Zinni's ceasefire plan

Comments by Palestinian negotiators on the Zinni ceasefire proposal, 26 March 2002.

The Palestinian team included Mohammed Dahlan, Jibril Rajoub, Saeb Erekat and lawyers from the Negotiations Affairs Department.


I. Summary of Second US Proposal

The second US Proposal has not addressed any of the substantive issues raised by the Palestinian side, except for military investigations as required by Tenet. The second US proposal has been changed to positively reflect Israeli interests.

The six primary Palestinian concerns were ignored in the Second US Proposal:

The only addition to the US’ first proposal which could be relevant to linking Tenet with Mitchell is the very last sentence of the plan which calls on the "Trilateral Security Committee [to] meet and assess progress and decide on transition to next steps." This language gives the Trilateral Security Committee the authority to decide when and if the Mitchell Report will be implemented.

The Second Proposal references an "agreed schedule" in Phases 2 and 3, but, in contradiction with Tenet, never explains when the schedules are to be developed. This is in contrast to specific calls for Palestinian plans to be submitted in Phase 1, also in contradiction with Tenet.

The Second Proposal has not changed any language in this regard, despite statements by Americans at the Tuesday meeting.

The Second Proposal still calls for a 4-weeks (plus or minus) timetable.

Despite statements made by General Zinni at Tuesday’s meeting that the United States has a monitoring plan and expects monitors and verifiers to be deployed "immediately" in order to watch over implementation of this plan, there is still no mention of monitors and verifiers in the Second Proposal.

In contradiction to the Tenet Plan, the Second Proposal still requires the PA to submit "comprehensive" plans to the Trilateral Security Committee on the collection of illegal weapons. Furthermore, it continues to ignore that fact that according to Tenet, the location and confiscation of illegal weapons is a mutual obligation.

  1. The link to Mitchell.

  2. The need for a schedule for redeployment and lifting of the closure.

  3. The need to remove conditionality in moving from one phase to another.

  4. The total time for implementation is still not specified.

  5. The necessity for a monitoring and verification mission.

  6. Mutual obligations, such as weapons collection, are still unilateral Palestinian obligations.

  7. Terrorist lists.

The PA is still being asked to arrest terrorists based on lists to be "made known" or "provided" to the Trilateral Security Committee. The change in language from the first proposal actually brings the plan closer to the Israeli requests.


[In the following, "Prop 1" refers to the original US proposal presented on March 25, 2002. "Prop 2" refers to the second US proposal presented on March 26, 2002. The boxed comments reflect Palestinian analysis.]

II. Specific Comments

Phase 1 – Immediate – 48 hours

Prop 1: GOI and PA issue public declarations of cease-fire.

Prop 2: GOI and PA leaders make public declarations of cease-fire to their respective populations.

NEGOTIATORS' COMMENT: 

No Comment

Prop 1: GOI commits to cease "proactive" operations in areas under the control of the PA, including attacks on PA security forces or institutions.

Prop 2: GOI commits to cease "proactive" operations in areas under the control of the PA, including attacks on PA Ra’is Facilities; and headquarters of Palestinian Security, Intelligence, and Police Organizations; or prisons in the West Bank and Gaza Strip unless responding in self-defense to an imminent terrorist attack.

NEGOTIATORS' COMMENT: 

The Tenet Workplan specifically calls on Israel to "not conduct ‘proactive’ security operations in areas under the control of the PA or attacks against innocent civilian targets. The Proposal drops the restriction on attacks against civilians.

According to the current language, Israel can attack these facilities in pro-active self-defense, although it is impossible to imagine a scenario in which bombing a prison or the President’s compound would be "self-defense." This is an absolute violation of the Tenet Workplan. Moreover, according to the Tenet Workplan, attacks of any kind are prohibited. This, in effect, justifies all the so-called "retaliatory" attacks the Israelis have conducted so far.

Prop 1: PA issues clear orders to field commanders to take action to prevent terrorism or violent attacks, ceases PA security forces involvement in inciting aiding, abetting attacks against all Israeli targets.

