Protocol Concerning the Redeployment in Hebron

Protocol Concerning the Redeployment in Hebron

Protocol Concerning the Redeployment in Hebron, also known as The Hebron Protocol or Hebron Agreement, began January 7 and was concluded from January 15 to January 17 1997 between Israel, represented by Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), represented by PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, under the supervision of US Secretary of State Warren Christopher, for redeployment of Israeli military forces in Hebron in accordance with the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (the "Interim Agreement" or "Oslo II") of September 1995.


The protocol was part of a series of diplomatic accords. Additional Israeli-Palestinian documents related to the Oslo Accords are:

*"Protocol on Economic Relations, signed in Paris on April 29, 1994
*"1994 Cairo Agreement on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area" (May 4 1994),
*"1994 Washington Declaration" (July 25 1994),
*"Agreement on Preparatory Transfer of Powers and Responsibilities Between Israel and the PLO" (29 August 1994),
*"Protocol on Further Transfer of Powers and Responsibilities signed at Cairo on August 27, 1995
*"Protocol Concerning the Redeployment in Hebron" (January 15/January 17 1997)
*"Wye River Memorandum" (October 23 1998)
*"Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum" (September 4, 1999),
*"Taba summit" (January 27, 2001).


Prime Minister Netanyahu met with Chairman Arafat at the Erez Checkpoint in the presence of US negotiator Dennis Ross. The protocol was initialed at 2 A.M. by Israeli chief negotiator General Dan Shomron and Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat. [ [!OpenDocument UN Doc] Chronological Review of Events January 1997] The agreement called for:
#An IDF withdrawal of 80% of Hebron within ten days.
#By March 7 Israel would begin the first phase of withdrawal from rural areas in the West Bank.
#Eight months after the first stage, Israel would carry out the second phase of the withdrawal.
#The third phase was to have been completed before mid-1998. In this phase Israel would withdraw from the remaining parts of the West Bank apart from "settlements and military locations."

Within two months of the Hebron Accord, Israel and the PA would begin negotiations on the permanent status agreement to be completed by 4 May 1999. The U.S. interpretation of the accord is contained in a "Note for the Record" and the U.S. commitments to Israel are contained in a letter from Secretary of State Christopher to Prime Minister Netanyahu. The Knesset approved the protocol on 16 January by a vote of 87 to 17, the Labor opposition voting with the government.

The Hebron protocol represented significant gains for the Palestinians. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu betrayed some of his supporters in his Likud party. In reality the Likud was endorsing the notion of "land for peace". The Israelis did gain some from the agreement, in the details of the redeployment arrangements and in the right of Jewish settlers to remain in Hebron. Israel did not obtain control of the redeployment's scope, notwithstanding American reassurance.

Complex agreement

The protocol was a complex set of arrangements that consisted of a number of segments, in chronological order:
#The "Agreed Minute" of January 7, 1997
#The "Note for the Record" of January 15, 1997
#The actual "Protocol Concerning the Redeployment in Hebron" of January 17, 1997
#A "Letter to be provided by US Secretary of State Warren Christopher to Benjamin Netanyahu at the time of signing of the Hebron Protocol" on January 17, 1997
#An "Agreement on Temporary International Presence in Hebron" (TIPH) on January 21, 1997

"Agreed Minute"

The "Agreed Minute" was concluded on January 7, 1997, and in it Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat agreed that the process of reopening an important street in the West Bank town of Hebron, the Shuhada Road, would begin immediately, and would be completed within four months. This work would take place in conjunction with the implementation of the main Hebron Protocol.

"Note for the Record"

This note stated that Netanyahu and Arafat met on January 15, 1997, in the presence of the U.S. Special Middle East Coordinator Dennis Ross. They requested him to prepare a "note for the record" to summarize what had been agreed to at their meeting: That the Oslo peace process (1993) must move forward to succeed and that they had concerns and obligations about the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip ("Interim Agreement") of 1995. Accordingly, the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to implement the Interim Agreement on the basis of reciprocity and, in that context, conveyed the following undertakings to each other:

Israeli responsibilities

The Israeli side reaffirmed its commitments to further redeployment in phases. Prisoner release issues would be dealt with in accordance with the Interim Agreement's provisions. Negotiations on the following outstanding issues from the Interim Agreement would be immediately resumed in parallel: safe passage; Gaza Airport; Gaza port; passages; economic, financial, civilian and security issues. Permanent status negotiations would be resumed within two months after implementation of the Hebron Protocol.

Palestinian responsibilities

The Palestinian side reaffirmed its commitments to: Complete the process of revising the Palestinian National Charter; Fighting terror and preventing violence; Strengthening security cooperation; Preventing incitement and hostile propaganda; Combat systematically and effectively terrorist organizations and infrastructure Apprehension, prosecution and punishment of terrorists; Confiscation of illegal firearms. The size of Palestinian police would be in keeping with the Interim Agreement. Exercise of governmental activity, and location of Palestinian governmental offices, would be as specified in the Interim Agreement.

