benedict XVI did
in an interview (ca. 8/5) that Abbas’s 7/12 not mention the 7/12 Islamic Jihad attack in
statement (see above) that the refugee right Netanya in a 7/24 sermon voicing sympathy
of return would not be undermined if host for nations struck by terrorist attacks, sug-
countries granted citizenship to Palestinian gesting that he “deliberately failed” to refer
refugees was correct. According to Abu to Israel. The pope had deplored the “death,
Zayd, most refugees realize that they will destruction, and suffering in countries in-
not return to their homes and that the right cluding Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, and Britain”
of return is not a practical possibility but sim- and asked God to “stay the hands of assas-
ply want the acknowledgement of the right sins . . . driven on by fanaticism and hate.”
of return. The PA denounced her statements The Vatican replied (7/25) that it was “sur-
on 8/11. On 8/16, King Abdallah of Jordan, prising that one would have wanted to take
whose country hosts 1.8 m. refugees, indi- the opportunity to distort the intentions
rectly responded by saying that any plan that of the Holy Father. . . . Obviously the other
QUARTERLY UPDATE ON CONFLICT AND DIPLOMACY 161

week’s grave attack in Netanya referred to any security role in the territories until a fi-
by Israel falls under the general and un- nal status agreement is reached and that any
reserved condemnation of terrorism.” The role would have to be at the invitation of
Vatican noted that Benedict had given spe- both Israel and the PA, with the approval
cial prominence to relations with Jews since of the UN. In 6/05, Israel for the first time
being elected pope in 4/05: Judaism was took part, along with 14 other countries,
alone among the world’s other major reli- in NATO’s tri-annual submarine escape and
gions that he mentioned when he was in- rescue exercises.
stalled, he met with Jewish leaders in 6/05, South Korea and Palestine agreed (6/24)
and he was already scheduled to visit a syna- to establish diplomatic relations and ex-
gogue rebuilt after the Holocaust during his change representatives.
planned visit to Cologne, Germany, in 8/05.
(His predecessor, Pope John Paul II, was the DONORS
1st modern pope to visit a synagogue.)
In light of Israeli reprisals following the Most efforts of the donor establishment
7/12 Netanya bombing, the Vatican de- this quarter were in support of Wolfensohn’s
nounced (7/28) Israel for responding to mission to bring the PA’s medium-term de-
Palestinian violence in ways “not always velopment plan in line with the proposed
compatible with international law,” saying it 3-year, $3 b. international aid package in
could not protest every Palestinian attack if support of disengagement and to outline
Israel did not adhere to international law in steps needed after disengagement to ensure
its response. Gaza’s economic recovery and reconstruc-
tion. Consequently, the Local Aid Coordina-
OTHER
tion Committee (LACC), which tries to meet
NATO continued to expand its Middle monthly, held only one regular formal ses-
East ties this quarter (see Quarterly Up- sion this quarter on 6/17; no details were
date in JPS 136). On 5/31, Algeria, Israel, released. The Humanitarian and Emergency
Jordan, Mauritania, and Morocco were in- Policy Group, established in 2002 to mon-
ducted as Mediterranean associates of the itor the humanitarian situation and make
NATO Parliamentary Assembly, while the policy recommendations to the LACC, did
Palestinian Council was granted observer not meet as planned this quarter.
status. The Parliamentary Assembly has 26 The EU agreed (ca. 7/22) to finance a
member countries and, prior to 5/31, 13 as- $31 m. project to build a cargo terminal
sociate countries, none of them from the on 35 d. at the Gaza airport that would be
Middle East. Israel previously was an ob- able to export 90,000 tons of merchandise
server of the assembly, which is a forum- per year, particularly perishables (e.g., fruit,
for international parliamentary dialogue. A flowers), to the EU market. Japan pledged
NATO delegation visiting Ramallah reiter- (5/16) $100 m. in aid to the Palestinians after
ated (6/16) that NATO would not assume implementation of disengagement.