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Source: Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly
23 April 2002

Situation in the Middle East

Doc. 9421

23 April 2002


Political Affairs Committee

Rapporteur:Mr Mikhail Margelov, Russia, European Democratic Group

I. Draft resolution

1. The Assembly is deeply concerned at the tragic and dangerous worsening of the situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories. It is appalled at the daily-growing death-toll occasioned by the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, shares the grief of the families of the victims on both sides and declares its support for them.

2. It unreservedly condemns all acts of terrorism, regardless of the reasons put forward to justify them, and particularly the suicide attacks by Palestinian extremists.

3. Respect for international humanitarian law is the first duty of any state which aspires to be democratic and claims to belong to the international community. In this connection, the Assembly points out that the observer status which the Israeli Knesset enjoys with it is an acknowledgement of Israel’s commitment to respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

4. While recognising and respecting the legitimate right of the State of Israel to protect its own security and that of its citizens, the Assembly considers the action taken by its army in the Palestinian territories inappropriate, and condemnsthe indiscriminate anddisproportionate use of force.

5. The Assembly condemns the Israeli forces’ systematic destruction of Palestinian infrastructure, and considers that action of this kind makes it impossible for the Palestinian authorities to exercise power, and fans hatred of Israel. It strongly opposes the dismantling, on the pretext of combating terrorism, of the Palestinian Authority, Israel’s internationally recognised partner in the political process.

6. It is profoundly disturbed by reports of violations of international humanitarian law committed by the Israeli army while operating in the Palestinian territories, and particularly the refugee camp at Jenin. It supports the Security Council’s decision to set up an international commission of enquiry to determine the facts and establish responsibility.

7. It is also disturbed by reports of cases of lynch law carried out on alleged Palestinian collaborators.

8. The Israeli authorities’ practice of liquidating alleged terrorists without trial, as well as assassinations of Israeli officials by Palestinian terrorists, should be firmlycondemned. No law-governed state can allow itself to commit political murders.

9. A comprehensive settlement in the Middle East should include withdrawal from the occupied Arab territories, the establishment of a Palestinian state, and guarantees for Israel’s security and that of all the states and peoples of the region.

10. The Assembly stresses the importance of Resolution 1397 (2002) of the United Nations Security Council, and shares its “vision of a region where two States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side within secure and recognized borders”. There should be guarantees for the security of both States, and co-operation between them should be promoted and supported by the international community.

11. It reaffirms its support for Mr Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian People’s historical and recognized leader, and Chairman of the Palestinian Authority, and considers it unacceptable that he should be isolated in his residence by the Israeli forces and deprived of the means and possibility of discharging his obligations.

12. It calls on the international community to provide the Palestinian Authority with emergency humanitarian aid, and help it to rebuild its infrastructure and restore its capacity to govern as a matter of urgency. It urges the donor countries and international funding agencies to renew their commitments to the Palestinian Authority, while ensuring that those means are used solely for peaceful purposes.

13. The Assembly thinks it important to devise forms of international presence in the Palestinian territories which both sides can accept. In this connection, it welcomes the initiative recently taken by the Secretary General of the UN, and calls on the Israelis to accept it.

14. The Assembly strongly urges the Israeli and Palestinian sides to:

a. declare a ceasefire without further delay, and fully implement Resolutions 1397, 1402 and 1403 of the UN Security Council;

b. implement the Tenet and Mitchell plans immediately and fully, it being understood that a resumption of the political process, coupled with a ceasefire and co-ordinated action on security, offers the only hope of a break-through in the present crisis;

c. co-operate whole-heartedly with the international mediators and their special envoys;

d. put an end to the confrontations in the vicinity of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

15. The Assembly calls on the Government of Israel to:

a. halt the military operations immediately and withdraw its troops from the Palestinian territories;

b. raise the blockade on Mr Arafat’s residence immediately and again make it possible for him to discharge all his obligations – including those relating to anti-terrorist action – unhindered;

c. fully respect all the norms of international humanitarian law, do everything possible to protect the civilian population, and give the humanitarian organisations as well as the international media free access to the Palestinian territories;

d. put an end to the establishment of settlementsand remove all existing settlements, which are an obstacle on the path to constructive political dialogue.

16. The Assembly calls on President Arafat and the leaders of the Palestinian Authority:

a. to make full use of their authority and powers in ceasing all attacks against Israelis forthwith;

b. to take appropriate measures in order to arrest and to bring to justice persons responsible for terrorist acts, ensuring the right to a fair trial for all those charged and arrested;

c. to take all available measures to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure, including the networks financing the terrorists, and the ideological support amongst the Palestinian population;

d. to put an end to incitements to violence, of any kind, against the Israeli people;

e. to instruct Palestinian representatives to resume cooperation with the Israeli authorities on security;

f. to recognise and accept the sovereignty and independence of the State of Israel.

17. The Assembly wouldwelcome a more active commitment to resolving the Middle East conflict on the part of the United States. It believes that unilateral initiatives in the Middle East cannot succeed and voices its backing for the coordinated efforts of the United States, the Russian Federation, the European Union and the United Nations Organisation.

18. The Assembly finds the results of the meeting of the "quartet" of international mediators in Madrid on 10 April 2002 encouraging and is satisfied that they have confirmed the need for coordination between the main protagonists, developed a joint policy platform and established the principle of parallel action for security measures and the political process.

19. The Assembly sees the role of the United Nations Security Council as particularly important and considers that the UN provides the most appropriate machinery for overcoming the conflict.

20. The political position of the Arab countries elaborated at the Beirut summit on the basis of the original plan ofCrown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is an important step towards identifying a fair and comprehensive settlement for the region. The Assembly encourages allthe member countries of the Arab League to maintain their backing for that position.

21. The Assembly remains convinced that, while international mediation efforts are highly important, Israel and the Palestinian Authority bear the main responsibility in securing the final settlement, and should resume direct dialogue without conditions. Contacts at parliamentary level could play a crucial role in this.

22. The Assembly calls on the Knesset and the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) to deploy their political authority to ensure that human rights and humanitarian law are respected, and to insist that any rights violations be painstakingly investigated and punished.

