Temporary International Presence in Hebron

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1 Temporary International Presence in Hebron

2 About TIPH TIPH is a civilian observer mission stationed in the West Bank city of Hebron. It is an organization that was called for by the Israeli government and the Palestinian authority in 1997 to support them in their efforts to improve the situation in Hebron. TIPH monitors the situation in Hebron and records breaches of international humanitarian law, the agreements on Hebron between Israel and the Palestinian authority and human rights, in accordance with internationally recognized standards. The reports are not public. They are legally assessed and presented with questions for clarification to the Israeli Defence Forces and to the Palestinian Police Forces. TIPH follows up violations in order to receive a satisfactory answer. TIPH communicates its findings not only to the Israeli and Palestinian authorities but also to the six member states of TIPH (Norway, Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, Denmark and Sweden), which then can use diplomatic channels to widen the dialog concerning the situation in Hebron. Every six months the Israeli government and the Palestinian authority decide if they want to renew the mandate of TIPH and - accordingly - sign an extension of the agreement.

3 The two parties agreed that TIPH should be the neutral witness on the ground who monitors and reports on the situation. TIPH personnel has no military or police functions and does not intervene in disputes, incidents or activities conducted by the Israeli or Palestinian side. However, TIPH works actively to remind the parties of their obligations under the agreements and works towards problem solving through dialog with the parties. TIPH financed by its member countries.

4 What TIPH does TIPH conducts daily patrols in Hebron, both on foot and by car. The patrols monitor the situation, write reports on incidents and follow up cases. By their presence at friction points and in the streets, the patrols sometimes have a calming effect. According to the agreements, TIPH patrols have freedom of movement in the city of Hebron and can only be stopped in exceptional cases for a limited period of time only. Typical TIPH reports concern violence and harassment around settlements, shooting incidents and misconduct by police or soldiers, house searches, prolonged ID-checks and restrictions of freedom of movement. Another part of the daily work of TIPH is to support projects in the city. Even if it is not an aid organization as such TIPH encourages development and economic growth in Hebron and supports several organizations projects. The projects that TIPH supports are of various nature, but all support the idea of maintaining normal life in the city. TIPH has for instance sponsored education; health and protection projects that promote the maintenance of normal life.

5 The area TIPH is working in corresponds with the map included in the Oslo Accords from 1995, marking boundaries of responsibilities between Israeli and Palestinian authorities in Hebron. TIPH can only report on events that happen inside this area or incidents outside, which have effects in the area. TIPH relates to Hebron as one undivided city - including the settlements and the Ibrahimi Mosque / Cave of Machpela. Halhul Bridge Al-Ahli hospital TIPH HQ Hebron University Hebron Municipality Bab Al-Zawya Kiryat Arba Settlement Old Souq Ibrahimi Mosque / Cave of Machpela Industrial Zone

6 The agreements After the massacre in the Ibrahimi Mosque / Cave of Machpela on 25 February 1994, when the Jewish settler Barush Goldstein shot and killed 29 Palestinians, the UN Security Council called for an international presence in Hebron. As a part of the Oslo process representatives from the PLO and the state of Israel signed the first agreement on a presence of international observers in March The current Temporary International Presence in Hebron was agreed upon in January 1997 after the signing of the Protocol for the Redeployment in Hebron.

7 The following agreements have been signed regarding Hebron and TIPH: Oslo I agreement, 13 September An international presence in Hebron is outlined. UN Security Council Resolution 904, 18 March Condemns the massacre in the Ibrahimi Mosque and calls for an international presence. Oslo II agreement, 28 September Article VII of Annex I specifically deals with the situation in Hebron and a number of solutions are agreed upon. Protocol for the Redeployment in Hebron, 17 January This document regulates the division of security responsibility in Hebron and both sides commit to maintain normal life in Hebron for all. Agreement on the Temporary International Presence in the City of Hebron, 21 January 1997, states the mandate of TIPH and how the organization works. Memorandum of Understanding on the Establishment of a Temporary International Presence in Hebron, 30 January 1997, states the mandate and is signed by the contributing countries and agreed to by the parties. The agreements can be found at the TIPH web site

8 A brief history Hebron is a holy city for the Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths. It is also known as the city of the Patriarchs. Abraham is believed to have lived in Hebron around 1800 BC. Both his and his wife Sarah s graves are found under the Ibrahimi Mosque / Cave of Machpela in the old town of Hebron. Since the 16th century there was a Jewish community in Hebron, living side by side with the Palestinians. In August 1929, during

9 the British mandate period, approximately 67 of the city s Jewish population were massacred. The British police evacuated the surviving Jewish population. After the war of 1948, Hebron came under Jordanian rule which lasted until the war of 1967 when Hebron was occupied by the Israeli army.

10 Since 1968 there is a Jewish settler community in Hebron. Today approximately 500 settlers live in different settlements in the old city centre and another 7000 live in bigger settlements on the outskirts of the city. Today Hebron is the largest industrial city in the West Bank with over inhabitants. Since TIPH was agreed upon, following the massacre of 1994, the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and in the region has deteriorated significantly. Several points in the agreements of 1997 have been breached since the first signing of the documents. Also the work of TIPH has been interfered with in different ways during the years. In the Oslo agreement the city was divided in two areas: Area H1 was controlled by the Palestinians and area H2 controlled by the Israelis. Violence escalated in the city during the second Intifada, with daily clashes and attacks from both Palestinian and Israeli sides. In April 2002 IDF took full control of the entire city. Permanent watchtowers were constructed in area H1 in Since then the Israeli army operates over the entire area in violation of the agreements. More than 100 roadblocks, fences, walls and checkpoints are put up in the city center around the settlements and the access roads to them. This separates the Jewish settlers and the Palestinian residents. Furthermore it severely hampers the freedom of movement. Due to the restrictions and violence surrounding the settlements as well as prolonged curfews, large areas of the old city are deserted. Several main shopping streets are closed by military order.

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12 The observers TIPH has members from Norway, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland and Turkey. The mission members have various backgrounds, some are police or military officers, others academics and specialists in different fields. There are both Arabic speakers and Hebrew speakers working for TIPH. Both men and women serve in TIPH for periods between 6 and 18 months. All members are sent to Hebron and TIPH by their country s foreign ministry. They are here as civilian observers on the request of the Israeli government and the Palestinian authority. TIPH members have special status and immunities and cannot be searched or arrested. TIPH members wear uniform in order to be easily recognized and visible. The cars TIPH uses are clearly marked on all sides with the red and white emblem of TIPH.

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14 Contact TIPH Web site: Telephone: Fax: Visiting address: Al-Zagal Building Al-Medina Al-Munawwara St. Ras Al-Joura, Hebron Postal address: TIPH P.O. Box Jerusalem Press and Information Office:

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