Israeli Model for the Self-Governing Authority
16 January 1980
[The following document was presented by the Israeli team to its Egyptian counterpart during the session of the working group on powers and responsibilities of the Palestinian self-governing authority.]
At the conclusion of the last plenary meeting held at Mena House, Giza, Egypt on 19th December 1979 it was decided:
"The plenary also approved the recommendation of the working group in its report that it proceed simultaneously to prepare for the plenary's future consideration a proposed model for the power & responsibilities to be exercised by the Self-Governing Authority (Administrative Council)."
In accordance with this decision, the Israeli working group has prepared a proposed model for full autonomy for Palestinian Arab inhabitants of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza district. In this model the Israeli party presents a draft for the proposed model of the powers and responsibilities and functions which the administrative council should have in accordance with the provisions of the Camp David framework.
The Israeli team tried to express its thoughts through this draft model on the organizational concept of the administrative council and its administrative tools. In order to more easily convey our conception to all the participants here, we have made intense and minute preparations and we have in fact prepared a graphic representation of the model. On this poster we have delineated the powers and responsibilities of the administrative council itself, its chairman, and its essential functions and attributes. Also on this poster you will see a list of the divisions of the administrative council, the divisions which will fulfill the powers and responsibilities and functions of the council.
The other posters depict, in detail, the suggested structure of each of the divisions with details of all the various sections of each division. We have attempted to provide the model in detail and to present it clearly by using graphic illustrations so as to express Israel's position and Israel's preparedness to ensure full autonomy for Palestinian Arab inhabitants of Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza district.
As we have said on numerous occasions, Israel sees three different categories of powers and responsibilities.
The first is that described in the model, and includes all the powers and responsibilities to be given to the administrative council. In our opinion, this model covers all those elements needed to ensure full autonomy for the Palestinian Arab inhabitants of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza district.
The second category includes powers and responsibilities which will be administered jointly and through cooperation, the so-called "shared powers" between Israel and the administrative council.
The third category includes those powers and responsibilities which will remain in Israel's authority, the so-called "residual" powers.
It should be clear before presenting the detailed review that this is a draft, a proposed model, of the Israeli party to the negotiation. Not every detail of it is of crucial importance. We know that we have to shape together the final form of the proposed model we were requested to prepare by the plenary, but we were also requested, as we are the nearest to the problem, after we gave a presentation of the current situation, to prepare also a draft for the model and I believe that all of us can afterwards relate to it.
1. The administrative council will be composed of 11 members, a chairman and 10 members each of whom will be head of a division.
General Powers of the Administrative Council
2. a) The administrative council will have the following general powers:
(i) The power to issue regulations;
(ii) The power to determine the budget and mode of financing of the administrative council;
(iii) The power to enter into contracts;
(iv) The power to sue and be sued in the local courts;
(v) The power to employ personnel.
b) The administrative council will be entitled to delegate all or part of its powers to the heads of divisions functioning within its frame.
Divisions of the Administrative Council
3. The following divisions will function within the frame of the council: Agriculture, Health, Religions, Labor and Welfare, Commerce and Industry, Finance, Transport and Communications, Education and Culture, Administration of Justice and Local Affairs (including police).
4. The Agriculture Division will deal with all branches of agriculture and fisheries and with nature reserves and parks.
5. The Health Division will supervise the hospitals, clinics and other health and sanitary services.
6. The Religious Division will deal with matters of religious services to all religious communities.
7. The Labor and Welfare Division will be responsible for the welfare, labor and employment services including the operation of labor exchanges, and will be responsible for the rehabilitation of refugees.
8. The Industry and Commerce Division will be responsible for all branches of commerce, industry and workshops.
9. The Finance Division will deal with the budget of the administrative council and its distribution among the various divisions, and will be responsible for matters of direct taxation.
10. The Transport and Communications Division will coordinate matters of transport, road traffic, meteorology, shipping and ports, and will be responsible for post and communications services.
11. The Education and Culture division will operate the local system of educational institutions from kindergarten to institutions of higher education and will supervise cultural, art and sports activities.
12. The Administration of Justice Division will supervise the administrative system of the local courts, and will also deal with matters of the prosecution framework and with all matters of registration and association under the law (such as: companies, partnerships, patents, trademarks, etc.)
13. The Local Affairs Division will deal with matters of housing and construction inclusive of building licenses, matters of local authorities, tourism and will be responsible for the operation of the local police force, including prisons for criminal offenders sentenced by the local courts.
14. Each division of the administrative council will be managed by its own directorgeneral who will have under his jurisdiction special assistants and section directors. The following sections will function in each of the divisions:
a) The administration section will deal with organization and management of the division, employee affairs, budgets, finances and internal audit of the division and its sections. The section will also be responsible for training and professional upgrading for employees of the division.
b)The legal department of each division will provide legal advice to the head of the division, the director-general, his assistants and the sections.