23. The Assembly decides to focus its official contact with Israel on questions concerning the resumption of political dialogue between the parties in the conflict. It considers that the committee meetings in Israel, except those which contribute directly to the political process, are not timely and must therefore be postponed until the situation has returned to normal.

24. The Assembly confirms its decision to invite representatives of the PLC to participate in its proceedings whenever the Middle East is on the agenda and decides to explore the possibility of granting the PLC a status permitting greater involvement in the Assembly's activities.

II. Explanatory memorandum by the Rapporteur

I. Introduction

1. Since the Parliamentary Assembly adopted Resolution 1245(2001) on the Middle East conflict in April 2001, the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians has steadily worsened and has, in the last two months, reached a critical threshold, beyond which there is a danger of its degenerating into all-out war and destabilising the entire region.

2. At its meeting in Paris on 5 April 2002, the Political Affairs Committee decided that the Assembly could not remain silent in the face of this murderous crisis. Without claiming to be exhaustive, the present report constitutes a contribution to the emergency debate called for by the Committee, and includes a brief reminder of the principal events and developments in the Middle East since April 2001, as well as some pointers for possible action by the Assembly.

3. The Middle East conflict is marked by daily, grave violations of the values which the Council of Europe, and especially its Assembly, have the task of defending: human rights and, above all. the right to life. The fact that this is happening outside the Council of Europe “zone” makes no difference: the Middle East has powerful historical, economic, cultural, human and many other ties with Europe.

4. Above all, however, there can be no justification for our Assembly’s failing to react to this crisis, which again finds Israelis and Palestinians locked in mortal confrontation. The Assembly’s role is not to apportion guilt, but to speak out and use its links with the parties to the conflict in an effort to find a solution which both can accept.

5. Here, we should remember that our Assembly plays host to a delegation from the Israeli Knesset with observer status. That status is an acknowledgment of Israeli society’s democratic character and of its commitment to the Council of Europe’s basic values. There is a danger, however, that the events associated with the present crisis may cast doubt on this commitment.

6. Our Israeli colleagues are regularly involved in the work of the Assembly and its committees, and are fully aware that we utterly condemn all terrorist and anti-Semitic acts, and have always sought to aid the victims of these barbarities. But they also know how deeply the Assembly is committed to respect for human rights, dignity and integrity, and must understand our profound indignation at any violation of these essential values, which the fight against terrorism can never serve to justify.

7. Moreover, the Assembly has for years been trying to develop sustained relations with Palestinian elected representatives, and has decided to invite representatives of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) to attend sessions and committee meetings at which the Middle East is discussed. The time has now come to associate PLC members more closely with the Assembly’s work and use this as a way of conveying to the Palestinian people, through their political leaders, our message that terrorist acts must stop and peace be concluded with Israel.

II. Developments in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in 2001-2002

8. The current worsening of the conflict has its roots in the July 2000 break-down of the Camp David talks between the leaders of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and the Israeli Government, led by Mr Barak. After the failure of those negotiations, a second intifada began in autumn 2000. The new Israeli Government, formed by Mr Sharon in the wake of the elections of February 2001, looked to force to resolve the crisis.

9. The Israeli authorities have adopted a radically new approach to settlement of the conflict. The Israeli response to Palestinian action has escalated, relying on air strikes and the use of heavy weapons, and targeting the areas controlled by the PNA.

10. The Palestinians have multiplied their attacks on Israeli settlers and soldiers, and are waging full-scale guerrilla warfare. Attacks by suicide bombers, with civilians the main target, have become an almost daily occurrence.

11. Following the murder of the Israeli Minister of Tourism, Mr Zeevi, on 17 October 2001 by Palestinian terrorists, “in reprisal for” the killing of the PFLP leader Abu-Ali Mustafa, the Israeli authorities declared that they regarded the PNA as actively supporting terrorism, and described its leader, Yasser Arafat, as “irrelevant”. In December 2001, Israeli tanks encircled the city of Ramallah and cut Mr Arafat off in his residence. In April 2002, the Israeli authorities stopped European and Russian representatives from meeting him.

12. At the end of March 2002, following another murderous terrorist attack, the Israeli army launched a large-scale operation on the Left Bank, the declared aim being “total dismantling of the Palestinian infrastructure of terror” - a term which the Israelis apply to Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, but also to the official Palestinian police and, in fact, all the Palestinian institutions.

13. Since the conflict worsened, reports by representatives of various international organisations, including the United Nations (Special Representative for the Peace Process in the Middle East, Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and other agencies) and the International Red Cross, as well as humanitarian NGOs, have repeatedly spoken of serious violations by Israeli forces of the international laws applying to armed conflicts. The most serious appears to have been the destruction of the Palestinian refugee camp at Jenin, where several hundred people, including numerous civilians, were reportedly killed.

14. The Israeli army’s operations in the Palestinian territories have been paralleled by a resurgence of tension along the “blue line” between Israel and the Lebanon.

III. Efforts by the international community

15. In May 2001, an international committee led by the former US senator, George Mitchell, drew up a set of recommendations to the parties to the conflict, the aim being to stop the violence, restore confidence and restart the negotiations. In June 2001, the CIA’s Director, George Tenet, produced a working security plan to supplement the Mitchell recommendations. The Israelis and the Palestinians accepted both texts, but all attempts to start implementing the Tenet/Mitchell plan have so far failed.

16. On 12 March 2002, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1397, calling for an immediate halt to all acts of violence and terror, and for implementation of the Tenet/Mitchell plan. For the first time, this text speaks of the co-existence of the two states, Israel and Palestine, within recognised and secure boundaries. In late March/early April 2002, two further security Council resolutions called for an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Palestinian towns.

17. Since autumn 2001, the international community’s efforts in the region have been co-ordinated by a “Quartet” of the four chief mediators – the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations. On 10 April 2002, it held a meeting in Madrid, at which the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, the Russian Foreign Minister, Igor Ivanov, the Spanish Foreign Minister, Josep Pique, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Policy and Security, Javier Solana, and UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, were also present. The declaration adopted at the end of that meeting insisted that the Security Council’s resolutions must be implemented forthwith, stressed that security measures and the political process should be parallel, and reaffirmed support for Chairman Arafat as the Palestinian people’s elected and acknowledged leader.

