How can the Palestinians get the best possible deal from the Declaration of Principles?
Excerpts from a study prepared by the Political Analysis Unit of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research. The Center, directed by Khalil Shikaki, was established in 1993 as an institute for scientific, academic research and political analysis. The Center examines the local, regional and international changes and developments and the range of its impact on the building process of the Palestinian National Entity.
Board of Trustees: - As'ad Abu Sharkh, Ibrahim Abu Lughd, Rashid Khalidi, Raja Shhadeh, Khalil Shikaki, Hisham Awartani, Sa'id Kan'an (head), Mariam Miri.


The Palestinian-Israeli agreement, which includes the Gaza-Jericho First project and which was signed between the PLO and the Government of Israel in Washington on September 13,1993, forms the basis for ending the hostility and conflict which lasted for decades between the two sides. Through acknowledging the mutual legitimate and political rights, both sides seek, through this agreement to reach a fair, complete and lasting settlement, which achieves historic reconciliation and peaceful coexistence between the Palestinians and Israelis.

1. The Positive and Negative Sides of the Agreement

The Positive Points

Following are the points which include positive aspects, but at the same time may contain dangers:
1. Although the agreement does not specifically mention Palestinian national rights, it includes for the first time an official Israeli recognition of the Palestinian People and of their legitimate and political rights. Despite the fact that the Israeli recognition of the PLO (which brought in the Diaspora Palestinians in the settlement, in form but not in content), does not form an article in the agreement, and despite the complications arising from this, this recognition adds a political and national impression for the Palestinian people and the problem of Palestinian Nationalism, where Israel previously denied its existence in this form.
In this agreement, the phrase "Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip" is used, and although this might be explained as confining the definition of the Palestinian people in these two areas and ignoring the Diaspora Palestinians, yet there is a confirmation that the Palestinians are a nation as other nations.
In the introduction to this agreement, there is also an indication of mutual recognition of legitimate and political rights, which offers an opportunity to the Palestinian side to insist on the principle of equality for both sides.
Recognizing Palestinian Nationalism represented in the PLO, Palestinian legitimate and political rights and the Palestinians as a nation, are all factors toward independence and sovereignty, regardless of future preference for independent existence.

2. Another positive point in this agreement is the Israeli Army withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza Strip territories after 26 years of occupation. By this action, Israel is abandoning ideological and practical attitudes believed to be irreversible. Although the subject of sovereignty over the territories of Gaza and Jericho from which the Israeli army will withdraw was not laid out in the document, the establishment of Palestinian Jurisdiction in these areas will be de facto, since in reality, sovereignty is exerted by whoever exercises jurisdiction over the land.

3. Under the article "Aims of the Negotiations", a clear indication that one of the aims of the negotiations is establishing a Palestinian Interim Self-Government Authority in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip for a transitional period not exceeding five years, leading to a permanent settlement based on Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, and that the negotiations on the permanent status will lead to the implementation of these two resolutions. This means that the transitional period might continue for a period of less than five years, and in this way, the Palestinian side will have the chance to shorten the transitional period. As there is no mutual understanding or explanation between the two parties, as to what Resolution 242 means regarding the subject of withdrawal, the Palestinian side should insist on a permanent status based on an Israeli withdrawal from the territories occupied by Israel after the 1967 war. According to the consecutive dramatic developments that we witnessed, crowned by the mutual recognition between Israel and the PLO, and the meeting between Rabin and Arafat in the White House, it is no longer impossible or improbable that Israel will agree to the establishment of a clearly defined Palestinian State, which does not threaten its security. In addition, Israel might find that the establishment of this state is not necessarily against its interest. It is worth mentioning that in the Palestinian-Israeli agreement, there is no clear mention of a refusal to the establishment of a Palestinian State.
Israel's quest for the advantages and horizons of the peace process with the Palestinians and Arabs, and the emergence of a high degree of mutual confidence between both parties will make it easier for Israel to accept the choice of the Palestinian State.

