JERUSALEM — The interim agreement for extending Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank effectively ends 28 years of Israeli civil administration of the region. In doing so, it lays out a complex set of arrangements to be carried out over a period of months.
A key provision of the 400-page accord calls for the election of an 82-member Palestinian Council. The election will take place after the redeployment of the Israel Defense Force from Palestinian cities and towns across the West Bank. Once the council is inaugurated, the Israeli civil administration in the West Bank will be dissolved.
The Palestinian Council will have legislative powers, while executive powers will be vested in a separate Executive Authority that will include council members and appointed officials. There will be separate elections for the council and the authority.
Other principal features of the interim agreement include:
*Israeli redeployments: The IDF will withdraw from six West Bank population centers — Nablus, Jenin, Tulkarm, Kalkilya, Ramallah and Bethlehem — designated "Area A."
In the West Bank town of Hebron, the IDF will be allowed to remain in the sections of the town where Jewish settlers reside.The IDF will also redeploy from 450 Arab villages and towns in the West Bank, known as "Area B."
The IDF redeployments will be completed in Areas A and B by March 1996, when Israel will have completed construction of a road enabling Jewish settlers in Hebron to drive to Jerusalem without going through built-up Palestinian areas.
In West Bank sections known as "Area C" — comprising unpopulated areas, Jewish settlements and areas of strategic importance to Israel –the IDF will conduct redeployments in six-month intervals after the inauguration of the Palestinian Council.
*Security: The Palestinian Council will have responsibility for internal security and public order in Area A.
In Area B, the Palestinian Council will maintain public order and authority over civilian affairs; Israel will have authority to safeguard its citizens and combat terrorism.
Israel will retain responsibility for security and public order in Area C.
*Prisoner releases: Israel will release 3,000 Palestinian prisoners in two phases: The first will take place upon the signing of the agreement in Washington,D.C.; the second, on the eve of Palestinian elections.
*Palestinian Covenant: Within two months after the elections, the Palestinian Council will revoke articles in the covenant calling for the destruction of Israel.
*Palestinian police: The two sides agreed to the establishment of a 12,000-member Palestinian police force, which will constitute the only Palestinian security force in the West Bank.
*Religious sites: Responsibility over religious sites in the West Bank and Gaza will be transferred to the Palestinians. Both sides agreed to protect the sites, to allow free access to them and to provide freedom of worship at the sites for members of all faiths.
Special arrangements to guarantee freedom of access and worship were negotiated with regard to Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem and Joseph's Tomb in Nablus.
The Israelis will retain control over Hebron's Tomb of the Patriarchs, where settler Baruch Goldstein massacred praying Muslims.
*Water: Israel agreed to increase the amount of water allocated to West Bank Palestinians by 36.4 million cubic yards. Any other addition in allocations to either side will be based on an increase in the available water resources.
*Incitement: Israel and the Palestinians agreed to use all the legal means at their disposal to prevent incitement on the part of groups or individuals.