Consuls' letter to Abbas

March 8, 2006 His Excellency Mahmoud Abbas President, Palestinian Authority Ramallah Mr. President: The Palestinian Authority has never fully complied with the basic provision of the agreement that established the US and UK Jericho Monitoring Mission. While the six detainees - Fuad Shobaki, Ahmad Sa'adat, Iyad Gholmi, Hamdi Qur'an, Majdi Rmawi, and Basel al-Asmar - are held in continuous custody at the Jericho Prison, the Palestinian Authority has consistently failed to comply with the core provision of the Jericho monitoring arrangement regarding visitors, cell searches, telephone access and correspondence. Furthermore, the Palestinian Authority has failed to provide secure conditions for the US and US personnel working at the Jericho Prison. Repeated demands by our government to the highest levels of the Palestinian Authority have not resulted in improved compliance with the Jericho monitoring arrangements. The pending handover of governmental power to a political party that has repeatedly called for the release of the Jericho detainees also calls into question the political sustainability of the monitoring mission. If the Palestinian Authority would like the US and UK to continue their involvement with the monitoring mission, conditions at the Jericho Prison must be brought into full compliance with the Jericho monitoring arrangements. Alternatively, the Palestinian Authority can come to a new arrangement with the Government of Israel regarding the disposition of the six detainees. Likewise, adequate measures must be put in place to assure the security of the US and UK personnel working at the prison. Regrettably, if the Palestinian Authority does not come into full compliance with the Jericho monitoring arrangement and make substantive improvements to the security of the US and UK personnel working at the prison, or come to a new agreement with the Government of Israel, we will have to terminate our involvement with the Jericho monitoring arrangements and withdraw our monitors with immediate effect. I hope you understand our concerns and the seriousness with which we take this matter. Signed by Jakes Walles (US Consul General) John Jenkins (UK Consul General)