4. Holding elections "under agreed supervision and international observation", draws these elections away from being an internal Israeli matter. The agreement also states that these elections will constitute a "significant interim preparatory step towards the realization of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and their just requirements." It is also clear that the participation of the Palestinians of Jerusalem in these elections is guaranteed, but the nature and conditions of this participation are not defined in the agreement, and that it is subject to an agreement between the two parties. Defining the structure of the Council, the number of its members, and the authorities empowered to it; executive, legal and judicial, will have a significant effect on the possibilities of negotiating the permanent status and achieve sovereignty. Therefore, the result of the negotiations between the two parties on various aspects of the Council will ease or hinder transforming this Council to a transitional authority towards the establishment of a state.

5. Concerning the transfer of authority from the Israeli Military Government and its Civil Administration to the Palestinians, there should be a distinction between the areas of Gaza and Jericho on the one hand, and the rest of the West Bank and Jerusalem on the other. In the areas of Gaza and Jericho, the authority transferred to the Palestinians will be complete except for foreign affairs, external security and settlements.
During the transitional period, the Palestinian aim should be to spread the Palestinian authority over spheres that remain subject to Israeli control, aiming at achieving complete Palestinian sovereignty over them.
As for the rest of the West Bank territories (excluding Jerusalem), the authorities of education and culture, health, social welfare, direct taxation and tourism will be transferred to the Palestinians, in addition to transferring other authorities and responsibilities agreed upon by both parties.
In this context, the Palestinian side should strive to take over all these authorities as soon as possible, as well as raising these authorities to the same level as the authorities exercised in the areas of Gaza and Jericho. Subsequently, removing gradually the differences and borders between the areas of Gaza and Jericho on one hand, and the rest of the West Bank on the other hand, on the condition that the final aim should be establishing an authority and an infrastructure close to the authority of the independent sovereign state, which will make the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, a definite result of the permanent status negotiations.

6. Concerning sovereignty or "range of authority" mentioned in article (4) of the agreement, both sides look at the West Bank and Gaza Strip as "a single territorial unit, whose integrity should be preserved during the interim period". This formula might be characterized by the notion of "structural vagueness", for the Palestinian side considers Jerusalem part of the West Bank, while the Israeli side does not. Therefore, the matter of Jerusalem is left vague and is included in the statement "except for issues that will be negotiated in the permanent status negotiations". Despite that, the Palestinians of Jerusalem may be allowed to exercise actual authority over a number of Palestinian Institutions, such as the elected Council's headquarters (if it remains in Jerusalem), the Waqf, buildings of the Palestinian Broadcasting Authority, among other Palestinian centers and institutions). It is also possible that Palestinians will be permitted to continue maintaining and developing relations with foreign Consulates and other international institutions present in Jerusalem. Therefore, the Palestinian side should strive to enhance the elected Council's power in the various spheres mentioned earlier, as well as enhancing the Palestinian presence in the city and its Arab character in general.

7. The beginning of the permanent status negotiations within a period not exceeding the third year of the interim period is a positive point, and the Palestinian side should seek to transform the present negotiations concerning the interim period into a process of continuous negotiations, so as to move, immediately after signing the phased agreement, to immediate negotiations, because of the importance of the time element and from fear that the Israeli side might benefit from this element in making changes on the land and in its interest.
The Palestinian side should also strive to make the date of signing the agreement the beginning of the five-year period, and not the end of the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and Jericho, as mentioned in the Palestinian-Israeli agreement.

The Negative Points

The most important negative points in the agreement are the postponement of fundamental issues such as, Jerusalem, settlements and refugees, to the permanent status negotiations. Regarding Jerusalem, there are no guarantees in the agreement that Israel will not make any alterations in the sites of the city in the interest of Israel, during the transitional stage especially as it will be the stronger side. There are also practical considerations that will force the Palestinian side to establish the institutions of the Palestinian Entity outside Jerusalem, which will weaken the Palestinian existence in the city and enhance Israeli control over it.
Concerning the settlements, the agreement states that it will be an issue of discussion in the permanent status negotiations, and the agreement does not embody any indications concerning the possibility of eliminating or evacuating them. In addition to that, there is no article in the agreement which determines the cessation of settlements, or freezing or limiting their expansion inside Jerusalem.
Concerning the settlements in Gaza and Jericho and the rest of the West Bank, there are no guarantees in the agreement for non-expansion within these settlements, by construction or increase in the number of settlers. As for Gaza and Jericho, Israel will retain a "sovereign" status over the settlements existing on the Palestinian territory from which the Israeli Army withdraws.
Concerning the issue of the refugees, postponing it to the permanent status negotiations might afford the opportunity of settling them, or some of them, in places where they already reside outside Palestine. It may be difficult to absorb these refugees inside Palestine after the final settlement because of arising situations and the capacity of the Palestinian Entity as well as the possibility of not receiving any support from foreign states to finance absorption projects.
Although the return of these refugees, if they really return, will be within the geographical range of the Palestinian Entity, yet Israel may resist this return for fear that its demographic balance might deteriorate.