Prop 2: PA issues clear orders to field commanders to take action to prevent terrorism or violent attacks, arrest persons involved in ongoing terrorist activities, ceases PA security forces involvement in inciting aiding, abetting attacks against all Israeli targets. PA and GOI issue clear orders to their field commanders and take other measures necessary to prevent individuals and groups from using areas under their respective control to carry out acts of violence.

NEGOTIATORS' COMMENT: 

The Proposal merges two Tenet elements into one. The first Tenet element requires the PA to "stop any Palestinian security officials from inciting, aiding, abetting, or conducting attacks against Israeli targets…"whereas the second requiresboth the PA and Israel to "move aggressively to prevent individuals and groups from using areas under their respective control to carry out acts of violence."

The Proposal uses unconditional language requiring the PA "to cease" activities, whereas the Israelis in the previous requirement are only asked to "commit to cease." In other words, the PA is placed under a higher and more immediate burden than is Israel.

The Proposal never specifically defines "terrorism," although the term is defined in the Mitchell Report from which most of the Tenet elements are drawn. In light of Israel’s very expansive use of the term to include even children with slingshots, it is prudent that it be stated that "terrorism" and other terms from the Mitchell Report will be defined through Mitchell.

Prop. 1: GOI takes action against Israeli citizens inciting, carrying out, or planning to carry out violence against Palestinians.

Prop. 2: GOI, acting on information made known to the Trilateral Security Committee, takes action against Israeli citizens inciting, carrying out, or planning to carry out violence against Palestinians,with progress reports to the Security Committee.

NEGOTIATORS' COMMENT: 

This requires Israel to only act when the Palestinian provide information to the Committee. If Palestinians do not provide such information, Israel is under no obligation to stop violence against Palestinians.

Prop. 1: GOI and PA resume security cooperation through reinvigoration of DCOs, sharing of threat information directly and through trilateral security committee.

Prop. 2: GOI and PA resume security cooperation through reinvigoration of DCOs based on the standards existing before September 28, 20000. GOI and PA share information on terrorists’ threats directly and through the Trilateral Security Committee followed by immediate actions and reporting of results to the Security Committee.

NEGOTIATORS' COMMENT: 

This is a merging of two Tenet elements. The first relates to the reinvigoration of DCOs and the second relates to the sharing of threat information.

The Tenet Workplan further requires the removal "of barriers to effective cooperation…" which is not mentioned in the Proposal.

The second sentence was added based on Palestinian recommendation. However the third recommended Palestinian sentence was excluded which required "legitimate threat information to be acted upon immediately by the party in whose security jurisdiction the terrorists are located."

Prop 1: IDF adopts measures to reduce lethality of rules of engagement.

Prop 2: No change.

NEGOTIATORS' COMMENT: 

No comment.

Prop 1: GOI and PA allow free movement of security personnel within Gaza and WB.

Prop 2: GOI and PA allow secure movement of security personnel within Gaza and WB, in accordance with existing agreements.

Prop 1: PA makes public commitment to prevent smuggling, production, acquisition of illegal weapons, prepares plan for collecting weapons, preventing smuggling, and closing factories and arresting those involved.

Prop 2: No change

NEGOTIATORS' COMMENT: 

The Proposal requires the PA to make a "public commitment" and to prepare a "plan" for collecting weapons, preventing smuggling, etc. These two requirements are not found anywhere in the Tenet Workplan. However, the PA is willing to publicly reaffirm its commitments in previously assigned agreements regarding the collection of illegal weapons.

The Tenet Workplan makes it clear that the above measures are a mutual requirement rather than a unilateral Palestinian requirement. The Proposal turns it into a unilateral Palestinian requirement. There is a separate Tenet clause which requires the PA to "undertake preemptive operations against terrorists, terrorist safe houses, arms depots, and mortar factories."

Prop 1: IDF redeploys from agreed locations (phase 1 schedule to be agreed determined by the Trilateral Security Committee).

Prop 2: IDF carries out demonstrable redeployment (locations to be notified to the Trilateral Security Committee).

