IDF to begin West Bank redeployment in February

JERUSALEM — The Israel Defense Force will begin redeployment in the Jenin district of the West Bank during the week of Feb. 11-17, 1996 in the first of seven stages of redeployment, according to the just-signed interim peace pact.

Appendix 1 to the general Declaration of Principles on "Redeployment of Israeli Military Forces" states this first phase will be followed by "further redeployment," contingent upon developments, and the orderly and effective completion of phase one.

The appendix, part of a broader addendum, as well as major portions of the Oslo Accords obtained recently by The Jerusalem Post, include details and timetables of redeployment and the special guidelines on Hebron.

According to the timetables, there will be seven stages beginning with Jenin, then Tulkarm (Feb. 18-24), Nablus (Feb. 25-March 2), Kalkilya (March 3-9), Ramallah (March 10-16), Bethlehem (March 17-24), and finally Hebron (March 24-30).

Senior army sources confirmed that the seven-stage plan was proposed by the IDF's planning branch and central command, but added that while dates refer to actual redeployment, preparations commence as early as next month. The document also allows that "both sides may agree on changes to the above."

While Article V describes general features of the agreement, Article VII, titled "Guidelines for Hebron," describes the redeployment in detail.

It begins with a general introduction: "There will be a redeployment of Israeli military forces in the city of Hebron except for places and roads where arrangements are necessary for the security and protection of Israelis and their movements."

The general timetable for redeployment in Hebron, it states, "will be completed not later than six months after the signing of this agreement."

As for Palestinian police in Hebron, Clause 2.c. states that "Palestinian police stations or posts will 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 those stations."

Clauses 3 to 6 describe the nature and mechanism of relations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, as well as the powers and limitations of the Palestinian police.

Clause 7, detailing measures to be taken to normalize life in Hebron's old city, includes opening the wholesale market, removing the barrier on the road leading from Abu Sneineh to Shuhade, and reopening the main entrance to the Islamic College.

Clause 10 affirms the presence of an international force in the city.

Regarding deployment of Palestinian police in cities from which the IDF will withdraw, the agreement stipulates that, "During the interim period, the total number of policemen of the Palestinian police in all its branches in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip will be no more than 30,000, out of which up to 12,000 will be deployed in the West Bank."

The largest number of policemen will be in Nablus and Ramallah (1,200 in each) while the smallest number (400) will be allowed to deploy in Tulkarm and Kalkilya.