U.S. Finds Palestinians in Violation, But Waives Sanctions

(JTA) For the first time, the White House has officially determined that the Palestinians are not in compliance with agreements signed with the United States and Israel. However, President Bush immediately waived any sanctions required by law, invoking national security as the reason. According to the State Department's semiannual report on Palestinian compliance, the Palestinians have not complied with the requirements to recognize the right of Israel to exist in peace and security, solve all disputes through negotiation and peaceful means, and renounce the use of violence. The 12-page State Department report found that "the PLO has not complied with its commitments to assume responsibility over all PLO elements and personnel to assure their compliance with the renunciation of the use of terrorism, prevent violations, and discipline violators." It also found that PA officials have supported violence "as a proper path towards an acceptable end to the conflict, even as they called for renewed negotiations." "There is strong evidence that some members of the PA security forces were allowed to continue serving even though their participation in terrorist incidents was well known," the report said. The Middle East Peace Commitments Act, included in the State Department Authorization Act that was signed this year, changed the process for assessing Palestinian compliance and made it harder for the administration to avoid a conclusive yes or no finding with regard to compliance.

2002-12-04 00:00:00

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