NEGOTIATORS' COMMENT: 

The Tenet Workplan requires two steps from the Israelis in regards to redeployment. The first is that a schedule be agreed upon for a "complete redeployment of IDF forces to positions held before 28 September 2000 within the first week. The second is that "[d]emonstrable on-the-ground redeployment" be initiated within the first 48 hours of the one-week period and should continue while the schedule is being written.

The Proposal requires a separate schedule for the first 48 hours. If Israel acts in bad faith, it can spend the first week arguing about the first 48 hour withdrawal schedule instead of concentrating on a complete withdrawal schedule.

The Proposal also fails to mention anywhere in Phase One that this schedule for complete withdrawal is to be started immediately and to be completed within the first week as required by the Tenet Workplan.

The Palestinians have already prepared and submitted a schedule for redeployment as required by the Tenet Workplan.

Prop 1: GOI lifts closures at agreed points (phase 1).

Prop 2: GOI takes demonstrable action to lift closures (locations to be notified to the Trilateral Security Committee).

NEGOTIATORS' COMMENT: 

The Tenet Workplan requires two steps from the Israelis in regards to the ending of the siege. The first is that a schedule be agreed upon for "the lifting of internal closures as well as for the reopening of internal roads, the Allenby Bridge, Gaza Airport, Port of Gaza, and border crossings" within the first week. The second is that "[d]emonstrable on-the-ground actions on the lifting of the closures will be initiated within the first 48 hours of this one-week period and will continue while the timeline is being developed."

The Proposal requires a separate schedule for the first 48 hours. If Israel acts in bad faith, it can spend the first week arguing about the first 48 hour schedule instead of concentrating on a complete schedule for the lifting of closure.

The Proposal also fails to mention anywhere in Phase One that this schedule for complete lifting of closure is to be started immediately and to be completed within the first week as required b the Tenet Workplan.

The Palestinians have already prepared and submitted a schedule for complete lifting of the closure as required by the Tenet Workplan.

Prop 1: PA assumes security responsibility at locations where GOI eases security restrictions.

Prop 2: PA assumes security responsibility where it has jurisdiction at locations where GOI eases security restrictions. GOI takes measures to facilitate the transfer of these responsibilities.

NEGOTIATORS' COMMENT: 

This measure is not included in the Tenet Workplan.

As part of existing agreements, the PA will assume security responsibility where it has jurisdiction, but the PA needs guarantees that Palestinian security personnel will not be targeted, harmed, humiliated, or otherwise threatened by Israeli forces including Israeli settlers.

The Proposal also states that the Palestinians will assume responsibility in areas where Israel "eases" security restrictions – not "ends" them. This suggests that Palestinian security personnel would have to operate in areas in which Israeli forces remain.

The addition of the last sentence is assumed to be an attempt to address Palestinian concerns that Israel not attack Palestinians redeployed into these sites. However, the language is so vague as not provide any real protection.

Palestinian requests to include revenue transfer have been ignored.

Prop 1: 48 Hours – End of Phase 1 – Trilateral Security Committee Meeting to Assess Progress (Phase 2: 48 Hours – 1 Week)

Prop 2: No change 

NEGOTIATORS' COMMENT: 

It is unclear how the assessment progress would work. The PA has requested that monitors and verifiers be involved in the implementation of the Tenet Workplan.

Prop 1: PA acts decisively to prevent attacks, enforce cease-fire, including arrest of activists in breach of cease-fire, action against those who incite, aid and abet such activities.

Prop 2: No change. 

NEGOTIATORS' COMMENT: 

These Tenet obligations, combined from a variety of elements, are all mutual obligations. Yet, in the Proposal, they are listed as unilateral Palestinian obligations. Accordingly, the Proposal should state that the "GOI and PA respectively act" decisively…

Prop 1: GOI and PA act to prevent incitement to violence among their respective populations.

Prop 2: No change. 

NEGOTIATORS' COMMENT: 

The Tenet Workplan does not call on the PA to prevent incitement, except in the case of security officers which is already covered in a previous Proposal element. The PA however is willing to cary out such a commitment.

