[IMRA: Below is the complete text of an item prepared by the PA’s media center.

Please note the difference between the comments below and the commitment by Yasser Arafat in that first letter to Yitzchak Rabin on September 9, 1993 (and as repeated in the agreements): “The PLO commits itself to the Middle East peace process, and to a peaceful resolution of the conflict between the two sides and declares that all outstanding issues relating to permanent status will be resolved through negotiations.”]

Palestine Media Center (PMC) Sunday, June 17, 2001

Today 17 June, Palestinian chief of Preventive Security in the West Bank, Colonel Jibreel Rajoub held a press conference at the Palestine Media Center (PMC). The conference addressed the continued Israeli settlers’ attacks and Israeli breaches of the ceasefire work plan.

The Colonel began by stating that the Palestine National Authority had announced a ceasefire in response to a number of Arab, regional, and international initiatives – the last of which was Mr. Tenet’s plan – that aimed to put an end to the bloodshed in the area. “Working with it [the work plan] represents a serious effort on the part of the Palestinian leadership, to establish a ceasefire in preparation for political negotiations.”

Col. Rajoub added, “For the Palestine National Authority (PNA), a ceasefire means the following: First, an end to all aggressions, beginning with the use of a firearm and ending with using warplanes. Secondly, a ceasefire means reining in on the Israeli settlers’ actions and their continued attacks against the Palestinian civilians’ persons, property, and pride throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Thirdly, an end to all aggressions against the Palestinian land, including razings, building new Israeli settlements or enlarging the existing ones. Fourthly, an end to all the humiliating actions taken against our civilians on the Israeli occupation army’s checkpoints. A ceasefire also means that it would apply to all the Palestinian land, whether it remains under Israeli occupation or is currently under Palestinian control.”

He emphasized, “Occupied East Jerusalem is included to this area because of its status as an occupied Palestinian territory. Any aggression against our civilians in these areas constitutes a breach of the ceasefire.”

Col. Rajoub emphasized the PNA’s commitment to the enforcement of the ceasefire as a first step towards reestablishing political negotiations. He elaborated that in order to enforce the ceasefire, two things must be achieved. “The first being the removal of all the elements of tension in the area, including the siege, closures, releasing all the political prisoners, and putting an end to all [Israeli] settlement activities and controlling the Israeli settlers’ actions. The second issue is the immediate and serious return to negotiations, governed by a set time-table so that the Palestinian People can once again have hope for their future.” The Col. stressed that without the implementation of these two items, the “result would only be a temporary truce, after which the region would once again explode.”

The Colonel pointed out that the government must decide whether it considers the ceasefire applicable to the settlers or not. The Col. emphasized that the Israeli settlers’ attacks during the past week can only be considered as “a clear violation of the ceasefire”.

Col. Rajoub then emphasized that the Palestinian leadership and political forces “are united in their commitment to secure the success of the ceasefire.” However, the ceasefire can not continue while the closure, settlement activities, and continuous aggressions against the Palestinian People persist, the Colonel explained.

The Colonel underscored that the Palestinian leadership made its objections to certain items of the work plan known. Most important of these, according to Mr. Rajoub, is the Palestinian leadership’s rejection of creating buffer zones.

Mr. Rajoub also stated that all actions, present and future, shall be guided by international law and relevant United Nations resolutions. The Col. concluded by emphasizing that the American intervention came once an all out explosion in the region became eminent. He stated, “the application of international law and legitimacy is the only way to secure stability in the region. However, if Israel does not respect the sincere international efforts to bring about stability and peace to the region, it will bring calamity upon the entire region”.

The Conference concluded at 12:30 p.m.