18. At a Security Council session on 18 April 2002, the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, proposed that a multinational force be deployed in the region to fill the power vacuum left by the Israeli army’s destruction of the PNA’s infrastructure. Israel regards this initiative as inappropriate, and the United States has indicated that it will oppose it.

19. Mention should also be made of the proposal put forward in February 2002 by Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, who suggested that the Arab countries should agree to permanent normalisation of their relations with Israel in return for the latter’s withdrawal from all the occupied territories. This initiative was supported by the Arab League at its Beirut Summit in March 2002, and also by the Quartet.

20. At present, therefore, the international community’s efforts are mainly focused on ending the confrontation, securing complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Palestinian territories, and restarting direct dialogue between the parties to the conflict. As the US Secretary of State’s recent mission has shown, intransigence on both sides is proving a serious obstacle. This being so, the international community’s active involvement is vital to compelling Israelis and Palestinians to start moving towards a political settlement.

IV. Conclusions

21. In view of the deterioration of the situation, the Assembly should make a resolute call for an immediate halt to acts of violence and terror in the Middle East and voice its backing for the international community's efforts to bring an end to hostilities and open the way for resumption of the political process.

22. It must also exploit its links with the parties in the conflict to urge them to take measures facilitating that resumption.

23. In addition, it should readjust the balance in its relations with the Israelis and the Palestinians. Without calling into question the Knesset delegation's observer status with the Parliamentary Assembly, which would be counter-productive, the Rapporteur believes it necessary to remind the Israelis that this status supposes their active commitment to respect for human rights and humanitarian law by their country.

24. The Rapporteur shares the view of certain members of the Assembly that, until such time as the political process is resumed and the situation returns to normal, it should refrain from organising committee meetings in Israel, other than those directly helping to put the process back on track.

25. Finally, the Rapporteur believes that the decision to invite representatives of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) to participate in its proceedings whenever the Middle East question is on the agenda is a first step towards a closer relationship with Palestinian elected representatives. That relationship should be used to pass on to the Palestinians our dedication to human rights, our rejection of all forms of terrorism and our wish to see the Middle East at peace. It is necessary, therefore, to seek means of involving the PLC more closely in the Assembly's activities.

Reporting committee : Political Affairs Committee

Reference to committee : Request for an urgent debate, Reference No. 2714 (22.04.2002)

Draft resolution adopted by the committee on 23 April 2002 with 2 votes against and 2 abstentions

Members of the committee : Jakic (Chairman), Baumel (Vice-Chairman), Feric-Vac (Vice-Chairperson), Spindelegger (Vice-Chairman), Aliyev (alternate: Seyidov), Andican, Arzilli, Atkinson (alternate: Chapman), Azzolini, Bakoyianni (alternate: Liapis), Bársony (alternate: Eörsi), Behrendt, Berceanu (alternate: Baciu), Bergqvist, Bianco, Björck, Blaauw (alternate: van der Linden), Blankenborg, Bühler, Cekuolis (alternate: Olekas), Clerfayt, Daly, Diaz de Mera, Dreyfus-Schmidt, Durrieu (alternate: Lemoine), Frey, Glesener, Gligoroski, Gönül, Gross (alternate: Fehr), Henry (alternate: Goris), Hornhues (alternate: Lörcher), Hovhannisyan, Hrebenciuc, Iwinski, Judd, Karpov, Kautto, Klich, Koçi, Lloyd, Loutfi, Margelov, Martinez-Casan, Medeiros Ferreira, Mignon (alternate: Goulet), Mota Amaral, Mutman, Naudi Mora, Neguta, Nemcova, Oliynyk, Paegle, Pangalos, Pourgourides, Prentice, Prisacaru, de Puig, Ragnarsdottir, Ranieri (alternate: de Zulueta), Rogozin (alternate: Nazarov), Schloten, Severinsen, Stepová, Surjan, Timmermans (alternate: Zwerver), Toshev, Udovenko, Vakilov, Vella, Voog, Weiss, Wielowieyski, Wohlwend, Wurm, Yarygina, Zacchera (alternate: Malgieri), Ziuganov (alternate: Popov), Zhvania.

N.B. The names of members who took part in the meeting are printed in italics

Secretaries of the committee : Mr Perin, Mr Sich, Mr Chevtchenko, Mrs Entzminger


Chronology of Events

(April 2001 – April 2002)



1.- The Israeli army enters autonomous Palestinian territory for the first time, near Ramallah, to capture members of Yasser Arafat’s bodyguard team.

16.- A radar station in Dahr-el-Baïdar (east of Beirut) is the target of an Israeli air attack, following the killing of an Israeli soldier by Hezbollah. This is the first direct attack on Syrian forces in Lebanon since 1982.

26.- The Palestinian Authority orders the disbanding of the Popular Resistance Committees, a Fatah grouping responsible for the shelling of Israeli settlements in the night of 18-19 April.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopts Resolution 1245 on the Middle East conflict.


15.- The Israelis celebrate the 53rd anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel, which Arabs call Naqba (the Great Catastrophe). Four Palestinians are killed and over 200 others injured when protest marches degenerate into confrontations with Israeli soldiers.

18.- A Hamas suicide bomb attack at the entrance to a packed shopping centre in the Israeli seaside resort of Netanya kills five, including the bomber, and leaves over 70 injured. Tsahal retaliates by sending F-16 fighters to bomb Ramallah, Nablus and Tulkarem in the West Bank.

19.- The Arab league calls on Arab countries to suspend “all political contacts with the Israeli government so long as the Israeli aggression against, and blockade of,” the Palestinian people continue.

21.- The report by the Mitchell Commission charged with determining the causes of the Intifada is officially presented. It advocates the freezing of Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and calls for an end to the violence.


1.- A suicide bomb attack outside the entrance to a discotheque in Tel Aviv leaves 20 dead and over 100 injured, making it the deadliest terrorist attack since 1996.

24.- Ariel Sharon makes an official visit to the United States and holds talks with President Bush for the first time since becoming Israeli Prime Minister on 7 March. Differences emerge regarding the freezing of Israeli settlement activity in the Palestinian territories and the conditions for the application of the Mitchell report. Ariel Sharon states that nobody should compromise with terror.

28.- At the end of a visit to the Middle East, the American Secretary of State, Colin Powell, obtains Israeli and Palestinian agreement to an outline timetable for the resumption of negotiations. The numerous clashes between Israelis and Palestinians prevent the implementation of the timetable.


