donderdag 16 augustus 2007

Israël en PA tekenen akkoord over rol internationale waarnemers in Hebron

Een klein stapje in de goede richting. Hopelijk wordt dit gevolgd door een voortvarende aanpak van geweld door extremistische kolonisten in Hebron en elders door Israël, en van terroristische groeperingen door de Palestijnse Autoriteit.

Haaretz, Aug. 14, 2007
Israel, PA sign agreement on role of int'l observers in Hebron
By Barak Ravid, Avi Issacharoff and Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondents

Israel and the Palestinian Authority on Monday afternoon signed an agreement in Jerusalem that redefines the mandate of international observers in Hebron.

The agreement represents the first deal signed between Israel and the PA since their renewal of civilian and security relations this July, and is the first official agreement on the role of the observers in Hebron since the beginning of the second Intifada in September 2000.

The Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH), which has operated in the West Bank city for 10 years, includes members from Turkey, Italy, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, and Denmark, and focuses mainly on relations between Israeli settlers and Palestinian residents of the city.

Israel returns Area B law and order to PA

The Palestinian police recently resumed its law-enforcement activities in Area B of the West Bank, where the Israel Defense Forces is responsible for security. The renewed police patrols, whose focus is on countering criminal activity and ensuring law and order, are being carried out in coordination with Israeli security elements.

According to the Oslo Accords, Israel has security control of territory in Area B, which includes many villages and towns in the West Bank, but the Palestinians are responsible for civilian law-enforcement activities.

In Area A of the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority was granted - also in the Oslo agreements - full security control, both in terms of military and police activities. However, since Operation Defensive Shield in April 2002, Israel has assumed security control over Area A, on a nearly continuous basis.

Nevertheless, in the last four years the IDF has frequently allowed Palestinian policemen to carry weapons and do their work to ensure law and order in Area A. Only in cases when IDF forces entered the West Bank cities have the Palestinian police returned to their headquarters to avoid any possibility of confrontation with the army.

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