The Tenet Workplan, on the other hand, does call on Israel to take action to halt incitement by Israeli citizens.

Prop 1: GOI and PA allow free movement of security personnel within and between Gaza and WB.

Prop 2: GOI and PA allow secure movement of security personnel within and between Gaza and WB, in accordance with existing agreements.

Prop 1: GOI completes withdrawal from Area A, continues removal of internal closures and redeployment according to agreed schedule, including removal of permanent roadblocks in Gaza, entry of vehicles at Mawasi area, removal of IDF positions from Palestinian houses, continue removal of other checkpoints and earth barriers, redeployment of armored vehicles.

Prop 2: GOI completes withdrawal from Area A, continues removal of internal closures and redeployment according to agreed schedule, including removal of permanent roadblocks in Gaza,supervised entry of vehicles at Mawasi area, removal of IDF positions from Palestinian houses, continues removal of other checkpoints and earth barriers, further redeployment of armored vehicles. 

NEGOTIATORS' COMMENT: 

The Palestinian side understood from earlier conversations with the American side that Israeli withdrawal from Area A would precede implementation of a cease-fire and of the Tenet Workplan. It should be made clear that the withdrawal includes those areas equivalent to Areas A in the Gaza Strip to the pre-September 28, 2000 positions.

It should be made clear that the measures noted here are simply a continuation of the "demonstrable on-the-ground" withdrawal and lifting of closure specifically mentioned in Tenet. They should not be misinterpreted as a substitute for an agreed schedule for complete withdrawal and a complete lifting of the closure to the situation on the ground existing before 28 September 2000.

It should be explicitly stated that the schedule for complete withdrawal and complete lifting of the closure to the situation on the ground existing before 28 September 2000 should be completed by the end of Phase 2.

The new additions are designed to further Israeli concerns. Instead of lifting all barriers to entry of vehicles to Mawasi, this language confirms that entry will be "supervised", i.e. through a checkpoint.

Also, the addition of the word "further" is designed to imply that the redeployment of armored vehicles will not be completed in this phase.

Prop 1: Nothing

Prop 2: PA continues to assume security responsibility at locations where GOI eases security restrictions. GOI continues to take measures to facilitate the transfer of these responsibilities.

NEGOTIATORS' COMMENT: 

The addition of this sentence is assumed to be an attempt to address Palestinian concerns that Israel not attack Palestinians redeployed into these sites. However, the language is so vague as not provide any real protection.

Prop 1: Trilateral committee identifies "flashpoints," designates senior security personnel responsible for flashpoints, develops JSOP for each.

Prop 2: Trilateral committee identifies "flashpoints," each sidedesignates senior security personnel responsible for them, develops JSOP for each.

Prop 1: PA presents comprehensive plan for collection of illegal weapons. Begins actions in concert with GOI to prevent smuggling of illegal weapons. Takes demonstrable action against weapons and mortar factories, based on PA information and information developed in conjunction with the GOI.

Prop 2: PA presents comprehensive plan for collection of illegal weapons as defined in existing agreements including the Israel-Palestinian Interim Agreement, Annex I, articles IV and XI. PA begins actions in concert with GOI to prevent smuggling of illegal weapons. PA takes demonstrable action against weapons and mortar factories, based on PA information and information developed in conjunction with the GOI. Each side informs the security committee of the status and success of these efforts. 

NEGOTIATORS' COMMENT: 

The Tenet Workplan does not require the PA to present a plan for the collection of illegal weapons nor for the actions taken against weapons and mortar factories to be based on information developed in conjunction with Israel as required in the Proposal.

Moreover, the Tenet Workplan makes the collection of illegal weapons and the prevention of smuggling a mutual obligation for Palestinians and Israelis. The Proposal uses language suggesting that this is a Palestinian obligation while the only Israeli obligation is to assist in the prevention of smuggling of weapons.

The Tenet Workplan does not call on the PA to take "demonstrable action against weapons and mortar factories" which is required in the Proposal. However such actions will be part of Palestinian implementation efforts.

The addition of the last sentence is taken from a Palestinian recommendation based on the Tenet Workplan.