2. This agreement does not include any clear indication or implied acceptance of enabling the Palestinians to exercise their right of self-determination or establishing their independent state on Palestinian soil. It also neglects mentioning this matter in the permanent status negotiations. If, in the transitional stage, no positive change appears on the Palestinian - Israeli relations, as a result of the interior dynamics of the peace and negotiation process, among other factors, the Palestinian side might find itself in a situation of incomplete sovereignty, or in a confederation with Jordan. In addition to this, the agreement does not define a period of time for the completion of the permanent status negotiations, which may extend to years, during which practical developments may occur, which can alter the reality on the ground against the interest of the Palestinian side.

3. Another negative point of the agreement is the absence of geographical sovereignty and Palestinian authority over Jerusalem, except for exceptions mentioned earlier in the part dealing with the agreement's positive points.

4. Ambiguity surrounds several articles mentioned in the agreement. The agreement does not mention the principle "land for peace", when indicating Resolutions 242 and 338 as a basis for the settlement in the final stage.

5. Among the other negative aspects of this agreement in the Palestinian sphere, is the fact that it gives a lot of immediate privileges to the Israeli side, while it gives the Palestinian side only a few. The agreement also subjects the Palestinians to Israeli conditions aiming at testing the Palestinian abilities and intentions, as well as giving the Israelis the power to freeze the agreement, if they do not like the Palestinian performance. Also, the internal split in the Palestinian arena may lead to squandering the Palestinian abilities and resources necessary for building and enhancing the Palestinian Entity.

2. The Security Dimensions of the Agreement:

Gaza Strip and Jericho Area:

The two most important problems in this agreement concerning the security side in Gaza and Jericho are:

• The continuing presence of the settlements and what is entailed by the Israeli Army being in charge of their security.
• The free movement of the army, settlers and other Israelis on roads and streets of the Gaza Strip and Jericho.
The seriousness of these two problems increases, particularly in the Gaza Strip, where the continuous presence of settlements is a vast mistake that threatens to destroy the entire process, for in addition to the Palestinian need of the land and water utilized today by the settlements, these settlements will:
• Form a serious security threat to the safety, security and peace of the Palestinian Entity.
• Give the Israeli Army a prominent presence, while defending the settlements and settlers, which will form continuous provocation to the citizens as well as giving them the motivation to work against the Israeli Army and settlers in general.
• Place the Palestinian authority in the position of the supporter and defender of "the Israeli usurper" when the Palestinian authority offers security to the Israeli Army and settlers whether within the settlements (by thwarting planning attempts of operations against the settlements or attempts to penetrate them), in the streets and roads, or during their presence in towns, villages or camps.
Concerning the Jericho area, it is very difficult to diagnose the security dimensions until the geographical border of the region is defined and the number of settlements and settlers remaining in it is known.

The Strategic Threat To Palestinian Security:

The failure of the Palestinian Security Forces in what Israel calls "the test", that is maintaining internal security and cooperating with the Israelis in defending the safety of the settlers and Israelis, may create a strategic threat to Palestinian security, portrayed by the return of the Israeli Army to occupy territories it withdrew from previously. This will constitute a mortal blow to Palestinian hopes for freedom and independence. This dangerous step is quite possible in a situation where the Palestinian Security Forces seem unable to stem the wave of violence where Israelis are killed daily.

The Rest of the West Bank:

Concerning the rest of the West Bank territories, the redeployment of Israeli Forces in territories outside the cities does not confine the presence of these forces to specific areas, which means that the Israeli Army will have the freedom to consolidate in the largest section of the Palestinian territories located outside populated areas. This will make the security problem in the rest of the West Bank more serious.