31.- In Jerusalem, the Israeli police occupy most public places, while in Nablus in the West Bank, an explosion destroys Hamas’ premises, confirming Israel’s declared policy of eliminating Palestinian militants involved in attacks.


9.- A suicide bomb attack in the heart of West Jerusalem claimed by Islamic Jihad kills 18, including the bomber, and leaves over 80 injured. In retaliation, the Israeli police occupy Orient House, the PLO’s unofficial headquarters in East Jerusalem.

27.- The conflict takes on a new dimension with the liquidation by Israel of a high-ranking Palestinian leader, Abu Ali Mustapha, head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The Palestinian Authority sees this as “a provocation to all-out, unlimited war.”


17.- Yasser Arafat says he has issued “strict orders” to enforce a ceasefire with Israel. The next day, the Israeli army suspends its “offensive” operations against Palestinians.

26.- At the close of a meeting between Yasser Arafat and Shimon Peres, the Israelis and Palestinians decide to resume their security co-operation to consolidate the ceasefire.


2.- George W Bush voices his clearest support for the establishment of a Palestinian state since coming into office, on condition that it recognises Israel’s right to exist.

18-21.- In retaliation for the assassination of the Israeli Minister for Tourism, Rehavam Zeevi, the Israeli army occupies the outskirts of six towns under Palestinian control in the West Bank, including Ramallah, Jenin and Bethlehem. Over 40 Palestinians are killed in a week.


5.- Yasser Arafat and Shimon Peres meet in Brussels for talks under the aegis of the European Union.

29.- A Palestinian killed by the Israeli army near Nablus becomes the 1000th person killed since the start of the Intifada 14 months earlier.


1-2.- Three suicide bomb attacks in West Jerusalem and Haifa (northern Israel) leave 26 Israelis dead and over 200 people injured.

4.- Israel mounts raids of an unprecedented scale on the Palestinian territories, killing at least two and leaving over 100 injured, including 60 school pupils in Gaza. Ariel Sharon accuses Yasser Arafat of being directly responsible for the attacks on the previous days and prevents him from leaving Ramallah.

12-15.- Three Palestinian attacks in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip leave 13 dead. Israel launches massive retaliatory attacks against Palestinian Authority installations (F-16 attacks in Gaza near to Yasser Arafat’s offices) and decides to break off all relations with Yasser Arafat, whom it accuses of not doing anything against terrorism and describes as “politically irrelevant”.

24.- The Israeli Government bans the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority from travelling to Bethlehem in the West Bank to attend Christmas mass as he has done every year since 1995.



3.- The Israeli army announces the interception in the Red Sea of the Karine A, a ship carrying 50 tonnes of weapons, which Jerusalem claims were destined for the Palestinian Authority.

9.- An attack by Hamas against an army checkpoint in southern Israel on the border with the Gaza Strip ends the truce in force since 16 December. Four Israeli soldiers and the Hamas members are killed.

10-14.- The Israeli army and police destroy several dozen Palestinian homes in Rafah (Gaza Strip) and East Jerusalem.

11.- Israeli army bulldozers enter autonomous Palestinian territory and destroy the runway of Gaza airport, one of the main symbols of Palestinian aspirations to statehood.

15.- The armed wing of Hamas threatens to resume its attacks against Israel unless the Sharon government lifts the restrictions on Yasser Arafat’s freedom of movement.

16.- The Palestinian Authority announces the arrest of Ahmad Saadat, head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the movement that claimed responsibility for the assassination of the outgoing Israeli Minister for Tourism, Rehavam Zeevi, on 17 October 2001.

17.- A Palestinian opens fire in a reception hall in Hadera, north of Tel Aviv, killing six Israelis. The attack is claimed by the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, an autonomous armed grouping linked to Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement. The Israeli army retaliates with air raids on Tulkarem in the West Bank, destroying the governor’s headquarters, and its tanks enter Ramallah.

19.- Tsahal destroys the premises of Palestinian radio in Ramallah.

20-22.- The Israeli army re-occupies the town of Tulkarem.

22.- Hamas vows to wage all-out war on all fronts against Israel after four of its activists are killed by the Israeli army in Nablus (West Bank) in the morning.

23.- Speaking at a plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly, Shimon Peres, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Israel, says that Israel is fighting terrorism, not the Palestinians. He calls on the Council of Europe to work alongside other countries, “not against the rights of the Palestinians, but to save them from their own agony and their own mistakes and to bring an end to terror.” Lastly, he says that Europe is a model for peace in the Middle East.

The same day, at an interparliamentary meeting in Paris, Avraham Burg, Speaker of the Knesset, and Ahmed Qoreï, Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, call for reason and wisdom to prevail so that confidence can be restored between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples.

24.- Speaking at the same part-session of the Parliamentary Assembly, Saeb Erekat, Palestinian Minister for Local Government, calls on the Israelis to return to the negotiating table without preconditions.

25.- A Palestinian suicide bomb attack injures 14 in Tel Aviv, a few hours after three members of the Hamas Islamist movement are killed by the Israeli army in the Gaza Strip. 52 Israeli reserve officers and soldiers announce that they will refuse to serve in the Palestinian territories so as not to take part in operations whose aim is “to dominate, expel, starve, and humiliate an entire people.” Two months later, they number over 500.

27.- For the first time, a female Palestinian suicide bomber kills one Israeli and injures around 10 other people in West Jerusalem.

29.- The European Union notifies the Israeli government of its “firm rejection” of the destruction of Palestinian buildings and infrastructure facilities funded by the Europeans. The EU puts a provisional estimate of over EUR17 million on the damage.

31.- For the first time, Ariel Sharon holds a meeting in his office with the Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Ahmed Qoreï, the PLO second-in-command, Mahmoud Abbas, and Chairman Yasser Arafat’s economic adviser, Mohammad Rachid.


1.- An opinion poll shows the first decline in Ariel Sharon’s popularity for months, although, with 48%, he still enjoys the support of a relative majority of Israelis.

3.- In an interview published in the New York Times, Arafat condemns the “terrorist” attacks on Israeli civilians and indicates his willingness to enter into peace talks with the Hebrew State.

