||EARLY EMPOWERMENT AGREEMENT|
August 29, 1994
The Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (hereinafter "the PLO"), the representative of the Palestinian people;
WITHIN the framework of the Middle East peace process initiated at Madrid in October 1991;
REAFFIRMING their determination to live in peaceful coexistence, mutual dignity and security, while recognizing their mutual legitimate and political rights;
REAFFIRMING their desire to achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement through the agreed political process;
REAFFIRMING their adherence to the mutual recognition and commitments expressed in the letters dated September 9, 1993, signed by and exchanged between the Prime Minister of Israel and the Chairman of the PLO;
REAFFIRMING their understanding that the interim self-government arrangements, including the preparatory arrangements to apply in the West Bank contained in this Agreement, are an integral part of the whole peace process and that the negotiations on the permanent status will lead to the implementation of Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338;
FOLLOWING the Agreement on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area as signed at Cairo on May 4, 1994 (hereinafter "the Gaza-Jericho Agreement");
DESIROUS of putting into effect the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements as signed at Washington, D.C. on September 13, 1993 (hereinafter "the Declaration of Principles"), and in particular Article VI regarding preparatory transfer of powers and responsibilities and the Agreed Minutes thereto;
HEREBY AGREE to the following arrangements regarding the preparatory transfer of powers and responsibilities in the West Bank:
For the purpose of this Agreement, unless otherwise indicated in the attached Protocols:
- the term "the Palestinian Authority" means the Palestinian Authority established in accordance with the Gaza-Jericho Agreement;
- the term "Joint Liaison Committee" means the Joint Israeli-Palestinian Liaison Committee established pursuant to Article X of the Declaration of Principles;
- the term "Interim Agreement" means the interim agreement referred to in Article VII of the Declaration of Principles; and
- the term "Israelis" also includes Israeli statutory agencies and corporations registered in Israel.
PREPARATORY TRANSFER OF POWERS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Israel shall transfer and the Palestinian Authority shall assume powers and responsibilities from the Israeli military government and its Civil Administration in the West Bank in the following spheres: education and culture, health, social welfare, tourism, direct taxation and Value Added Tax on local production (hereinafter "VAT"), as specified in this Agreement (hereinafter "the Spheres").
- For the purposes of this Agreement, the Palestinian Authority shall constitute the authorized Palestinians referred to in Article VI of the Declaration of Principles.
- The Parties will explore the possible expansion of the transfer of powers and responsibilities to additional spheres.
SCOPE OF THE TRANSFERRED POWERS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- The scope of the powers and responsibilities transferred in each Sphere, as well as specific arrangements regarding the exercise of such powers and responsibilities, are set out in the Protocols attached as Annexes I through VI.
- In accordance with the Declaration of Principles, the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority with regard to the powers and responsibilities transferred by this Agreement will not apply to Jerusalem, settlements, military locations and, unless otherwise provided in this Agreement, Israelis.
- The transfer of powers and responsibilities under this Agreement does not include powers and responsibilities in the sphere of foreign relations, except as indicated in Article VI(2)(b) of the Gaza- Jericho Agreement.
MODALITIES OF TRANSFER
- The transfer of powers and responsibilities in the sphere of education and culture pursuant to this Agreement will be implemented on August 29, 1994. The transfer of powers and responsibilities in the remaining Spheres will be implemented in accordance with Article XI below.
- The transfer of powers and responsibilities shall be coordinated through the Civil Affairs Coordination and Cooperation Committee referred to in Article X below and shall be implemented in accordance with the arrangements set out in this Agreement in a smooth, peaceful and orderly manner.
- Upon the signing of this Agreement, the Israeli side shall provide the Palestinian side with, or enable free access to, all information that is necessary for an effective and smooth transfer.
- On the date of the transfer of powers and responsibilities, Israel shall also transfer all movable and immovable property which exclusively serves the offices of the Civil Administration in the Spheres, including premises, whether government-owned or rented, equipment, registers, files and computer programs. The treatment of property which serves the offices transferred to the Palestinian Authority as well as offices which are not so transferred will be as mutually agreed between the two sides, such as on the basis of sharing or exchange.
