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Monday, November 28, 2005
Text: Agreed Arrangement on the EU Border Assistance Mission

Text: Agreed Arrangement on the European Union Border Assistance Mission

Aaron Lerner Date: 28 November 2005

Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres and EU Special Representative to the Middle
East Peace Process Marc Otte met on Wednesday, 23 November to officially
mark the conclusion of the agreement on third party mechanism - the EU
Border Assistance Mission (EU-BAM) at the Rafah Crossing Point on the Gaza
Egypt border. Vice Prime Minister Peres, who led the Israeli delegation in
the negotiations on this issue, handed an official letter to Otte inviting
the EU to be the third party at the Rafah crossing point on the Gaza-Egypt
border.

This formal agreement on the third party mechanism follows the conclusion of
the Agreed Principles for the Rafah Crossing between the Government of
Israel and the Palestinian Authority of 16 November 2005, and outlines the
mechanism for the deployment of the EU-BAM at Rafah.

IMRA has obtained a complete copy of the following official text:

Agreed Arrangement on the European Union Border Assistance Mission At the
Rafah Crossing Point on the Gaza-Egypt border

Following the letter of the Quartet Special Envoy James Wolfensohn of 2
November 2005;

Noting the conclusion of the 'Agreement on Movement and Access' between the
Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority ('the Parties') of 15
November 2005;

Following the conclusion of the attached 'Agreed Principles for Rafah
Crossing' between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority of
15 November 2005 and its annexes as agreed b the Parties (together the 'APRC');

Following the invitation of the Government of Israel ('GoI') and the
Palestinian Authority ('PA');

The European Union shall deploy a Border Assistance Mission ('EU-BAM') at
the Rafah Crossing Point on the Gaza-Egypt border ('RCP').

Article I - Mandate

The EU-BAM shall actively monitor, verify and evaluate PA performance with
regard to the implementation of the APRC and will act with authority to
ensure that the PA complies with all applicable rules and regulations
concerning the RPC and the terms of the APRC. The EU-BAM shall also
contribute to Palestinian capacity building ion all aspects of border
control and customs operation.

Article II - Objectives

The objectives of the deployment of the EU-BAM are to:

1. Contribute to confidence building between the parties, particularly
concerning all aspects of border control and custom operations at the RCP;

2. Contribute to building institutional capacity in the PA to ensure
effective border control and surveillance as well as a professional customs
operation;

3. Improve trans-national co-operation on border management.

Article III - Tasks

The EU-BAM shall be established with the tasks of:

1. Actively monitoring and verifying the performance of the Palestinian
border guards and customs officials concerning inter alia:
a. Effective border control and surveillance measures on the basis of
relevant PA Legislation and the APRC;
b. Undisturbed functioning of the surveillance cameras, computer systems and
equipment installed at the RCP and transmission of data in accordance with
the specifications agreed by the Parties in the APRC;
c. Appropriate handling of passengers who act/have acted in breach of
applicable rules and regulations;
d. Proper disposal of confiscated goods;
e. Implementation of the Paris Protocol.

2. Assist the PA to build capacity-training, equipment and technical
assistance - on border management and customs in order to:
a. Improve the efficiency of procedures at the RCP and the effective control
of persons and luggage (and in a later phase: vehicles) crossing the border;
b. Improve co-operation between Israel, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority
in cross border information sharing and joint operations;
c. Provide training for the PA border guards and customs officials regarding
search of vehicles that will cross through the RCP and on the use, according
to International standards, of the vehicle search equipment that shall be
installed at the RCP.

3. Evaluation/assessment of:
a. The PA's application of the procedures regarding the 'others by exception
in agreed categories' - passenger, as defined in the APRC;
b. The capacity of the PA to inspect cars according to the criteria in the
APRC and to international standards;
c. The PA's customs capacity, including at Kerem Shalom, in 12 months and
make recommendations to both Parties for a joint decision regarding future
arrangements.

4. The EU-BAM, in any case of doubt about the compliance with the applicable
rules and regulations of the border guard or custom's official, shall
require the re-examination and re-assessment of any passenger, luggage,
vehicle or consignment of goods on which customs duty or other revenue
collected at importation has already been assessed and collected. While the
re-assessment is being conducted, the person(s), luggage, vehicle or goods
in question shall not be allowed to move/leave the premises of the customs
or border port. In case the EU-BAM remains unsatisfied with the performance
of the checks, it shall refer up the PA management chain.

5. Liaison office:
The EU-BAM will lead a liaison office, which will receive real-time video
and data feed of the activities at the RPC and will meet regularly to review
implementation of the APRC, resolve any disputes arising from the ARPC and
perform other tasks specified in the APRC.

6. Coordination and Evaluation Committee:
The EU-BAM will participate in a Coordination and Evaluation Committee to be
established with the GoI and the PA for the review of the implementation of
the APRC. The Committee will meet regularly and not less than once a month.

7. Reporting:
The EU-BAM will report weekly in writing to the Coordination and Evaluation
Committee on the activities and the findings of the EU-BAM.

8. Other tasks:
Share a PA-list of names of workers at RCP with the GoI.

Article IV - Operational arrangements for the EU-BAM

1. the scope of the activities of the EU-BAM is bound by the APRC.

2. The EU-BAM will be present at the RCP during all hours of operation. The
EU-BAM will have unrestricted access to all operations and locations at the
RCP, including all Border Units and Customs Posts, along access, exit and
transit itineraries to and from the outer perimeter of the RCP including the
road leading to and up to Kerem Shalom.

3. The EU-BAM monitors shall be citizens of EU-Member States and Acceding
States and be suitably qualified. The EU-BAM will make efforts to include
experts able to read and speak Arabic.

4. The EU-BAM will be led by the Head of Mission (HoM), All EU-BAM personnel
will work under his/her authority and follow his/her operation instructions.
He/she will have discretionary power to decide whether the personnel of
EU-BAM wear civilian dress or uniform. He/she will continuously assess the
security risk for the EU-BAM and may recommend, after consultation with the
PA, to deploy armed security guards at the RCP to guarantee the personal
safety of its personnel. Arrangements for the implementation of such a
recommendation shall be agreed by the Parties.

5. The EU-BAM shall wear identification at all times when on duty.

6. The estimated size of the EU-BAM is set at approximately 70 personnel.
Additional personnel can be sent to reinforce the EU-BAM with prior
notification of the GoI and the PA, and the status of any additional
personnel will be defined in agreement with the Parties.

7. The EU-BAM will have no authority to enforce the laws of Israel and the
Palestinian Authority, and they will refrain from any action or activity
incompatible with the nature of their duties.

8. The GoI and the PA will provide EU-BAM with all information with regard
to the application of this Agreed Arrangement. The GoI and the PA will
render full cooperation and assistance necessary for the fulfillment of the
tasks of the EU-BAM. To facilitate this cooperation the GoI and the PA will,
inter alia, appoint senior English speaking officers (one each) to act as
point of contact to the EU-BAM.

9. To deal with the issues under the APRC that cannot be solved at the level
of the liaison office, the GoI and the PA will identify interlocutors for
the EU-BAM at different levels of the authority up to the level of the
Minister in order to address problems that may arise in the implementation
of the APRC. The GoI and the PA will inform EU-BAM at the latest by the time
of deployment of the EU-BAM of the names of these interlocutors and will
respond as soon as possible.

Article V- Duration

Based on the EU recommendation, the duration of the Mission shall be for 12
months, renewable for further six [6] months, unless all Parties agree to
bring the Mission to a close.
====

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(Mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730
INTERNET ADDRESS: imra@netvision.net.il
Website: http://www.imra.org.il

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