8 Mich. St. U.-DCL J. Int'l L. 539 (1999)
Human Rights Trends in the Emerging Palestinian State: Problems Encountered by Muslim Converts to Christianity

handle is hein.journals/mistjintl8 and id is 547 raw text is: HUMAN RIGHTS TRENDS IN THE EMERGING
PALESTINIAN STATE: PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED
BY MUSLIM CONVERTS TO CHRISTIANITY
Justus R. Weiner*
INTRODUCTION
Israeli-Palestinian negotiations under the framework of the Oslo
Peace Process began in 1992.1 Vexing questions such as Palestinian
statehood, Jewish settlements, security, redeployment, terrorism, the
future of Jerusalem, refugee claims and economic viability have dogged
Mideast diplomacy. The media has largely ignored the fact that Israel no
longer controls Palestinian civil life on a day-to-day basis. In its place,
the Palestinian Authority (PA), the entity created and empowered by
the interim peace agreements to manage the local affairs of the
Palestinians, is now accountable for the local governance of
approximately 98 percent of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza
Strip.2 Attention has been paid to some aspects of the PA's conduct
(e.g., security), but not to human rights.
Yasser Arafat, PLO Chairman and Rais (President in Arabic) of the
PA, claims to base his rule on Western democratic principles. Protection
of human rights is considered one of the fundamentals for the
effectiveness of this model. In a 1994 address to the UN Human Rights
* The author is an international human rights lawyer and a member of the Israel and
New York Bar Associations. He is currently a Scholar in Residence at the Jerusalem Center for
Public Affairs and an adjunct lecturer at Hebrew and Tel-Aviv Universities. The author
expresses his indebtedness to his research assistants Michael Ottolenghi, Victoria Wagner, Tina
Ham and Hayden Small and to David Binstock for his assistance in the final editing process.
1. The first interim agreement, the Declaration of Principles (DOP) was signed at
the White House on September 13, 1993. The DOP stated that the two groups agreed to
recognize each other and would settle their differences through peace negotiations.
2. As of the writing of this article, the territories officially handed over to the
Palestinian Authority (PA) total about 42 percent of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. These
territories included all but one (Hebron) of the major cities which are the Palestinian population
centers. While the debate on further redeployment carries on, the areas currently requested by
the PA are not Palestinian population centers. The whole territory was divided into the
categories of areas A, B and C. Area A is fully under the local jurisdiction of the PA, area B's
civil government is controlled by the PA, while the security is handled by the Israel Defense
Forces (IDF'), and in area C (which has few Palestinian residents) both civilian matters and
security are managed by Israel.

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