- The coordination of the transfer of powers and responsibilities pursuant to this Article shall also include a joint review of the Civil Administration contracts the duration of which extends beyond the date of the transfer with a view to deciding which contracts will remain in force and which will be terminated.
ADMINISTRATION OF THE TRANSFERRED OFFICES
- The Palestinian Authority shall be fully responsible for the proper functioning of the offices included in the Spheres and for the management of their personnel in all aspects, including employment and placement of employees, payment of their salaries and pensions and ensuring other employee rights.
- The Palestinian Authority will continue to employ Palestinian Civil Administration employees currently employed in the offices included in each Sphere and shall maintain their rights.
- The main office of each of the Spheres will be situated in the Jericho Area or in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Authority will operate the existing subordinate offices in the West Bank. The two sides may agree on the establishment of additional subordinate offices in the West Bank, if necessary, in such locations as mutually agreed.
- The Palestinian Authority has the right to coordinate its activities in each of the Spheres with other Spheres in which it is empowered.
RELATIONS BETWEEN THE TWO SIDES
- With regard to each Sphere, the Palestinian Authority shall coordinate with the Civil Administration on issues relating to other spheres in which the Palestinian Authority is not empowered.
- The military government and its Civil Administration shall assist and support the Palestinian Authority in promoting the effective exercise of its powers and responsibilities. In addition, the military government and its Civil Administration shall, in exercising their own powers and responsibilities, take into account the interests of the Palestinian Authority and do their utmost to remove obstacles to the effective exercise of powers and responsibilities by the Palestinian Authority.
- The Palestinian Authority shall prevent any activities with a military orientation within each of the Spheres and will do its utmost to maintain decorum and discipline and to avoid disruption in the institutions under its responsibility.
- The Palestinian Authority will notify the military government and its Civil Administration and will coordinate with them regarding any planned public large-scale events and mass gatherings within the Spheres.
- Nothing in this Agreement shall affect the continued authority of the military government and its Civil Administration to exercise their powers and responsibilities with regard to security and public order, as well as with regard to other spheres not transferred.
LEGISLATIVE POWERS OF THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY
- The Palestinian Authority may promulgate secondary legislation regarding the powers and responsibilities transferred to it. Such legislation includes amendments and changes to the existing laws, regulations and military orders specified in Appendix A to each Annex.
- Legislation promulgated by the Palestinian Authority shall be consistent with the provisions of this Agreement.
- Legislation promulgated by the Palestinian Authority shall be communicated to Israel which may, within a period of thirty (30) days, notify the Palestinian Authority that it opposes such legislation for any of the following reasons:
- it exceeds the powers and responsibilities transferred to the Palestinian Authority;
- it is inconsistent with the provisions of this Agreement; or
- it otherwise affects legislation or powers and responsibilities which were not transferred to the Palestinian Authority.
- Where Israel opposes proposed legislation, it shall specify the reason for the opposition.
- If Israel has no reservations concerning the proposed legislation, it shall accordingly notify the Palestinian Authority at the earliest opportunity. If at the end of the thirty-day period Israel has not communicated any opposition concerning the proposed legislation, such legislation shall enter into force.
- The Palestinian Authority may, in the event of opposition to the proposed draft legislation, submit a new draft or request a review by the Legislation Subcommittee established under the Gaza-Jericho Agreement.
- The Legislation Subcommittee shall attempt to reach a decision on the merits of the matter within thirty days. If the Legislation Subcommittee is unable to reach a decision within this period, the Palestinian Authority shall be entitled to refer the matter to the Joint Liaison Committee. The Joint Liaison Committee shall consider the matter immediately and will attempt to settle it within thirty days.
- Where, upon communicating to Israel proposed legislation consisting of detailed technical regulations, the Palestinian Authority states that such regulations fulfill the requirements of paragraph 3 above and requests a speedy review, Israel shall immediately respond to such a request.
- Legislation regarding the West Bank shall be published as a separate part of any publication of legislation regarding the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area issued by the Palestinian Authority.
- The Palestinian Authority may bring disciplinary proceedings concerning persons it employs in the West Bank before disciplinary tribunals operating in the Gaza Strip or the Jericho Area.
