TIPH

The Temporary International Presence in the City of Hebron (TIPH) is a civilian observer mission present at the city of Hebron since 1994 (intermittedly).

Definition

The term Temporary International Presence in the City of Hebron (hereinafter, TIPH) refers to a civilian observer mission1 present at the city of Hebron since 1994 (intermittedly). The TIPH mandate was concluded in negotiations between the PLO and Israel between 1994 and 1997.

Background

TIPH was established throughout negotiations conducted by Israel and the PLO between 1994 and 1997, as part of the framework of the Oslo Process. The mission was first called for in the Declaration of Principles (9/93).

Following the killing of 29 Palestinian worshippers in Hebron by Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein (2/94), representatives of PLO and Israel (hereinafter "the parties") signed an agreement (3/94) asking Italy, Denmark and Norway to provide support staff and observers for the civil mission.

The first TIPH mission was set up (5/94). Its main mandate was to assist in promoting stability and restoring normal life in the city of Hebron. However, the parties could not reach an agreement on an extension of the mandate, and TIPH withdrew from Hebron (8/94).

The Interim Agreement (9/95) called for another TIPH mission to be established.2 The mission was set up as early as May 1996, under the condition that it would operate until the Israeli withdrawal from Hebron. Accordingly, the mission disintegrated after the Israeli withdrawal from Hebron in 1997.

The third, and so far final TIPH mission was set up by the "Agreement on the Temporary International Presence in the City of Hebron" (1/97).3 The agreement called upon Norway, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey to provide personnel for TIPH, with Norway as the coordinator.4 On 2/1/97, this multinational TIPH mission entered into force and still operates.

Mandate

While being in accordance with the above mentioned agreements, the TIPH mandate is an independent document signed by Israeli and PLO representatives. It is not affiliated with the United Nations. The TIPH mandate is renewed pending approval from the two parties every six months.5

The Mandate consists of the following main points:

  • Area of Responsibility- According to the Interim Agreement, Hebron is divided into two security areas, one Palestinian and one Israeli. TIPH's mandate makes no distinction between the two areas.
  • Tasks- TIPH "observes the enhancement of peace and prosperity among the Palestinians" and assists in the promotion and execution of projects initiated by the donor countries;6
  • Activities- TIPH's activities were planned based upon the institutions set up by the Interim Agreement. TIPH writes several kinds of reports, such as Incident Reports, Periodic Reports and Fortnightly Reports.7 The reports are not for public use, and they are forwarded to the parties, the six participating countries and several relevant institutions such as the District Coordination Office (DCO), the Monitoring and Steering Committee (MSC), and the Joint Hebron Committee (JHC), which has not met since May 2000.
  • Coordination- TIPH must coordinate its activities with the Israeli and Palestinian authorities.

Sources

TIPH's official web-page, see www.tiph.org



1 It is currently staffed by personnel from Denmark, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.
2 Interim Agreement, Annex 1, Article VII ("Guidelines for Hebron").
3 See "Agreement on Temporary International Presence in the City of Hebron" (1/21/1997), http://www.tiph.org/Documents/Agreement.asp
4 The six participating countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which opened the way for the establishment of the force on February 1997. See "Memorandum of Understanding on the Establishment of a Temporary International Presence in Hebron" (1/30/1997), http://www.tiph.org/Documents/Memorandum.asp
5 According to the Memorandum of Understanding on the Establishment of a Temporary International Presence in Hebron, (1/30/1997), "TIPH shall function for a period of three months, renewable for an additional period of three months otherwise agreed between Israel and the PLO."
6 So far, TIPH has launched summer camps for Palestinian children, youth clubs, drug-campaigns, and health care programs for women and children. See, www.tiph.org
7 Fortnightly Reports consist of TIPH's reporting activities in its Area of Responsibility and are forwarded to the governments of the participating countries; Periodic Reports are based on the developments observed by TIPH during a three-month period, and are addressed to the Monitoring and Steering Committee (MSC) and the six participating countries; Incident Reports mainly deal with breaches of the Guidelines for Hebron (Interim Agreement, Annex 1, Article VII), the Hebron Protocol (Concerning the Redeployment of Hebron), and violations of internationally recognized human rights standards. They are forwarded to the parties. See, http://www.tiph.org/

More Sources

Agreement on Temporary International Presence in the City of Hebron (January 21, 1997)

MOU Memorandum of Understanding on the Establishment of a Temporary International Presence in Hebron (January 30, 1997)