4.- Four members of the armed branch of the DFLP are killed in an explosion in southern Gaza. Israel’s policy of the targeted assassination of Palestinian activists has claimed 80 lives since it was launched in November 2000.

7.- Ariel Sharon makes his fourth visit to Washington since being elected, whereas Yasser Arafat has never been received at the White House since Mr Bush took office.

9.- In response to calls from a coalition of peace movements, 10 000 Israeli pacifists march in Tel Aviv to protest against the occupation of the Palestinian territories and Ariel Sharon’s policy.

11.- Israeli warplanes and helicopters launch missile attacks on Palestinian security force buildings in Gaza in retaliation for an unprecedented Palestinian rocket attack.

13.- Israel launches its largest military operation in the Gaza Strip for 16 months, killing six people in the course of several incursions, while the European Union presents a new peace plan.

17.- In the New York Times, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Abdallah reveals a peace offer that provides for “full normalisation” between the Arab world and Israel in exchange for full withdrawal from all occupied territories, including Jerusalem, in accordance with UN resolutions.

Thousands of Israeli pacifists demonstrate in Tel Aviv against the continuation of the Israeli occupation and the violence in the Palestinian territories.

18.- Two Palestinian suicide bomb attacks leave six dead. The Israeli army sends F-16 fighters and tanks into the Palestinian territories in retaliation, killing 11 Palestinians.

19-21. Six Israeli soldiers are killed in an ambush by a Palestinian commando group in Ramallah (West Bank). Large-scale Israeli bombing and air raids follow, killing 28 Palestinians.

Yasser Arafat’s headquarters, which are attacked for the first time since the start of the Intifada, and the Palestinian radio and television station in Gaza are destroyed.

21.- Ariel Sharon announces that Israel is going to set up buffer zones along its borders with the Palestinian territories to ensure the security of Israeli citizens.

24.- The Israeli Cabinet decides not to allow Yasser Arafat to leave Ramallah, where he has been forced to remain since 4 December 2001.

28-2 March.- The Israeli army enters the refugee camps in Balata near Nablus and in Jenin (West Bank): 21 Palestinians and two Israeli soldiers are killed.


2.- Eleven Israelis are killed in an attack by a Palestinian suicide bomber in West Jerusalem.

3.- A Palestinian marksman kills seven Israeli soldiers and three settlers at a military checkpoint in the West Bank. Four Palestinians are killed in the Israeli riposte.

4-7.- The Israeli army raids refugee camps, blows up a car in which the family of a Hamas militant are travelling and opens fire on an ambulance. 34 Palestinians are killed in all.

5.- Marwan Barghuti, the head of Fatah in the West Bank, calls on Palestinians to attack all Israeli army checkpoints.

The same day a bomb explodes in the yard of an Arab school in East Jerusalem. A Jewish group claims responsibility, stating its aim was to revenge the death of Jewish children.

8.- The highest death toll in a single day since the beginning of the Intifada, with 46 victims (40 Palestinians and 6 Israelis). The Israeli army seizes control of Bethlehem. Ariel Sharon says he is ready to negotiate a cease-fire with the Palestinian authority while "under fire". Yasser Arafat calls for immediate intervention by the United States.

9.- Fourteen Israelis are killed in two suicide bomber attacks in Jerusalem and Netanya. The second Intifada, in which 1,442 (the vast majority Palestinians) have died over seventeen months, has now killed more people than the first Palestinian uprising from 1987 to 1993, in which slightly more than 1,420 died.

9-12.- Over 2,000 Palestinians are taken prisoner during Israeli incursions into refugee camps in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

11.- Sharon's government lifts restrictions on movement by Yasser Arafat in the West Bank and Gaza.

12.-15.-The Israeli army re-occupies Ramallah: 27 Palestinians, one Israeli and an Italian photographer are killed.

13.- Resolution 1397, the first to mention the existence of "two States, Israel and Palestine, [living] side by side within secure and recognized borders", is adopted by the UN Security Council with 14 votes for and Syria abstaining.

14.- The American envoy Anthony Zinny returns to Jerusalem, with instructions from President George W. Bush to secure a decrease in violence, and if possible a cease-fire. His two earlier attempts in December and January failed.

Ariel Sharon orders his army's staged withdrawal from Ramallah.

15.- Demonstrations against Israel and the United States in a number of Arab countries.

17.- The fifteen EU member states adopt the Barcelona Declaration on the Middle East, calling for urgent implementation of Security Council Resolution 1397 and, in particular, of the demand for an immediate cessation of all acts of violence. The EU Council also asks that all remaining restrictions on Yasser Arafat's freedom of movement be lifted. On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it states that the overall objective is two-fold: "the creation of a democratic, viable and independent State of Palestine, bringing an end to the occupation of 1967, and the right of Israel to live within safe and secure boundaries, guaranteed by the commitment of the international community, and in particular the Arab countries."

20-21.- Eleven people die and over sixty are injured in two Palestinian suicide bomber attacks.

25.- Israel refuses Yasser Arafat permission to attend the Beirut summit if he does not provide tangible proof of his commitment against terrorism.

27.- A suicide bomber attack on a hotel in Netanya, Israel, kills 22 people, in addition to the perpetrator, and injures over 100. With this bloodbath the number of Israeli victims of the Intifada exceeds 400, compared with 50 when Ariel Sharon gained power. More than 1,200 Palestinians have been killed.

28.- Despite the empty chair policy adopted by Egyptian president Hosny Mubarak and King Abdullah II of Jordan and a manoeuvre by Syria and Lebanon to prevent Arafat from addressing his peers direct by satellite, the Arab summit in Beirut unanimously approves the Saudi plan for peace in the Middle East.

29.- Ariel Sharon announces that his cabinet will henceforth treat the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority as an enemy to be isolated. About twenty Israeli tanks surround Yasser Arafat's headquarters in Ramallah, and the Palestinian leader is cut off from the rest of the world. Israel implements "Operation Rampart", its campaign against Palestinian activists. 20,000 Israeli reservists are called up.

30.- In Resolution 1402, passed by 14 votes for, with Syria abstaining, the Security Council calls on Israel to withdraw from Ramallah.

31.- Fighting between Israeli soldiers, under orders to "neutralise" the Palestinian leader, and Yasser Arafat's guards inside the Ramallah compound. About forty western pacifists, most of them French, form a "human shield" inside Arafat's besieged offices in an effort to protect him.