- The Palestinian Authority may, within each of the Spheres, authorize employees to act as civilian inspectors to monitor compliance with laws and regulations in that Sphere, within the powers and responsibilities transferred to the Palestinian Authority. Such inspectors shall operate in each Sphere separately and shall not be organized into a central unit. These inspectors shall not wear uniforms or carry arms, and shall not in any other way have the nature of a police force. They shall be required to carry the identification documentation referred to in paragraph 3 below. The number of employees to be authorized as civilian inspectors shall be agreed upon by both sides. The names of these employees shall be notified to Israel and, where these employees enjoy privileges pursuant to subparagraph 3 below, shall be agreed upon by both sides.
- The Palestinian Authority shall issue the civilian inspectors in the West Bank with identification documentation specifying the office in which they are employed. Such documentation shall be used for identification and will not grant privileges, except those agreed in the Civil Affairs Coordination and Cooperation Committee referred to in Article X below, or immunities. This committee shall determine the format of the identification documenation.
- Except as specifically provided in this Agreement, all powers and responsibilities regarding law enforcement, including investigation, judicial proceedings and imprisonment, will continue to be under the responsibility of the existing authorities in the West Bank.
RIGHTS, LIABILITIES AND OBLIGATIONS
- The transfer of powers and responsibilities to the Palestinian Authority under this Agreement will include all related rights, liabilities and obligations arising with regard to acts or omissions which occurred prior to the transfer. Israel and the Civil Administration will cease to bear any financial responsibility regarding such acts or omissions and the Palestinian Authority will bear all financial responsibility for these and for its own functioning.
- Any financial claim made in this regard against Israel or the Civil Administration will be referred to the Palestinian Authority.
- Israel shall provide the Palestinian Authority with the information it has regarding pending and anticipated claims brought before any court or tribunal against Israel or the Civil Administration in this regard.
- Where legal proceedings are brought in respect of such a claim, Israel will notify the Palestinian Authority and enable it to participate in defending the claim and raise any arguments on its behalf.
- In the event that an award is made against Israel or the Civil Administration by any court or tribunal in respect of such a claim, the Palestinian Authority shall, once the award has been paid by Israel, reimburse Israel the full amount of the award.
- Without prejudice to the above, where a court or tribunal hearing such a claim finds that liability rests solely with an employee or agent who acted beyond the scope of the powers assigned to him or her, unlawfully or with willful malfeasance, the Palestinian Authority shall not bear financial responsibility.
- Notwithstanding subparagraphs 1.d through 1.f above, Israel may, pursuant to agreement within the Legal Subcommittee of the CAC established under the Gaza-Jericho Agreement, request an Israeli court or tribunal to dismiss a claim brought before it and, with regard to a pending claim, dismiss the claim and transfer the proceedings to a local court or tribunal.
- Where a claim has been so transferred or where a new claim has been brought in a local court or tribunal subsequent to the dismissal of the claim pursuant to subparagraph 1.g above, the Palestinian Authority shall defend it and, in accordance with subparagraph 1.a above, in the event that an award is made for the plaintiff, shall pay the amount of the award.
- The Legal Subcommittee referred to in subparagraph 1.g above shall agree on arrangements for the transfer of proceedings from Israeli courts or tribunals pursuant to subparagraph 1.g above and, where necessary, for the provision of legal assistance by Israel to the Palestinian Authority in defending such claims.
- In accordance with paragraph 1 above:
- The Palestinian Authority may bring legal proceedings in respect of any acts or omissions relating to powers and responsibilities transferred under this Agreement which occurred prior to the date of the transfer. Israel shall provide the Palestinian Authority with the legal assistance necessary to bring such proceedings.
- The Palestinian Authority may collect any taxes due under Annexes V and VI on the date of the transfer of powers and responsibilities in respect of these taxes, and shall assume responsibility for the payment of any rebates or refunds.
- Subject to the provisions of this Article, the transfer of powers and responsibilities in itself shall not affect rights, liabilities and obligations of any person or legal entity, in existence at the date of signing of this Agreement.
LIAISON AND COORDINATION
- The Joint Civil Affairs Coordination and Cooperation Committee established in accordance with the Gaza-Jericho Agreement, (hereinafter "the CAC"), will deal with all issues of mutual concern regarding this Agreement.
