The TIPH mandate is the result of negotiations conducted by the Palestine Liberation Organization and the State of Israel between 1995 and 1997. It is TIPH's purpose to create a feeling of security among the Palestinian population of Hebron and contribute in restoring normal life. TIPH pursues this goal by maintaining a constant presence in the streets of Hebron, and by monitoring and reporting developments.
The tasks of TIPH personnel as outlined in article 5 in the Agreement on TIPH, are as follows:
TIPH’s Area of Responsibility is the city of Hebron as delineated in map no. 9 of the 1995 Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. TIPH makes no distinction between the H1 and H2 areas.
TIPH personnel do not interfere in disputes or incidents, but only report what happens as clearly as possible. The TIPH personnel have no military or police functions. TIPH observers do not, either, conduct investigation, but may collect additional information to get a full picture of incidents. This includes TIPH observers being able to seek information from sources not present at the incident.
TIPH's Reporting Activity TIPH produces several kinds of reports, some for internal use, some which are submitted to committees where the Palestinians, the Israelis and TIPH are represented. Other reports, among them a weekly summary of TIPH's reporting activities in its Area of Responsibility, are submitted to the governments of the participating countries. However, none of these reports are made public, nor does TIPH comment publicly on specific incidents mentioned in the reports.
As outlined in Article B in the Memorandum of Understanding, the TIPH observers elaborate incident reports based on internationally recognized human rights standards and pursuant to Article 7 in the Agreement on TIPH. These incident reports are at times supplemented with photographs or videotape.
The District Co-Ordination Office
Selected cases on which TIPH observers wrote reports are discussed - and sometimes solved - bilaterally through the District Co-ordination Office (DCO) of Hebron. This structure is where the Palestinian Police Forces (PPF) and the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) co-ordinate their daily security co-operation. It is situated at Jabal Manuh/Har Manoah, on the southern outskirts of the city. TIPH maintains daily contact with the DCO through its liaison officers. This allows TIPH to quickly solve a number of problems and complaints, thus contributing in promoting a feeling of security and a sense of normal life for the Palestinians in Hebron.
The Joint Hebron Committe
More serious incidents are discussed trilaterally at the Joint Hebron Committee (JHC). JHC meetings are attended by the Israeli Military Commander and the Palestinian Police Commander of the Hebron District, the Palestinian and Israeli heads of the Hebron District Civil Liaison Office. As for the TIPH delegation at the JHC, it is normally composed of the Head of Mission, the Deputy Head of Mission, the Heads of Operations and Staff Divisions, Liaison Officers and a Legal Advisor.
The committee deals with reports from TIPH covering issues related to TIPH’s mandate, which have not been settled or given an appropriate answer by the DCO, as well as topics brought up by the PPF and the IDF. Reports on events challenging the normalisation of life, or on incidents clearly indicating violations of the Hebron Protocol relating to the fulfillment of the TIPH Mandate are forwarded to the JHC. Moreover, repeated incidents indicating a trend are examined and discussed at the JHC.
According to the Agreement on TIPH, the JHC meets on a weekly basis, or on the request of any of its members. In practice, the JHC has bi-weekly meetings. The meetings are chaired by TIPH's Head of Mission.
The Monitoring and Steering Committee
A Periodic Report is also delivered by TIPH. It is based on the developments observed by TIPH during a three-month period. This report is addressed to the Monitoring and Steering Committee (MSC), and sent to the six participating countries. The members of the MSC study the general evolution of the situation in Hebron, relying on the Periodic Report delivered by TIPH. On this occasion, they discuss policy matters related to TIPH's mandate.
The MSC convenes a delegation headed by TIPH's Head of Mission and high officials of the two sides. At MSC meetings, Palestinian Authorities are generally represented by Dr. Sa'eb Erekat, Minister of Local Authorities, and by representatives of the PPF and Hebron Municipality. The Israeli delegation usually consists of Mr. Eytan Bentsur, Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and representatives of the Defense and Foreign Affairs Ministries.
SecurityTIPH takes internal safety measures to protect its personnel in their functions and off duty. However, though there is an opening for TIPH member to carry pistols for self-protection in the Agreement (Article 8), the partnership countries have agreed that no TIPH member will carry arms of any sort.