The Israeli army re-occupies, and imposes a curfew on, Tulkarem, on the 1st, Bethlehem, on the 2nd, and Jenin and Nablus, on the 3rd. Journalists are banned from these towns, declared military closed areas.

1.- An increase in anti-Israel demonstrations in Arab countries and demonstrations of "solidarity with Palestine's combatant people" in European countries.

Israel tightens its siege on Yasser Arafat's headquarters: the army surrounds the compound with sandbags and barbed wire. Inside, water supplies are running out.

The Muslim countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) accuse Israel of plunging the Middle East into war and call for immediate action by the UN Security Council, even going so far as the use of force.

In a press release Walter Schwimmer, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, condemns acts of violence against Jewish people and property in France and Belgium over the Easter weekend.

3.- The Israeli army continues its offensive in the West Bank, in particular on Bethlehem, where Israeli tanks surround the Church of the Nativity, in which armed Palestinians have sought refuge.

EU foreign ministers hold an emergency meeting in Brussels and decide to send a mission to the Middle East to urge the Israelis and the Palestinians to implement without delay the cease-fire voted by the UN Security Council at the end of March.

Peter Schieder, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, makes a statement on the conflict in the Middle East, saying "the logic of violence and retaliation in the Middle East is devoid of any political logic and threatens to fill the reservoirs of hatred, on both sides, for generations to come."

5.- Walter Schwimmer calls for an immediate end to the escalation of violence in the Middle East.

The Parliamentary Assembly's Political Affairs Committee, meeting in Paris, issues a statement and asks for an urgent debate to be held during the Assembly's April part-session, hopefully with the participation of representatives of the Israeli and Palestinian sides.

4.- While fierce fighting continues in Nablus, Jenin and Bethlehem, Ariel Sharon prohibits a meeting of the EU delegation with Yasser Arafat, who has been holed up in Ramallah for the past week. In the evening George W. Bush calls for an end to the Israeli offensive and announces that he is sending his Secretary of State, Colin Powell, to the region.

The UN Security Council approves the US envoy's mission in its Resolution 1403, urging Israel to withdraw immediately from all the Palestinian towns occupied by the Israeli Defence Forces.

8.- Colin Powell leaves for the Middle East, while, despite repeated US calls for a cease-fire, Ariel Sharon insists that the offensive in the West Bank will continue until the Palestinian militia have been crushed.

At the close of an emergency session, the UN Security Council describes Israel's military campaign as "unacceptable", deeming that it constitutes a breach of international humanitarian law.

9.- Thirteen Israeli soldiers are killed in fierce fighting in Jenin in the West Bank.

Ariel Sharon orders a withdrawal from Tulkarem and Kalkilya and gives Yasser Arafat permission for a meeting with four American diplomats.

10.- 8 people are killed and 20 injured in a suicide bomber attack, for which the armed branch of Hamas claims responsibility.

The European Parliament votes in favour of suspending the EU's trade agreement with Israel in a resolution adopted by 269 votes for and 208 against, with 22 abstentions.

Meeting in Madrid, the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and the Russian Federation together call for immediate withdrawal of Israeli troops from Palestinian towns, underlining the worsening humanitarian situation in the West Bank.

11.- Colin Powell arrives in Jerusalem. Shortly before his arrival, Ariel Sharon reiterates that the military campaign will be pursued until it has achieved its goal.

12.- Meeting between the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, and the Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, who stands by his position and refuses to pull his troops out of the principal Palestinian towns.

Suicide bomber attack on a bus in West Jerusalem in the vicinity of the city's biggest market, a much-frequented district: 6 dead, 30 injured.

14.- Colin Powell has a meeting with Yasser Arafat in his Ramallah headquarters. The chief US diplomat describes the three hours of discussions as useful and constructive, although he has obtained no breakthrough on a cease-fire.

Yasser Arafat accepts Ariel Sharon's proposal for a regional peace conference, sponsored by the United States, with the participation of Israel, Arab countries and Palestinian representatives, on condition that the Israeli troops withdraw immediately from the Palestinian territories.

15. Marwan Barghuti, the head of Fatah in the West Bank, is arrested in Ramallah. He is the most senior Palestinian official to have been arrested since the beginning of the Intifada in September 2000.

Israeli forces enter Tulkarem, despite the Israeli Prime Minister's announcement the previous day that he could pull his troops out of Nablus and Jenin within less than a week.

Colin Powell welcomes Ariel Sharon's proposal for an international peace conference, which the Israeli premier does not want Arafat to attend.

EU foreign ministers, meeting in Luxembourg, reject the idea of calling an emergency meeting of the EU-Israel Association Council. They state that it is the moment to back Colin Powell, who is continuing his peace mission in the Middle East.

The UN Human Rights Commission adopts a resolution, tabled by Arab and Muslim states, which strongly condemns Israel. Passed by 40 votes to five (with seven countries abstaining and one not voting), the resolution denounces massacres and mass killings perpetrated by Israeli soldiers and the death of hundreds of Palestinian civilians, including women and children, summary executions, the settlements, the use of torture during interrogations, attacks on ambulances and medical staff and the demolition of 1,200 Palestinian homes.

17.- The last meeting between the US Secretary of State and Yasser Arafat ends in failure. Colin Powell says Arafat can no longer procrastinate and must take action to halt terrorism. He nonetheless adds that a cease-fire is possible only with an end to the Israeli incursions and the resumption of security talks.

18.- After the failure of Powell's mission, those close to Yasser Arafat turn to the UN Security Council, asking it to pass a new resolution ordering an immediate Israeli withdrawal. The United States announce that they will oppose any further resolution.

Speaking at a closed meeting of the UN Security Council in New York, the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, calls for an armed multinational force to be deployed in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The UN special envoy to the Middle East, Terje Roed-Larsen, calls on Israel to grant humanitarian organisations immediate access to the Jenin refugee camp, to help deal with a situation which he describes as “horrific beyond belief”.

19. – Israeli troops pull out of the Jenin camp, scene of the worst fighting in Operation Rampart. They also put an end to their pre-dawn incursions into two other towns under Palestinian control, Kalkilya and Rafah.