Protocol concerning the redeployment in Hebron

In accordance with the provisions of the Interim Agreement both parties agreed on this protocol for the implementation of the redeployment in Hebron.

ecurity arrangements

#The redeployment of the Israel Defense Forces in Hebron would be carried out in accordance with the Interim Agreement and the Protocol. Redeployment would be completed not later than ten days from the signing of this Protocol. During these ten days both sides would exert every possible effort to prevent friction.
#The Palestinian police would assume responsibilities in Area H-1 similar to those in other cities in the West Bank; and Israel would retain all powers and responsibilities for internal security and public order in Area H-2. In addition, Israel would continue to carry the responsibility for overall security of Israelis.
#Special security arrangements would apply adjacent to the areas under the security responsibility of Israel and in the area between the Palestinian police checkpoints.
#Agreements about joint security measures calling for joint mobile units would be operating in this area, armed with equivalent types of light weapons.
#Palestinian police stations or posts would be established manned by a total of up to 400 policemen, equipped with 20 vehicles and armed with 200 pistols, and 100 rifles for the protection of the police stations.
#Protection of holy sites: The Cave of Othniel Ben Knaz/"El-Khalil"; Elonei Mamre/"Haram Er-Rameh"; Eshel Avraham/"Balotat Ibrahim"; and Maayan Sarah/"Ein Sarah". The Palestinian Police would be responsible for the protection of the above Jewish holy sites.
#Both sides reiterated their commitment to maintain normal life throughout the city of Hebron and to prevent any provocation or friction that may affect the normal life in the city.
#The Imara would be turned over to the Palestinian side upon the completion of the redeployment and would become the headquarters of the Palestinian police in the city of Hebron.
#Both sides reiterate their commitment to the unity of the City of Hebron, and their understanding that the division of security responsibility would not divide the city.

Civil arrangements and transfer of civil powers

#The transfer of civil powers and responsibilities that had yet to be transferred to the Palestinian side in the city of Hebron in accordance with the Interim Agreement would be conducted concurrently with the beginning of the redeployment of Israeli military forces in Hebron.
#The two parties were equally committed to preserve and protect the historic character of the city in a way which does not harm or change that character in any part of the city. The Palestinian side had informed the Israeli side that in exercising its powers and responsibilities, it was taking into account the existing municipal regulations especially concerning construction regulations.
#The Palestinian side would inform the Israeli side, 48 hours in advance of any anticipated activity regarding infrastructure which might disturb the regular flow of traffic on roads. The Israeli side might request, through the DCL, that the Municipality carry out works regarding the roads or other infrastructure required for the well-being of the Israelis in some areas.
#The Palestinian side would have the power to determine bus stops, traffic arrangements and traffic signalization in the city of Hebron.
#Plainclothes unarmed municipal inspectors would be on duty.
#Municipal services would be provided regularly and continuously to all parts of the city of Hebron, at the same quality and cost. The cost would be determined by the Palestinian side with respect to work done and materials consumed, without discrimination.


#There would be a "Temporary International Presence in Hebron" (TIPH). Both sides would agree on the modalities of the TIPH, including the number of its members and its area of operation.

Letter from Secretary Christopher

The full name of this part of the Hebron Protocol is: "Letter to be provided by U.S. Secretary of State Christopher to Benjamin Netanyahu at the time of signing of the Hebron Protocol" which stated as follows (shortened version):

:Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

:I wanted personally to congratulate you on the successful conclusion of the "Protocol Concerning the Redeployment in Hebron." It represents an important step forward in the Oslo peace remains the policy of the United States to support and promote full implementation of the Interim Agreement...on the basis of reciprocity...I have impressed upon Chairman Arafat the imperative need for the Palestinian Authority to make every effort to ensure public order and internal security within the West Bank and Gaza Strip...I have advised Chairman Arafat of U.S. views on Israel's process of redeploying its forces, designating specified military locations and transferring additional powers and responsibilities to the Palestinian Authority...the United States' commitment to Israel's security is ironclad and constitutes the fundamental cornerstone of our special relationship. The key element in our approach to peace, including the negotiation and implementation of agreements between Israel and its Arab partners, has always been a recognition of Israel's security requirements...I would like to reiterate our position that Israel is entitled to secure and defensible borders, which should be directly negotiated and agreed with its neighbors.

"Agreement on the Temporary International Presence in Hebron"

The Hebron protocol brought in the "Temporary International Presence in Hebron" (TIPH) as a third part. This was supposedly in response to the Israeli terrorist Dr. Baruch Goldstein, who killed 29 Palestinian worshipers in Hebron in 1994, and so the Israelis agreed to the Palestinian demand for an outside observer in Hebron. The Interim Agreement had provided that as part of the redeployment of Israeli military forces in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, there would the establishment of a Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH). During the period between the conclusion of the Interim Agreement and the Hebron Protocol, the two sides invited Norway to send a group of 50-60 Norwegians to act as an "advance TIPH" preparing for the new TIPH to be established following the redeployment. Under an Agreement dated May 9, 1996, the Norwegian personnel arrived and commenced their operation. When the Hebron negotiations were completed and signed, it also provided that the TIPH would consist of up to 180 persons from Norway, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey, with Norway being responsible for the coordination of the TIPH's activity.

The task of the TIPH was to monitor and report on efforts to maintain normal life in Hebron, to provide a feeling of security among the Palestinians of Hebron and to help promote stability. In addition, the TIPH personnel were to assist in the promotion and execution of projects, to encourage economic development and growth in the city and to provide reports. The TIPH had no military or police functions.

The TIPH members were identifiable by their distinctive khaki uniforms and the special emblem on their uniforms and vehicles. Practical aspects of their operation and activity were set out in a memorandum of understanding concluded by the participating countries with the agreement of the two sides.

External links

* [ Text of Agreed Minute]
* [ Text of Note for the Record]
* [ Text of Protocol Concerning the Redeployment in Hebron]
* [ Full Text of Letter to be provided by U.S. Secretary of State Christopher to Benjamin Netanyahu at the time of signing of the Hebron Protocol]
* [ Text of Agreement on the Temporary International Presence in Hebron]
* [ What was the Hebron Protocol and Agreement in 1997?]


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