Prop 1: GOI takes specified actions to ease economic restrictions and movement of Palestinian civilians.

Prop 2: GOI takes specified actions to ease economic restrictions and movement of Palestinian civilians, as detailed in Israeli proposal, p. 6. 

NEGOTIATORS' COMMENT:  

The Tenet Workplan requires a specific schedule to be completed within one week and demonstrable steps within the first 48 hours and on-going throughout the first week to completely lift the closure. The Proposal requires significantly less here.

The fragmentation of civil and economic measures creates contradictions within the Proposal. The economic and civil measures in Tenet are firmly tied to the complete withdrawal and complete lifting of closure. Such measures should not be used to justify non-implementation of withdrawal and ending of closure.

It would be preferable if most of the changes introduced above from the Israeli proposal should instead be replaced by a schedule for complete lifting of the closure.

Prop 1: GOI identifies Palestinian prisoners, including PA security personnel, arrested in security sweeps and not involved in terrorist activities. Begins releasing prisoners in this category. PA brings individual cases in dispute to the security committee.

Prop 2: GOI identifies Palestinian prisoners, including PA security personnel, arrested in security sweeps and not involved in terrorist activities. Begins releasing prisoners in this category. 

NEGOTIATORS' COMMENT: 

The Proposal fails to specify that the prisoner release should be completed within Phase 2. As it reads, the Israelis only need to "begin" releasing prisoners but can finish the process whenever they choose.

Please note that the Palestinians proposed that Israel submit the names of and evidence against those accused of being involved in terrorist activities to the committee.

The change introduced serves Israeli interests by removing any checks on Israel’s decisions regarding who is a "terrorist."

Prop 1: Trilateral Security Committee using information jointly developed by the parties, identifies activists involved in planning or carrying out terrorist activities. PA takes demonstrable actions to arrest individuals on this list.

Prop 2: Trilateral Security Committee using information provided by the parties, identifies activists involved in planning or carrying out terrorist activities. PA takes demonstrable actions to arrest individuals on this list. 

NEGOTIATORS' COMMENT: 

There is no requirement in the Tenet Workplan to use lists "provided by the parties" of Palestinians to be arrested.

The Tenet Workplan requires the PA to "move immediately to apprehend, question, and incarcerate terrorists in the West Bank and Gaza and will provide the security committee the names of those arrested, as soon as they are apprehended, as well as readout of actions."

The change in language means that parties will provide information to the Committee, but no mention is made of how the Committee will come to agreement on changing the information to a list.

Prop 1: Nothing

Prop 2: GOI re-institutes military police investigations into Palestinian deaths resulting from IDF actions in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in incidents not involving terrorism.

NEGOTIATORS' COMMENT: 

This is the only substantive addition made based on a Palestinian recommendation which in turn was drawn directly from Tenet.

Prop 1: 1 Week – End of Phase 2 – Trilateral Security Meeting to Assess Progress - Phase 3 – 1 week – 4 weeks (plus or minus) (Further Trilateral Security Meetings will be held to assess interim progress during the course of phase 3)

Prop 2: No change 

NEGOTIATORS' COMMENT: 

Again, it is unclear what role the assessment meetings will have on continuing implementation. The PA has requested monitors and verifiers to be involved in the implementation of the Tenet Workplan. The inclusion of the qualifiers "plus or minus" means that the four week total time period can be extended. This implies conditionality, as does the Trilateral Security Meetings assessment of interim progress.

Prop 1: GOI completes redeployment and lifting of all internal closures to 28 September 2000 positions including reopening of internal roads, the Allenby bridge, Gaza Airport, Port of Gaza, and border crossings.

Prop 2: Pursuant to agreed schedule, GOI completes redeployment and lifting of all internal closures to 28 September 2000 positions including reopening of internal roads, the Allenby bridge, Gaza Airport, Port of Gaza, and border crossings. 

NEGOTIATORS' COMMENT: 

It is important to remember that the Tenet preamble states that the steps in the Tenet Workplan are designed to "re-establish security cooperation and the situation on the ground as they existed prior to 28 September." This includes the revocation of all demographic, geographic, administrative, and other changes resulting from Israeli actions.