- The operation of the CAC shall not impede daily contacts between representatives of the Civil Administration and the Palestinian Authority in all matters of mutual concern.
- The military government and its Civil Administration shall provide the Palestinian Authority with full information concerning the budget of each Sphere.
- The Palestinian Authority shall immediately employ personnel who will promptly begin the process of becoming acquainted with the current budget issues. On the date of the transfer of powers and responsibilities in each of the Spheres, these personnel will assume responsibility for all accounts, assets and records on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.
- Israel shall continue to provide the services of Israeli experts currently employed in the fields of income tax and VAT to ensure a smooth transition and efficient establishment of the taxation system of the Palestinian Authority. The terms of their employment shall be agreed upon by the two sides.
- The Palestinian Authority will do its utmost to establish its revenue collection system immediately with the intent of collecting direct taxes and VAT.
- The two sides will jointly approach the donor countries during the upcoming meetings of the Consultative Group and of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, scheduled for September 8 through 10, 1994 in Paris, with a request to finance the shortfall that may be created in the collection of the direct taxes and the VAT during the initial period while the Palestinian Authority establishes its own revenue collection system.
- The two sides will meet no later than three days after the conclusion of these meetings in order to decide on the date of transfer of powers and responsibilities in the remaining Spheres, based, among other things, on the response of the donor countries to the joint request.
- The CAC will provide the donor countries, when necessary, with information to help adjust the allocation of contributions as a result of variations in tax collection.
- The Palestinian Authority shall also assume full responsibility for any additional expenditures beyond the agreed budget which is attached as Schedule 1, as well as for any shortfall in tax collection that is not actually covered by the donor countries.
- If actual revenues from the Spheres, including the donor contributions, exceed the budgeted revenues, the excess shall be applied to development of the Spheres.
- The inclusion of the sphere of VAT in the spheres to be transferred to the Palestinian Authority shall constitute the adjustment referred to in paragraph (3) of the Agreed Minute to Article VI(2) of the Declaration of Principles, and no further adjustment shall be required.
MUTUAL CONTRIBUTION TO PEACE AND RECONCILIATION
With regard to each of the Spheres, Israel and the Palestinian Authority will ensure that their respective systems contribute to the peace between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples and to peace in the entire region, and will refrain from the introduction of any motifs that could adversely affect the process of reconciliation.
- This Agreement shall enter into force on the date of its signing.
- The arrangements established by this Agreement are preparatory measures and shall remain in force until and to the extent superseded by the Interim Agreement or by any other agreement between the Parties.
- Nothing in this Agreement shall prejudice or preempt the outcome of the negotiations on the Interim Agreement or on the permanent status to be conducted pursuant to the Declaration of Principles. Neither Party shall be deemed, by virtue of having entered into this Agreement, to have renounced or waived any of its existing rights, claims or positions.
- The two Parties view the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as a single territorial unit, the integrity of which will be preserved during the interim period.
- The Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area shall continue to be an integral part of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The status of the West Bank shall not be changed for the period of this Agreement. Nothing in this Agreement shall be considered to change this status.
- The Preamble to this Agreement and the Annexes, Appendices and Schedules attached hereto, shall constitute an integral part hereof.
Done at Erez this twenty-ninth day of August 1994.
Government of the State of Israel
For the PLO
List of Annexes
- Schedule 1 – Six-month Budget for the Spheres
- Annex I – Protocol Concerning Preparatory Transfer of Powers and Responsibilities in the Sphere of Education and Culture
- Annex II – Protocol Concerning Preparatory Transfer of Powers and Responsibilities in the Sphere of Health
- Annex III – Protocol Concerning Preparatory Transfer of Powers and Responsibilities in the Sphere of Social Welfare
- Annex IV – Protocol Concerning Preparatory Transfer of Powers and Responsibilities in the Sphere of Tourism
- Annex V – Protocol Concerning Preparatory Transfer of Powers and Responsibilities in the Sphere of Direct Taxation
- Annex VI – Protocol Concerning Preparatory Transfer of Powers and Responsibilities in the Sphere of VAT on Local Production