What was the 1997 Protocol Concerning the Redeployment in Hebron (a.k.a. Hebron Protocol, Hebron Agreement)?
General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
Geoffrey Aronson, Director of Research and Publications at the Foundation for Middle East Peace, in an Apr. 27, 2000 article posted on the website of the Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine titled "Recapitulating the Redeployments: The Israel-PLO ‘Interim Agreements,’" wrote:
"This agreement, signed on 15 January 1997, divided the city of Hebron into two parts: H1 and H2. Israel retained full security control over the Israeli settlement enclaves in downtown Hebron (H2), over another settlement (Kiryat Arba) just outside the city, and, in order to facilitate movement by the settlers and the IDF, over the surrounding area. The agreement gave the PA security responsibility for the rest of Hebron (H1), although this responsibility remained closely monitored by Israeli authorities."
Lamis Andoni, an independent journalist and analyst of Middle Eastern affairs, in a Spring 1997 article for the Journal of Palestine Studies titled "Redefining Oslo: Negotiating the Hebron Protocol," wrote:
"The Hebron protocol was the culmination of intensive efforts, led by the United States, to save the Oslo accords, and more generally the Middle East peace process, threatened since the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin shortly after the conclusion of the 1995 Interim Agreement known as Oslo II, and especially since the May 1996 election of an Israeli government on an anti-Oslo platform. The 'tunnel uprising,' the territories-wide intifada-like protests of late September 1996 that escalated into armed clashes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian police, brought the process to the verge of total collapse. Yet, it was these same clashes, in which over sixty-one Palestinian civilians and fifteen Israeli soldiers were killed in the space of three days, that provided the shock that got the process back on track.
The Hebron protocol does not constitute a new agreement but rather the steps required to implement an agreement -- or part of an agreement -- concluded over a year earlier... Hebron had deliberately been left as the last of the West Bank towns from which Israeli soldiers were to redeploy under Oslo II in order to allow time to work out the security issues arising from the presence of 450 militant Israeli settlers in the city's center. The agreed-upon guidelines divided Hebron into Jewish and Arab sectors governed by different security arrangements. The Israeli military would retain full security control over the Jewish sector (H2), comprising the settlement enclaves in downtown Hebron, the Qiryat Arba settlement just outside the city, and the surrounding areas deemed necessary for movement of the settlers and the army. The Palestinian Authority (PA) would have security responsibility over the rest of Hebron, referred to in the guidelines as H1."
Palestine Facts, an online resource for topics on Israel, Palestine, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, posted the following statements in an article (accessed on June 22, 2007) titled "What was the Hebron Protocol and Agreement in 1997?":
"The 1995 Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip ('Oslo II'), included a provision for further negotiations regarding Israeli redeployment from Hebron, suggesting the establishment of a Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH)... Under an agreement dated May 9, 1996, the Norwegian personnel arrived and commenced their operation in the city, preparing for the establishment for the new TIPH, contributing to a feeling of security for the Palestinian inhabitants of the city, helping promote stability, and providing reports...
[O]n January 15, 1997 the Hebron negotiations were completed and a Protocol concerning the Redeployment in Hebron was signed by Israel and the Palestinians, specifying arrangements for the implementation of the remaining redeployment provisions of the Oslo II Interim Agreement in three phases, ending no later than late 1998. That included Israeli troop withdrawals from 80 percent of Hebron, the last West Bank city under Israeli occupation...
Following the signing of the Hebron Protocol the two sides also signed, on January 21, 1997, an Agreement on the Temporary International Presence in the city of Hebron setting out the arrangements for the new TIPH, to be 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 is to monitor and report with no military or police functions."
Wikipedia offered the following discussion of the 1997 Hebron Protocol (accessed June 26, 2007):
"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 a complex set of arrangements that consisted of a number of segments, in chronological order: