Monday, April 28, 2014

PLO spokesman declines to say rockets in Gaza violation of agreement?‏

IMRA:  Here in clear language is the "commitment" of the PLO that applies to rockets and missiles in the Gaza Strip:
Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza StripWashington, D.C., September 28, 1995

CHAPTER 2 ARTICLE XIV 4.  Except for the arms, ammunition and equipment of the Palestinian Police described in Annex I, and those of the Israeli military forces, no organization, group or individual in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip shall manufacture, sell, acquire, possess, import or otherwise introduce into the West Bank or the Gaza Strip any firearms, ammunition, weapons, explosives, gunpowder or any related equipment, unless otherwise provided for in Annex I.

Annex I ARTICLE IV 5. c. In the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Police will
possess the following arms and equipment:
(1) 7,000 light personal weapons;
(2) up to 120 machine guns of 0.3" or 0.5" caliber; and
(3) up to 45 wheeled armored vehicles of a type to be agreed on between the two sides, and of which 22 will be deployed in protecting Council installations.
The following is the exchange so far between IMRA and Xavier Abu Eid,
Negotiations Affairs Department in Palestine
27 April 2014
SMS and e-mail to: Xavier Abu Eid, Negotiations Affairs Department in Palestine:
Question:I wanted to know if PLO position is that PLO commitments do not prohibit the deployment of rockets in Gaza Strip.
Dr. Aaron Lerner.  IMRA
2nd SMS: Please confirm question received
SMS reply:
Yes sir, today you'll have a response. Thanks
E-Mail Reply:
From: Xavier Abu Eid
Sent: Sunday, April 27, 2014 2:12 PM
To: Dr. Aaron Lerner
Subject: RE: Question from IMRA
Mr. Lerner,
Regarding your question, I would refer you to the statements made by
President Abbas and by Dr. Hanan Ashrawi on behalf of the PLO Executive
1) The PLO remains the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian
2) The new Palestinian government will be a transitional government, formedby independent professionals and entrusted with the task of preparing for elections, delivering services, and building institutions.
3) The new government will adhere to the PLO political program and will not engage in negotiations or political decision making.
4) We reaffirm that national reconciliation and negotiations are not
mutually exclusive but are rather mandatory steps in order to achieve a just and lasting peace based on international law.
5) The terms of the national reconciliation agreement are clear: Palestine honors its commitments, respects international law and continues its popular nonviolent resistance against the Israeli occupation.
President Mahmoud Abbas has reaffirmed that the government of Palestine supports the right of our people to resist the Israeli occupation through the use of non-violent methods. The new government will be based on the Doha and Cairo Agreements, where President Abbas reiterated: " We have asserted,
and we assert once more, our principled position on renouncing violence and categorically denouncing terrorism in all its forms."
I hope this answered your question.
E-Mail and SMS reply:
From: Dr. Aaron Lerner
Sent: Sunday, April 27, 2014 3:21 PM
To: Xavier Abu Eid
Subject: Please reply explicity Question from IMRA
I asked if the deployment of rockets in the Gaza Strip is prohibited by PLO commitments and instead of answering about the rockets you refer me to statement that the PA will honor commitments without explicitly identifying if the deployment of rockets conflicts with honoring these commitments.
Am I to report to my readers that for se reason the PLO declines to
explicitly say something about the legality of rockets in the Gaza Strip or will you be getting back to me with a clarification?
To be clear: the question I raise goes to the very core of international
concerns about the national reconciliation, namely what is the practical meaning on the ground of the statement "Palestine honors its commitments".
Now if you were to simply reply that "the PLO is committed to a series of agreements the it signed under which the deployment of missiles is
prohibited" that would be straightforward.
But if on the other hand you opt to avoid taking a stand on the rockets and missiles in the Gaza Strip then this is indeed a very different (and equally newsworthy) matter.
Best regards
IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis
Since 1992 providing news and analysis on the Middle East with a focus on Arab-Israeli relations

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