The Political Dangers of Security Failure:

The Palestinian political leadership in Gaza and Jericho may resort to radical political steps aimed at controlling matters, in the face of increasing violence directed at the settlers and Israelis, if the Palestinian Security Forces fail to contain the violence, in its attempt to prevent an Israeli threat to reoccupy the territory, and to convince the Israelis to hand over the responsibilities of internal security in the rest of the West Bank. This leadership might try gradually to restrain public freedom, suppress opposition and restrain it from expressing itself. By doing this, the first Palestinian experiment in independence will be turned into a Police Dictatorship.
3. The Attitude of the Opposition and the Palestinian Street in the Occupied Territories.

The Attitude of the Opposition:

All opposing fronts in the West Bank unanimously agree that they will not resort to the use of violence and not try to foil the agreement, but at the same time express their fear that the Palestinian authority, or the main faction supporting the agreement (Fatah), may resort to violence to suppress opposition, restrict its movement or restrain it from attacking Israeli targets, which may lead to the eruption of internal fighting. In this accord, the opposition points to what .was mentioned in, Arafat's letter to Rabin, which includes the PLO's recognition of Israel, and in which Arafat commits himself to exert authority over all the elements and employees of the Organization to secure their compliance and punish whoever violates the articles of the declaration of principles. Although what was mentioned in the letter is restricted to the elements of the Organization, yet the opposition fronts fear that they are included in this commitment.
The opposing fronts announced that they will not participate m the elections mentioned in the agreement. But the attitudes of the opposition vary. While the "Popular Front For the Liberation Of Palestine" (PFLP) assures that it will not participate in the elections in any form, the Democratic Front (DFLP) distinguishes between participating in represen¬tative elections, which is the right of all members of the Palestinian people, and consequently may be accepted by the Democratic Front, and the appointing elections for the autonomy, which they oppose. The attitude of Hamas towards participation in the elections will be defined by the nature of the elections, while the Jihad Movement opposes these elections in general and in particular.
The announced or current attitudes of some of the opposing factions do not necessarily reflect their real attitudes towards the agreement or to specific issues in it, such as elections, or dealing with the authority emerging from the agreement.
In the past, some of these Fronts have changed their previous attitudes. The best example of this is the attitude of both the (PFLP) and the (DFLP) which initially opposed Resolution 242; but later on their acceptance of 242 became one of the Fronts' claims to be a party to the peace process.
After Israel recognized the PLO, and the PLO entered the negotiations, one of the main reasons for opposing the negotiations disappeared, and if the PLO succeeds in convincing Israel to stop the settlements, another reason for the opposition would also be eliminated.
The most recent Jordanian decision concerning the official disengagement between the two parties, the Palestinian and Jordanian, in the Jordanian-Palestinian joint delegation and the independence of the Palestinian delegation to the peace negotiations, removes a third reason for the opposition to the negotiations.

The Attitude of the Street:

The Palestinian street received the agreement with a mixture of support and reservation; the support, in particular, came because the PLO itself conducted the negotiations with Israel, where the poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, several days after the publication of the agreement (10.9.93), revealed that the ratio of supporting this agreement in general reached around 65 percent while only 28 percent opposed it, and the rest said they were not sure.
The reservations occurred because the majority of the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip do not believe that this agreement will lead to the establishment of a Palestinian State and because more that 60 percent believed that discussing the issues of Jerusalem, settlements, and refugees should not be postponed to the "permanent status" negotiations, while an overwhelming majority (82 percent) said that a referendum of the Palestinian people concerning the agreement should be carried out. The results of the poll clarified that concerning the conditions of mutual recognition, there is a Palestinian support and reservation. Around 57 percent supported altering the National Charter to achieve an official Israeli recognition of the PLO, while the percentage of support for ending the Intifada did not exceed 47 percent.
Although a strong opposition to the agreement exists, and although there are important reservations on some of its articles even among its supporters, the poll points shows that there is an overwhelming majority (almost 80 percent), which calls for expressing opposition through a democratic dialogue only, while the ratio of those supporting violence did not exceed 13 percent. Even among those opposing the agreement such as those sympathizing with Hamas, Islamic Jihad, People's Party, and the Democratic Party, the ratio of those supporting violence did not exceed 18 percent. The smallness of this ratio shows that predictions of a civil war are exaggerated.
Finally, it should be mentioned that the Palestinian public opinion like any other public opinion, is liable to be influenced by and in conformity with the decisions and policies taken by its leadership, especially if those decisions and policies are accompanied by positive tangible results.