Khaled Tafesh, Hamas leader for the Bethlehem region, arrested.

Suicide attack at an Israeli army checkpoint near the Kissufim crossing: two Tsahal soldiers slightly injured.

The Security Council unanimously adopts a resolution welcoming the dispatch of a team to conduct a full investigation into the Israeli military operation in the Jenin refugee camp.

21.- After three weeks of military operations in the main towns of the West Bank, Ariel Sharon announces the end of Operation Rampart, launched on 29 March to “root out terrorist infrastructures” in the Palestinian areas.

The Israeli army withdraws its forces from most of Ramallah, but says it will continue to blockade Yasser Arafat’s headquarters until he hands over the suspected murderers of the former Israeli tourism minister, whom he is said to be harbouring.


Political Affairs Committee’s statement on the conflict in the Middle East

Paris, 05.04.2002 – The Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly’s Political Affairs Committee, meeting in Paris, adopted this morning the following statement:

“The situation in the Middle East is constantly deteriorating. Despite the efforts of the international community, the authorities of the State of Israel persist in pursuing the military option and are continuing to isolate President Arafat. The Israeli Government’s refusal to allow European emissaries to meet President Arafat constitutes unacceptable provocation. On the Palestinian side, there is no sign of a halt to the most condemnable and immoral suicide attacks. The vicious circle of violence increases the bloody toll of this conflict every day and makes the chance of a just and lasting peace in the region increasingly remote.

The Political Affairs Committee is seriously concerned by this deadly escalation of violence and urges the Israeli Government to gauge the full extent of its responsibility to both its own people and the international community, including the Council of Europe, where the Knesset has observer status with the Parliamentary Assembly.

Violence must cease at once on both sides and give way to a political process, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and in the context of the efforts of the international community, in particular the Tenet work plan and Mitchell Report recommendations.

The United States, the European Union and the Russian Federation must double the efforts aiming at bringing the parties in conflict to the table of negotiations. The Committee welcomes the recent statements by world leaders, and demands the Israeli and the Palestinians to seize this opportunity to resume negotiations on a political settlement.

Furthermore, the Committee is outraged by the increasing number of anti-Semitic acts in recent days in certain European countries, roundly condemns them and expresses its support for their victims.

The Committee asked for an urgent debate to take place during the April part-session of the Parliamentary Assembly, hopefully with the participation of representatives of Israeli and Palestinian sides.”


Press Release

Assembly President's statement on the conflict in the Middle East

Strasbourg, 03.04.2002 – Peter Schieder, President of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, today made the following statement on the conflict in the Middle East:

“The logic of violence and retaliation in the Middle East is devoid of any political logic and threatens to fill the reservoirs of hatred, on both sides, for generations to come. President Arafat is asked to put an end to the terrorist acts against Israel, but, under the present circumstances, he has no possibility to exert his authority and it is difficult to see how he can meet his obligations unless Prime Minister Sharon immediately and radically changes his present military approach, the political aims of which are difficult to understand.

The civilian population is paying the price for their political leaders' failure, or unwillingness, to reach a peaceful solution on the basis of UN Security Council resolutions and other proposals formulated by the international community.

These leaders will, eventually, have to accept political responsibility for their acts, or failure to act, but this will come too late for the many Palestinian and Israeli victims of this meaningless escalation of violence. The killing and destruction must cease immediately, and the United States and Europe, including Russia, as well as Israel's neighbours in the region, bear a definite responsibility in bringing the two sides back to the negotiating table”.


Press Release

Anti-Semitic violence no answer to Middle East conflict - Secretary General

Strasbourg 1.4.2002: Council of Europe Secretary General Walter Schwimmer has condemned acts of violence against Jewish people and property in a number of French cities and in Brussels.

"These are cowardly anti-Semitic attacks that can only add to the cycle of violence and spread the tragic conflict in the Middle East onto the European continent. I strongly condemn them and call for an immediate return to calm and reasonable behaviour," he said.

" It is our duty as Europeans to work towards peace and tolerance throughout the world, not descend into facile tit-for-tat reprisals. We must at all costs stop this conflict spreading into Europe, but also do our utmost to contribute to a return to negotiations instead of a senseless spiral of violence in Israel and Palestine."



Resolutions 1397, 1402, 1403, 1405

United Nations S/RES/1397 (2002)

Security Council

Distr.: General

12 March 2002

Resolution 1397 (2002)

Adopted by the Security Council at its 4489th meeting, on

12 March 2002

The Security Council,

Recalling all its previous relevant resolutions, in particular resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973),

Affirming a vision of a region where two States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side within secure and recognized borders,

Expressing its grave concern at the continuation of the tragic and violent events that have taken place since September 2000, especially the recent attacks and the increased number of casualties,

Stressing the need for all concerned to ensure the safety of civilians,

Stressing also the need to respect the universally accepted norms of international humanitarian law,

Welcoming and encouraging the diplomatic efforts of special envoys from the United States of America, the Russian Federation, the European Union and the United Nations Special Coordinator and others, to bring about a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East,

Welcoming the contribution of Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah,

1. Demands immediate cessation of all acts of violence, including all acts of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction;

2. Calls upon the Israeli and Palestinian sides and their leaders to cooperate in the implementation of the Tenet work plan and Mitchell Report recommendations with the aim of resuming negotiations on a political settlement;

3. Expresses support for the efforts of the Secretary-General and others to assist the parties to halt the violence and to resume the peace process;

4. Decides to remain seized of the matter.

United Nations S/RES/1402 (2002)

Security Council Distr.: General

30 March 2002

Resolution 1402 (2002)

Adopted by the Security Council at its 4503rd meeting,

on 30 March 2002

The Security Council,

Reaffirming its resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 338 (1973) of 22

October 1973, 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002, and the Madrid principles,

Expressing its grave concern at the further deterioration of the situation, including the recent suicide bombings in Israel and the military attack against the headquarters of the President of the Palestinian Authority,

1. Calls upon both parties to move immediately to a meaningful ceasefire; calls for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Palestinian cities, including Ramallah; and calls upon the parties to cooperate fully with Special Envoy Zinni, and others, to implement the Tenet security work plan as a first step towards implementation of the Mitchell Committee recommendations, with the aim of resuming negotiations on a political settlement;

