Weekly Commentary: Defining Palestinian Roadmap Compliance - Israel Must
Pick Up The Ball
Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 18 January 2007
When Israeli officials link final status negotiations and the formation of a
sovereign Palestinian state to Palestinian compliance with the Roadmap is
there a clear understanding of what they have in mind?
Let's first consider the wording of the Roadmap:
+ Palestinians declare an unequivocal end to violence and terrorism and
undertake visible efforts on the ground to arrest, disrupt, and restrain
individuals and groups conducting and planning violent attacks on Israelis
+ Rebuilt and refocused Palestinian Authority security apparatus begins
sustained, targeted, and effective operations aimed at confronting all those
engaged in terror and dismantlement of terrorist capabilities and
infrastructure. This includes commencing confiscation of illegal weapons and
consolidation of security authority, free of association with terror and
+ All Palestinian security organizations are consolidated into three
services reporting to an empowered Interior Minister.
+ Arab states cut off public and private funding and all other forms of
support for groups supporting and engaging in violence and terror.
Phase II Transition
Progress into Phase II will be based upon the consensus judgment of the
Quartet of whether conditions are appropriate to proceed, taking into
account performance of both parties.
+ Continued comprehensive security performance, including effective security
cooperation on the bases laid out in Phase I.
Phase III Permanent Status Agreement
Progress into Phase III, based on consensus judgment of Quartet, and taking
into account actions of both parties and Quartet monitoring. Phase III
objectives are consolidation of reform and stabilization of Palestinian
institutions, sustained, effective Palestinian security performance
+ Continued sustained and effective security performance, and sustained,
effective security cooperation on the bases laid out in Phase I.
"Moderate" Mahmoud Abbas takes the position that Palestinian compliance with
the above requirements is no more than a paycheck away: put every gunman on
the PA security force payroll and their off-hours affiliations are no longer
relevant. And as members of the PA security forces their weapons are no
When Abbas first came out with this interpretation one would have expected
Israeli officials to immediate assert that he was ignoring that the Roadmap
requires that the consolidated security authority would be "free of
association with terror" thus precluding hiring members of the various armed
militias into the PA security force.
But instead Israeli officials ignored it.
And Israeli officials continued to ignore the Palestinian interpretation of
compliance when American and European officials spoke favorably of Abbas's
efforts to implement the idea.
This issue hasn't come to a head yet since the Hamas lead PA government is
seen as a prima facie justification for freezing the Roadmap, but it would
be a grave mistake to assume that this stalemate will continue indefinitely.
When the stalemate ends Israel may very well find itself subject to one of
the most disturbing innovations in the Roadmap: compliance is not only
determined by a third party (the Quartet), it is judged on a relative rather
than absolute basis ("taking into account performance of both parties").
The Palestinians have wasted no time developing an international
understanding and appreciation of their interpretation of compliance.
It would be foolhardy for Israeli officials to think that the Jewish State
can rely on explaining what should be its dramatically different views, at
the last minute, when the day comes that the Quartet meets to rule if
Palestinian performance pass muster.
Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(Mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730
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