Plan for interim self-government

Presented by the Palestinian delegation to the Israelis during the peace talks in Washington, January 1992.

The Palestinian side believes that the following broad outline of the shape of the Interim Palestinian Self-Government can form the basis of negotiations at this stage, after taking the necessary preliminary steps previously mentioned in the memorandum of our proposals, including a complete freeze on activities for the construction of settlements.

What is set out here represents the letter and spirit of the basic conditions agreed in the negotiations and the democratic principles accepted by all.

The aim of the arrangements for interim self-government is to ensure the peaceful and orderly transfer of power from Israel to the authorities of the Interim Palestinian Self-Government and to create favourable conditions for substantive negotiations about the status of the occupied Palestinian territories.

ONE: General aspects of the Interim Palestinian Self-Government:

1. These arrangements are temporary and will reach their ultimate goal in the establishment of the authority known as "The Interim Palestinian Self-Government". They will remain in force while the final agreement regarding the status of the occupied territories is negotiated and completed.

2. These arrangements include all the Palestinian lands occupied since June 1967 and include the legal powers of the Interim self-governing authority of these areas in their entirety and the lands attached to them and their natural resources, their waters and their airspace. Those powers also cover all the Palestinian inhabitants in these areas.

3. The settlement must be in legal accordance with the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949) and the Hague Regulations (1907) and such UN resolutions as relate to them, in particular resolutions 242 and 338, and there must be a strict commitment to them on the part of Israel and the authorities of the Interim Palestinian Self-Government.

4. This "authority" is an entity whose power emanates from the fact that it is elected by the Palestinian people and does not derive its power from an external source.

5. It is the authority which must assume all the prerogatives, responsibilities and legal powers exercised by any military or civil body or any agency acting on behalf of the Israeli government or deputising for it.

6. The authority of the Interim Palestinian Self-Government will have benefit of legislative, executive and judicial powers.

TWO: The structure of the authority of the Interim Palestinian Self-Government.

The authority of the Interim Palestinian Self-Government will consist of the following three elements:

a) A legislative council comprising 180 representatives freely elected in the occupied territories;

b) An administrative council comprising 20 members appointed by the president of the administrative council and approved by the legislative council;

c) The judicial system will comprise courts of justice whose complete independence is guaranteed.

THREE: The steps which must be complied with to establish the authority of the Interim Palestinian Self-Government.

a) Participation of the Palestinians from the West Bank (including Jerusalem) and Gaza, those who fled in 1967 and all the deportees, in elections for the legislative council; the release of political detainees (who will also be allowed to participate); supervision of these elections to by an international organisation; abolition of all the current laws and decrees that would prevent or restrict movement or assembly or participation or campaigning in the elections, so as to enable the elections take place in an organised and democratic fashion.

b) Transfer of the prerogatives and powers and responsibilities exercised by any Israeli military or civil authority or any organisation representing the Israeli government or working under its direction to the control of the Interim Palestinian Self-Government and withdrawal of the Israeli military government and its civil administration.

c) The immediate withdrawal of the Israeli occupying forces from all remaining areas before the start of the process of electing the authority of the Interim Palestinian Self-Government, and completion of their withdrawal in stages to mutually-agreed redeployment points along the borders of the occupied Palestinian territories immediately before the authority of the Interim Palestinian Self-Government assumes its responsibilities.

FOUR: Security

Measures must be implemented to preserve security and general order of those within and outside, during the transfer period with the aid of security forces of the United Nations. It is also necessary to establish a local Palestinian force capable of maintaining order, working under the authority of the Interim Palestinian Self-Government to preserve security and general order. The agreement for external security measures must be reached in the context of these temporary negotiations.

Source: Al-Arab, January 27, 1992. Unofficial translation from Arabic by Brian Whitaker.