2. Reiterates its demand in resolution 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002 for an immediate cessation of all acts of violence, including all acts of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction;

3. Expresses support for the efforts of the Secretary-General and the special envoys to the Middle East to assist the parties to halt the violence and to resume the peace process;

4. Decides to remain seized of the matter.

United Nations S/RES/1403 (2002)

Security Council Distr.: General

4 April 2002

Resolution 1403 (2002)

Adopted by the Security Council at its 4506th meeting, on

4 April 2002

The Security Council,

Reaffirming its resolutions 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002 and 1402 (2002) of

30 March 2002,

Gravely concerned at the further deterioration of the situation on the ground and noting that resolution 1402 (2002) has not yet been implemented,

1. Demands the implementation of its resolution 1402 (2002) without delay;

2. Welcomes the mission of the U.S. Secretary of State to the region, as well as efforts by others, in particular the special envoys from the United States, the Russian Federation and the European Union, and the United Nations Special Coordinator, to bring about a comprehensive, just and lasting peace to the Middle East;

3. Requests the Secretary-General to follow the situation and keep the

Council informed;

4. Decides to remain seized of the matter.

United Nations S/RES/1405 (2002)

Security Council Distr.: General

19 April 2002

Resolution 1405 (2002)

Adopted by the Security Council at its 4516th meeting,

on 19 April 2002

The Security Council,

Reaffirming its resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 338 (1973) of 22

October 1973, 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002, 1402 (2002) of 30 March 2002, 1403

(2002) of 4 April 2002, and the Statement of its President of 10 April 2002


Concerned by the dire humanitarian situation of the Palestinian civilian population, in particular reports from the Jenin refugee camp of an unknown number of deaths and destruction,

Calling for the lifting of restrictions imposed, in particular in Jenin, on the operations of humanitarian organizations, including the International Committee of the Red Cross and United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East,

Stressing the need for all concerned to ensure the safety of civilians, and to respect the universally accepted norms of international humanitarian law,

1. Emphasizes the urgency of access of medical and humanitarian organizations to the Palestinian civilian population;

2. Welcomes the initiative of the Secretary-General to develop accurate information regarding recent events in the Jenin refugee camp through a fact-finding team and requests him to keep the Security Council informed;

3. Decides to remain seized of the matter.


Joint Statement by UN, Russian Federation, European Union

and United States

Madrid, 10 April 2002

We express our grave concern about the present situation, including the mounting humanitarian crisis and the growing risk to regional security. We reiterate our shared condemnation of violence and terrorism, express our deep distress at the loss of innocent Palestinian and Israeli life, and extend our deepest sympathy to the families of those killed and wounded. Believing that there has been too much suffering and too much bloodshed, we call on the leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Authority to act in the interests of their own people, the region, and the international community and to immediately halt this senseless confrontation.

In this regard, we express our grave concern about the most recent attacks from Lebanon across the UN-determined Blue Line. The Quartet calls on all parties to respect the Blue Line, halt all attacks, and show the utmost restraint. The conflict should not be allowed to spread and threaten regional security and stability.

The UN, EU and Russia express their strong support for Secretary of State Powell's mission, and urge Israel and the Palestinian Authority to cooperate fully with his mission and with their continuing efforts to restore calm and resume a political process.

We reiterate that there is no military solution to the conflict and call on the parties to move towards a political resolution of their disputes based on UNSCR 242 and 338, and the principle of land for peace - which formed the basis for the Madrid Conference of 1991. We re-affirm our support to the objective expressed by President Bush and spelled out in UNSCR 1397, of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side-by-side within secure and recognized borders. We warmly welcome Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah's peace initiative, as endorsed in Beirut by the Arab League, as a significant contribution towards a comprehensive peace, including Syria and Lebanon.

To enable progress towards our shared goals, we reaffirm that UNSCR 1402 must be fully implemented immediately, as called for in UNSCR 1403. We call on Israel to halt immediately its military operations. We call for an immediate, meaningful cease-fire and an immediate Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian cities, including Ramallah, specifically including Chairman Arafat's headquarters. We call on Israel to fully comply with international humanitarian principles and to allow full and unimpeded access to humanitarian organizations and services. We call on Israel to refrain from the excessive use of force and undertake all possible efforts to ensure the protection of civilians.

We call on Chairman Arafat, as the recognized, elected leader of the Palestinian people, to undertake immediately the maximum possible effort to stop terror attacks against innocent Israelis. We call on the Palestinian Authority to act decisively and take all possible steps within its capacity to dismantle terrorist infrastructure, including terrorist financing, and to stop incitement to violence. We call on Chairman Arafat to use the full weight of his political authority to persuade the Palestinian people that any and all terrorist attacks against Israelis should end immediately; and to authorize his representatives to resume immediately security coordination with Israel.

Terrorism, including suicide bombs, is illegal and immoral, has inflicted grave harm to the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people and must be condemned as called for in UNSCR 1373.

We call on Israel and the Palestinian Authority to reach agreement on cease-fire proposals put forward by General Zinni without further delay. We commend the efforts of General Zinni to date to achieve this objective.

The Quartet stands ready to assist the parties in implementing their agreements, in particular the Tenet security workplan and the Mitchell recommendations, including through a third-party mechanism, as agreed to by the parties.

We affirm that the Tenet and Mitchell plans must be fully implemented, including an end to all settlement activity. We affirm that there must be immediate, parallel and accelerated movement towards near-term and tangible political progress, and that there must be a defined series of steps leading to permanent peace - involving recognition, normalization and security between the sides, an end to Israeli occupation, and an end to the conflict. This will allow Israel to enjoy enduring peace and security and the Palestinian people to realize their hopes and aspirations in security and dignity.

In support of these objectives, we call on the international community, particularly the Arab states, to preserve, strengthen and assist the Palestinian Authority, including through efforts to rebuild its infrastructure, security and governance capacity. We call also on the donor community and the international financial institutions to renew their commitment to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people, and to assist in economic and institutional reconstruction. We pay tribute to the courageous efforts of the humanitarian agencies.

We agreed on the need to keep the situation in the Middle East under review by the Quartet at the principal's level through regular consultations. Our Special Envoys will continue their efforts on the ground to assist the parties in reaching an end to confrontation and resumption of political negotiations.

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