The Chairman of the Administrative Council - Office of the Chairman
The chairman of the administrative council will be responsible for coordinating the operations of the various divisions of the council. In addition, there will be in this office a number of non-elected functionaries appointed by the chairman or the council, as follows:
a) The statistics section will be responsible for planning, collection, processing, and publication of data in the form of surveys as, for example, on the following: population, labor force, wages and employment, consumption and standard of living, agriculture, industry and workshops, building, transportation, prices, etc.
b) The civil service commissioner will be responsible for employees of the administrative council in the following matters:
(i) Establishment for the council's divisions;
(ii) Salaries and terms of employment;
(iii) Employing and dismissing workers;
(iv) Ongoing handling of all employee affairs.
This section will, inter alia, supervise work and organizational arrangements of the employees, will define their powers, their duties, their rights and obligations.
c) The official publications section will plan, carry out and publish the official publications of the administrative council and the various divisions. Thus, for example, the section will publish regulations issued by the council and the by-laws of the local authorities, the various announcements of divisions of the council, such as trademarks, patents, designs, companies, etc.
d) The archives will be responsible for the following areas:
(i) Collection of archive material from meetings of the council and its divisions, and the preservation thereof to the extent that its legal, administrative and research value so justifies.
(ii) The opening of protected material for research by means of cataloguing and publication.
(iii) Professional supervision in order that they should be properly kept.
(iv) Destruction of archive material held by private individuals and public institutions and which is of concern to the population at large.
The following will function alongside the chairman's office: the legal advisor, ombudsman and comptroller of the administrative council.
a) The legal advisor will provide legal advice to the council and its divisions in all matters arising from its ongoing functions, and guidance on future affairs. Within its responsibility will also be the regulatory system under the powers of the council Preparation, drafting and coordination of regulations.
The legal department will also be responsible for the function of the departments within each division.
b) The ombudsman will deal with all requests submitted to the chairman of the council or directly to him, and which relate to matters where regular channels cannot provide satisfactory answers. The ombudsman will deal with all requests relating to: administrative methods, regulations, attitudes of officials and the establishment - whether himself or by causing speedier handling by the divisions concerned.
c) The comptroller will audit the activities of the various divisions, and of the institutions connected with them: local authorities, legal entities in the management of which the council participates or which it supports. The activities that he will audit are: functions according to law and regulations, public ethics, regular and efficient working and economies.
The council secretary will be responsible, under the direction of the chairman, for preparing the agenda and other material connected with council meetings, for relaying resolutions taken and for supervising their implementation. He will also be responsible for the functioning of those sections that operate the frame of the chairman's office.
The coordinator of divisional activities, alongside the secretary, will coordinate activities between the divisions whenever this is necessary in order to implement council decisions.
Two separate representatives will operate in liaison roles:
a) Liaison with the continuing committee in accordance with article of the Camp David framework.
b) Liaison representative with the Israeli authorities who will deal together with Israeli authorities on an ongoing basis with all matters of common interest to the council and Israel. This representative will also be responsible for coordination of all matters that require coordination according to the model to be presented.
We have put a considerable amount of effort into the construction of an organizational and functional model; not because we want this model to be accepted per se, as written here, but because we have tried to illustrate our concrete, practical approach. We may very well have to shape and modify this model. This can be done in accordance with practical suggestions which we can work out together. Our basic approach, however, is represented by the principles incorporated in this model.
This is the first time that the Palestinian Arab inhabitants of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza district have been offered full autonomy, full autonomy which includes the effective daily administration and conduct of a wide range of fields of activity. This is a turning point in their history and we should be united in realizing this truth. It is upon us to present the subject to them in this light. They should consider Israel's offer seriously and they should utilize this moment and this important product of our negotiating effort. The Palestinian Arab inhabitants of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza district would do well to join these negotiations within the delegations of Egypt and Jordan as provided for in the Camp David framework, and together with them we can work the framework for their future.
Certain items in this model need to be defined in greater detail. The Israeli team suggests that we consider setting up sub-committees composed of experts in various fields in order to study the issues and assist in finding solutions -in a spirit of understanding and agreement.
The Israeli party believes that today we have entered upon the second stage of our work.
The Israeli delegation sees its suggestion as one comprehensive and integral proposal. There is a connection between the three categories and we must discuss them simultaneously and we know that it is also the approach of the other parties to these negotiations, and we agree with it. We would, therefore, suggest that this debate and our discussions be considered to be ad referendum until we have attained final agreement. We should proceed to discuss the range of issues before us in the various categories, simultaneously and in parallel.
It would, of course, be ideal if we could submit later on an agreed proposal to the plenary. But it will also be useful if we can agree at least upon what we can agree and to note our differences of opinion for the plenary's consideration.
At the same time, motivated by a feeling of responsibility and a sense of the importance of this occasion, allow us to. suggest to you all that we utilize fully the opportunity afforded us by this presentation of a proposed model for full autonomy. This is the first time, according to our understanding, since the beginning of these negotiations that concrete and significant expression has been given in the broadest sense to the powers and responsibilities which the self-governing authority (administrative council) should have. This should surely be a means to stimulate, to interest and to attract those for whom we are working here. They should not let this moment slip by, who so ever does not sit at the negotiating table harms in the first instance himself. I believe that over and above our differences of approach, we can be united at least on this issue.
Source: Israel’s Foreign Ministry, at mfa.gov.il