4. Possible Future Scenarios:

Several Palestinians believe that the Palestinian-Israeli Declaration of Principles, places them at the beginning of the road towards establishing their independent state. They see that the Palestinian authority in the Gaza Strip and Jericho will, during the transitional stage, achieve two aims at the same time:-
• enhance its independence and sovereignty and expand the range of its responsibilities over that area.
• extend to the rest of the West Bank, so as to dissolve gradually, the differences between the two areas.
Of course it is possible to imagine both optimistic and less optimistic scenarios.

The optimistic scenario assumes

That the Israeli side is willing to surrender the Arab territories within the permanent status framework.

2. That Israeli opposition to the agreement, especially the opposition of the settlers, will not take violent or provocative forms, and that the problem of the settlements and settlers, whether during the transitional stage or when talking about the permanent status, will be solved. And that the official Israeli side will be ready to suppress any radical opposition from the settlers.

3. That the National and Islamic Palestinian opposition to the agreement will not take a violent form and that, at worst, the Palestinian Security Force will have the ability to suppress any violent armed opposition to the agreement.
It is possible to imagine a situation where the major opposition power Hamas, to maintain its popular base and to benefit from the wide support which it enjoys, is forced to participate in the elections and thus becomes part of the growing Palestinian political system.

4. That the economic situation in the Palestinian territories will develop positively, contributing to a sort of political moderation and future optimism on Palestinian attitudes and aspirations in general, and which will subsequently contribute to creating a political and social stability.
It is also assumed that the majority of the population in the West Bank will feel better personal security, where all negative aspects which accompanied the Intifada in the last period, from burning cars, killing suspects, "protection", recurring strikes and the deterioration of the educational system and others, will disappear.

The less optimistic scenario assumes that the political circumstances after two or three years - at the beginning of the negotiations concerning the permanent status - will not form an effective pressure on Israel to accept the expansion of the Palestinian state to include the rest of the West Bank.
If we assume that Israel does not really intend to give up the rest of the Palestinian territories (now or in future), or that it will not be exposed to strong pressures in future to do so, and that the impetus of Palestinian resistance and challenge will be less in the future than it is today, then it is possible to imagine the status after two or more years becoming as follows:

1. the establishment of an actual Palestinian state in Gaza Strip and Jericho area. It might be possible that within a period not exceeding five years, the Gaza settlements will be evacuated. Most of these settlements are agricultural and in order to survive, need two basic elements: cheap Arab labor and a large amount of water suitable for agriculture. As the Palestinian authority will be capable of controlling the elements of labor entirely, and to a large extent the element of water (the Gaza water will be very saline by that time). It may be assumed that these settlements, on the long run will not be able to survive, (although the Israelis might resort to suggest establishing water desalinization projects in the Strip in the interest of both sides). By the elimination of settlements, it can be assumed that the article in the declaration of principles concerning freedom of Israeli passage to the areas of Gaza and Jericho will be altered in compliance with the new reality.

2. The rest of the West Bank will enjoy autonomy in the ways specified in the agreement, there will be two types of authority: a Palestinian authority, its headquarters possibly in Jericho and responsible for controlling civil affairs, and an Israeli authority responsible for the settlements, security in general, and streets and roads and partially responsible for the water and the bridges. Then there will be a Palestinian-Israeli role-sharing to administer West Bank affairs excluding Jericho, and a suspension of the issue of sovereignty and an Israeli security control.

3. The area of Jerusalem will be outside the autonomy, giving the Palestinian authority (in Jericho), specific administrative responsibilities some of which are administrating the affairs of the Waqf and the Holy Mosque and being concerned with the affairs of the civil administration of the Palestinian population who will be considered citizens of the Palestinian authority.

