to Main Page
to Arab-Israeli Conflict
In recent weeks documents have been distributed by the Palestinian side
purporting to list "Israeli violations of the Palestinian-Israeli Agreements."
These documents are part of a concerted attempt to try to bring international
pressure to bear on one side of the current negotiations and to avoid dealing
with the practical resolution of outstanding issues through the mechanisms
established as part of the current peace process. It is notable that many
of the issues raised in these documents had already been resolved, or were
in the process of being resolved, even before the date of distribution.
Israeli Implentation of Obligations Contained in the Israeli-Palestinian
Israel feels that outstanding issues can and should be settled directly
between the two sides and only through the agreed channels. Attempts to
politicise these issues and generate international pressure can only damage
the trust between the parties and be counterproductive. However, in view
of the significant number of inaccuracies in the Palestinian allegations,
Israel feels obliged to clarify the issues raised. As regards other outstanding
matters, and in particular those areas in which Israel still waits for
Palestinian compliance with the peace agreements, Israel proposes to raise
these directly with the Palestinian side in the appropriate fora.
Allegations raised by the Palestinians and the Israeli Government's
The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Non-Withdrawal of the Civil Administration and Non-Dissolution of the
Civil Administration: The military government has been withdrawn from all
areas in which redeployment has taken place. As regards the dissolution
of the Civil Administration, the central elements of the Civil Administration
have, in practice, been transferred into the overall liaison mechanisms
with the Palestinian Authority regarding civil affairs.
Continued Usage by Israel of the Term "Judea and Samaria" in the place
of the "West Bank": The Agreement contains no prohibition against using
the term "Judea and Samaria". Nevertheless, it is clear that both sides
make use of the term the "West Bank" in the agreements between them and
in their bilateral relationship.
Non-Recognition by Israel of the West Bank and Gaza Strip as a Single
Territorial Entity: The provision of the Agreement cited in the Palestinian
document is intended to ensure that the integrity and status of the West
Bank and Gaza Strip shall not be affected by the provisions of the Agreement,
i.e., by the transfer of responsibilities to the Council and the establishment
of different security regimes in various areas. It also underlines the
fact that the status of these areas is not to be changed during the interim
period and that any attempt to do so, such as, for example, through annexation
or a declaration of statehood, would be a breach of the Agreement.
The Need to Implement the Further Redeployment: In the Note for
the Record attached to the Hebron Protocol, Israel reaffirmed its commitment
to implementation of the first phase of the further redeployment. In accordance
with that commitment, Israel has declared its willingness to transfer a
total of 9% of the West Bank to Palestinian authority as the first phase
of the further redeployment process. This redeployment is to be implemented
Official Incitement and Hostile Propaganda Against the Palestinian Authority:
This claim is general and comes without any evidence or examples. However,
Israel has strong claims against the Palestinian authorities with respect
to the fact that they have not done enough to prevent incitement against
Israel (even in the official media).
Creating Facts on the Ground Which Could Affect the Permanent Status
Negotiations on the Subject of Settlements: In the Declaration
of Principles as well as in the Interim Agreement, there is nothing which
limits Israel regarding Israeli settlement. The status of the settlements
is to be discussed within the framework of the permanent status negotiations.
The Article cited (Article XXXI) is intended to prevent unilateral activities
which would change the political status of the territories (for example,
annexation or declaration of a Palestinian state), and is not relevant
to the question of settlement.
The Need to Respect the Obligations Relating to Normal and Free Movement
of People, Vehicles and Goods within the Territories and between them,
and Cancelling the Closure: Israel's authority to declare
a closure on the West Bank and Gaza Strip is specifically recognised in
the Security Annex to the Interim Agreement (Article IX, paragraph 1.d).
The paragraph cited by the Palestinian document (paragraph 2) is subordinate
to paragraph 7 of the same Article (Article 1) in the Security Annex, which
states that nothing in this Article will detract from Israel's responsibility
and authority according to the Agreement. It should be remembered that
the closure was put in force in the wake of a spate of suicide bombings
which claimed the lives of over sixty people, Israelis and others, including
Palestinians. Moreover these bombings occurred as previous restrictions
on the movement of Palestinians into Israel were being relaxed and one
was the specific result of the exploitation of a transfer point for goods
from Gaza to Israel. At present time there is in fact no closure per se.
Approximately 62,000 Palestinians have received permits to enter Israel.
This number continues to increase each month, and the flow of goods to
and from the Palestinian areas is unimpeded. Security checks have become
more efficient, enabling trucks carrying commercial cargo to load, unload
and move on the roads without any undue delay or hindrance.
The Free Movement of People, Vehicles and Goods in the West Bank:
The provision of the agreement cited in the Palestinian document dealing
with free movement of people, vehicles and goods is subject to a specific
proviso: "without derogating from Israel's security powers and responsibilities."
Israeli Violation of the Protocol on Economic Relations: The
general intent of the Protocol on economic relations is to enable the free
movement of people, vehicles and goods between the West Bank and Gaza and
Israel. However, not only is Israel's right to determine certain limitations
on the movement of people, vehicles and goods recognised in this Protocol,
but Israel's right, for reasons of security and safety, to place the West
Bank and Gaza Strip under a full or partial closure is specifically recognised
by Article IX.1.d of the Security Annex of the Agreement. This paragraph
states clearly that this right shall not be prejudiced by any other provisions
of the Agreement.
Israel is confiscating the identity cards of Palestinians living in
Jerusalem and "expelling" Palestinians: Israel has not revoked
the residency of any Palestinian who is legally resident in Jerusalem.
These Palestinians, like any other individual who has lived in Israel continuously
can continue to do so without loss of any benefit to which he or she is
entitled. It should be noted that Israel, like other countries, has both
citizens and permanent residents (who do not hold citizenship). Permanent
residents may request citizenship in accordance with the provisions set
forth in the citizenship law. Those who have not sought citizenship are
subject to the normal rules which apply to all other permanent residents
living in Israel. The Supreme Court has determined, in accordance with
the Entry to Israel Law and its regulations, that permanent residence is
a matter of "presence." Therefore, when a person uproots the centre of
his life from Israel and establishes it elsewhere, the right to permanent
residency is lost. It must be emphasised that these provisions apply equally
to all permanent residents of the State of Israel and not just to residents
of Eastern Jerusalem. These provisions have been in effect for many years
and no change has been made in them recently. The reason that this issue
has recently arisen is that since the peace agreements have been signed,
people who left Israel years ago are coming back. In accordance with the
above provisions, those individuals who established the centre of their
lives elsewhere, for example by acquiring permanent residency or citizenship
in another country, are no longer entitled to permanent resident status