It should be specified that this element is pursuant to the pre-agreed schedule to have been completed within the first week so that Israel does not delay implementation to the last day – which is also not specified in the Proposal.

The change seems to imply that there will be an agreed schedule for redeployment and lifting of closure although there is no mention of this or the timeline for its adoption in the proposal.

Prop 1: GOI further eases specified civilian restrictions.

Prop 2: GOI further eases specified civilian restrictions, as detailed in Israeli proposal, p.7. 

NEGOTIATORS' COMMENT: 

The Tenet Workplan requires a specific schedule to be completed within one week and demonstrable steps within the first 48 hours and on-going throughout the first week to completely lift the closure, which is still absent from this proposal. The closure is to be completely lifted by the end of the implementation period. Therefore, there should be no civilian restrictions in place.

The fragmentation of civil and economic measures creates contradictions within the Proposal. The economic and civil measures in Tenet are firmly tied to the complete withdrawal and complete lifting of closure. Such measures should not be used to justify non-implementation of withdrawal and ending of closure.

Prop 1: PA arrests terrorist activists from names developed by the trilateral security committee.

Prop 2: PA arrests terrorist activists from names made known tothe trilateral security committee and provides the committee the names of those arrested, as soon as they are apprehended, as well as summary of actions taken. 

NEGOTIATORS' COMMENT:  

There is no requirement in Tenet for the PA to follow "lists" submitted by the trilateral security committee.

The only Tenet requirement is to submit the names of those arrested "as well as readout of actions taken."

The changing of the word "developed" to "made known" makes the process by which the lists are developed more ambiguous. In the original the Palestinians, Israelis, and Americans draw up the list. In the second, it is unclear how the lists are made. Palestinian involvement is no longer even assured.

Prop 1: PA takes credible and sustained judicial action ("due process") against arrested individuals.

Prop 2: PA takes credible and sustained judicial action ("due process") against arrested individuals for the purpose of further investigation and prosecution and punishment of all persons involved in acts of violence and terror.

This measure is not in the Tenet Workplan. The only requirement in Tenet in this regard is to "apprehend, question, and incarcerate…"

Prop 1: PA continues to undertake preemptive operations against terrorism, continues implementation of illegal weapons collection plan, continues actions to prevent smuggling. Measures include taking demonstrable action against weapons factories, laboratories, safe-house, and arms depots at locations identified by the trilateral security committee, arrests and prosecutes individuals connected with these locations.

Prop 2: PA continues to undertake preemptive operations against terrorism, continues implementation of illegal weapons collection plan, and transfer of collected weapons to a third party, continues actions to prevent smuggling. Measures include taking demonstrable action against weapons factories, laboratories, safe-houses, and arms depots at locations identified by the trilateral security committee, arrests and prosecutes individuals connected with these locations and other actions against the support structure of terrorism, including the financing of terrorist activities and mechanisms for inciting terror. 

NEGOTIATORS' COMMENT: 

This measure restates a number of the obligations the Proposal listed above as on-going actions. See above for comments on the specific obligations.

It is important to note that the Proposal fails to note Israel’s on-going responsibilities, such as continuing cooperation on collection of illegal weapons and taking action against Israeli citizens who incite or otherwise contribute to violence against Palestinians.

Prop 1: 4 Weeks (plus or minus) – End of Phase 3 – Trilateral Security Committee Meets to Assess Progress

Prop 2: 4 Weeks (plus or minus) – End of Phase 3 – Trilateral Security Committee Meets to Assess Progress and decide on Transition to Next Steps.

NEGOTIATORS' COMMENT: 

The inclusion of the qualifiers "plus or minus" means that the four week total time period can be extended. This implies conditionality, as does the Trilateral Security Meetings assessment of interim progress.

The last added clause can be understood to give the Trilateral Security Committee the authority to decide when and if the Mitchell Report will be implemented contradictory to the Palestinian need for the implementation of the Mitchell Report to start at an agreed fixed date.