4. The leadership of the organization, its offices, institutions and military forces would have moved from the outside to the inside to prepare for the establishment of the state, and an effective Palestinian authority with the ability of control. Most probably, the leadership of the organization will establish a Palestinian Government and that the Organization itself will become a symbolic framework with no authority whatsoever. The factions may be transformed to movements and political parties competing for power, leading to:

a) A radical change on the agenda of the Organization - the Palestinian Government to reflect the interests of its new basis. The concerns and problems of the Diaspora (right of return/right to self- determination) will not have top priority despite all good intentions. The Diaspora will lose its political leadership, its factions and military forces and will become less capable of making its opinion heard and mobilize its potential.
The priorities of Gaza and the West Bank will become the priorities of the Organization-Government: more independence and internal control, provide the requirements of the infrastructure, achieve economic growth, fighting poverty and unemployment, absorb tens of thousands of returnees, facing Islamic "extremism", provide security to the new political system, etc.

b) The conversion of the Palestinian Forces inside the territories for police/intelligence work to achieve two Israeli goals immediately: thwarting any Palestinian security threat against Israel from the outside, and the coordination of these forces themselves with Israel to thwart any internal Palestinian security threat (from Muslims or opposing Nationalists) against Israel.
When the negotiations concerning the permanent status commence, Israel might be ready to accept that the establishment of a Palestinian state in Gaza and Jericho as unavoidable. But most probably, it will not be ready for this in the rest of the West Bank, Jerusalem, and settlements existing outside Gaza.
The Israelis may insist on not surrendering sovereignty over Jerusalem at all. They may also insist on refusing to withdraw from the rest of the West Bank (note how the agreement does not contain any mention to the principle of "land for peace" when referring to Resolution 242), as well as refusing to dismantle most of the settlements.
The Israelis may suggest a compromise solution: Israeli withdrawal from most of the remaining occupied territories in the West Bank and the establishment of a Palestinian State on it, to be united in a confederation with Jordan, in return for the Palestinian acceptance of annexing to Israel Jerusalem and significant areas of the West Bank (around 15 percent of the West Bank land), including the majority of the Israeli settlements.
As it is expected that the Palestinians might not accept this solution immediately, it is possible to assume that the status of the rest of the West Bank will remain as is to a large degree, which means
1. Suspended sovereignty
2. Palestinian-Israeli joint rule - condominium
3. Israeli security control.
It is possible to assume that the territories of the autonomy will be less stable, and violence aimed at Israelis may increase. A bloody Palestinian¬-Palestinian struggle may also occur as a result of which the Palestinian authority would tighten its control in the face of the increase of Islamic and National impetus, seeking to liberate it from the rest of the occupation by using violence. The settlers may make trouble, to create this instability for the same purpose. The Israeli government may not find in this instability a threat to its strategic interests and may even encourage it.
Under these circumstances, what will happen to the Palestinian citizens of the autonomy territories in the West Bank?
A gradual population emigration from these territories toward the territories of the Palestinian state can be assumed in search of hoped for stability, for jobs in state institutions, for more economic and political rights and privileges, moving away from contacts with Israelis, and seeking to obtain a passport to travel and search for a better life in Jordan, Europe or America.
The Palestinian emigration may lead to enhancing Israeli control, on the territories of the autonomy in the long run, and the Palestinians may find, in the end, that accepting the Israeli suggestion concerned with annexing part of the West Bank is the lesser evil.
How can the articles of the agreement now be altered to remove some or all these fears?

First, to deal with the problems resulting from the security problem, the following two solutions could be suggested giving the priority to the first, and with full realization of the difficulty of achieving it.

• To remove the Gaza Strip settlements completely and not to grant the Israeli Army and citizens the right of entry and exit. Entry and exit check points in the Strip should be under Palestinian control, whereby only Israelis who do not present a security threat or provocation may enter with Palestinian permission.
• If this cannot be achieved, the following is possible:
(a) Evacuating the settlements existing outside the Gush Qatif Group, most important of which are the settlements of Netsarim, Kfar Darom and the Beit Lahia group.

(b) Connecting the settlements of Gush-Qatif by two roads only, one of which is internal, within the settlements' area itself and connecting the settlements within the area with each other. The other road connecting the settlements with Israel in such a way that it does not pass through any Arab territory, except the junction point of this road and the main Palestinian road which connects Rafah with Gaza.

(c) Limiting the use of these two roads to the settlers, the Israeli Security Forces and the Palestinian Security Forces whose responsibility on these two roads is to prevent Israeli threats against Palestinian internal security. Therefore, cooperation between the Palestinian Security Forces and the Israeli Army concerning the movement of the latter on these two roads, is expected.

(d) Ensuring that all Israeli movements on other Palestinian roads should be within the framework of joint Palestinian - Israeli patrols and that these movements should be restricted to:
emergency and legal purposes only, and
for a period not exceeding two years, after which the Israeli Army will stop using these roads.

(e) Giving the Palestinian Security Forces the authority to prevent the settlers from entering Palestinian camps and villages or using the streets, if these forces see that this entry or usage may form a security threat or provocation to the Palestinians.

(f) Reaching a clear understanding regarding the security responsibilities as well as clarifying the following:
1. The party that will be in charge of the agreed upon security procedure: Palestinian Security Forces, Israeli Forces, or a Joint Force.
2. The type of the agreed upon security procedure: collecting information, lodging complaints, arresting, shooting, investigating, etc.
3. The party that may threaten or provoke: civil Palestinians, non-civil Palestinians, ordinary Israelis, settlers, army or Israeli security forces.
4. Type of threat or provocation: armed assaults for political purposes, provocations (such as shooting in the air), armed or unarmed assaults for criminal intentions.
5. The place where the security threat or provocation took place: within Palestinian controlled territories, Palestinian territories, where Israeli control over internal security such as settlements exist, Palestinian territory where a joint security supervision exists.

(g) When agreeing on the security responsibilities concerning the two parties, the following should be taken into consideration:

1. In case a threat occurs in the territories under Palestinian control, the Palestinian Security Authorities should be responsible for the entire security arrangements. In the worst circumstances, Joint Forces could carry some of these duties.

2. In case a threat occurs in territories where internal security is controlled by the Israeli Authorities, these authorities can be responsible for security arrangements on the principle of reciprocal treatment, in case Israelis are offered any privileges as in the Joint Forces, for example.

3. In cases where accused persons escape to the other party after carrying out offensive operations, the principle of reciprocal treatment should be implemented.

Second, regarding the issues concerned with the Palestinian opposition, the following can be suggested:

1. The Palestinian authority should adopt a free irrevocable democratic system where the suppression of freedom is prohibited, where the opposition may express its opinion, and where it finds the opportunity open for achieving its goals without resorting to violence.

2. The formation of a Palestinian representative election system, which allows a proportional representation of all opposing parties and does not make accepting the Declaration of Principles, or part of it, as a condition for participating in these elections. The election system should guarantee an equal chance of winning for all the various Palestinian parties, disregarding their attitude towards the Declaration of Principles and the agreements annexed to it or emanating from it.

3. Guaranteeing the opposition's right to express its opposition to the Palestinian Authority and to the Palestinian - Israeli Agreement and to continue their resistance against the Israeli occupation or the settlements presence through non-violent methods. Non-violent resistance is a legal act in any democratic system, and the Palestinian opposition may find that within the new circumstances, this type of resistance may be more effective than violence.

Third, in the political field, the Palestinians should strive for following:

(1) Gradually enhancing the independence of the areas of Gaza, Jericho and the sovereignty over them, by dealing with the issues of settlement, external security, foreign affairs, control over all borders and routes, full control over roads and streets, and building a defense force capable of protecting the borders and prohibiting infiltration.

(2) Gradual elimination of the differences and borders between the areas of Gaza and Jericho and the rest of the West Bank, beginning with the further redeployment of Israeli forces, which will eventually be limited to one or two positions only in the entire West Bank area. This should be accompanied by complete Palestinian control over internal security and roads.

(3) Establishing a network of relations, institutions and communications in the city of Jerusalem, aiming at enhancing the Palestinian control over it. This should begin by opening the city to free movement and unlimited travel for Palestinians from all territories, and connecting Jerusalem to the services and institutions of the Palestinian Authority by opening branches to the offices of this authority in the city.

(4) Finding a mechanism to connect the institutions and jobs of the PLO to the jobs and institutions of the Interim Palestinian Authority in a way which complements and enhances each other without dissolving one into the other.

The continuous existence of the PLO and its performance on Palestinian land and in the Palestinian Diaspora to serve the Palestinian "interior" or "exterior" will enhance the unity of the Palestinians wherever they are.

Translated from the original by Khuloud Totah