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Temporary International Presence in Hebron: Structure and Organization

Since February 1 2000, TIPH has adopted a new structure. It is composed of three divisions subordinated to the Head of Mission.

The Senior Management Group is composed of the Head of Mission, the Deputy Head of Mission, the Heads of Divisions, and Senior National Representatives who are not in position as heads of division. The Senior Management Group usually meets three times a week in order to assist the Head of Mission in running TIPH organization. SMG members advise him on important decisions that concerns operational, administrative and security matters and review the performance of TIPH.

Operations Division

The Operations Division is the largest of the three divisions within TIPH. It comprises more than one half of the total TIPH personnel. It has the responsibility for the observation patrols and for the reporting activity. Patrols of observers are permanently present in the Area of Responsibility during day and night shifts. Their number varies according to the situation. The observers perform their duty by car and, in certain areas, they also patrol on foot.

The Operations Division co-ordinate the patrols in the field and from the Headquarters. Contact between the observers on patrol and with the Headquarters is made by radio. Members of this division man the radio and the switchboard. Finally, this division carries some of the the responsibility related to the mission's security.

Staff Division

The Staff Division has various tasks, among them the production of the Weekly and Periodic Reports. The Division incorporates Press and Research Officers, whose role is to keep the mission members up to date on the political situation in the area, on a local, regional and international level. They also produce the Weekly Threat assessment and brief journalists and other visitors on TIPH's role in Hebron. They also organize lectures and meetings with personalities from both sides to talk about topics related to TIPH's work.

Liaison Officers are also part of the Staff Division. They maintain contact with the Israeli Defense Forces, the Palestinian Police Forces, the Hebron DCO and DCLs, and the Hebron Municipality.

Finally, members of the Staff Division engage in small-scale community projects in order to support charitable work, sports and culture. Throughout these activities, they work to disseminate information on the mandate and the work of TIPH with a view of creating a mutual sense of confidence and benefit between TIPH and the local population.

Support Division

The Support Division deals mainly with administrative matters and logistics. It incorporates several offices such as personnel, finance, transport, communication, procurement, building management and information technology. It also includes a medical officer.

The Co-ordination of TIPH between the Member Countries


In the relationship between the TIPH contingents, the decision-making authority lies with the governments of the participating countries.

Consultations take place on a local level, through Local Contact Group Meetings held between TIPH's Senior Management Group and representatives from the six countries' Embassies and Consulate Generals. However, decisions concerning TIPH's finance, organisation and manning are taken in meetings attended by delegates from the six capitals. These are usually held every three months in the region, or in one of the six countries, alternately. The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has, according to the Agreement, the task of coordinating TIPH activities between the six countries.

Cost Sharing

Each country covers all personnel costs directly related to its mission members in TIPH, such as salaries, allowances, insurance, personal equipment and travel costs. Other costs in connection with the participation in the mission are divided pro rata.

Practical matters

At the start of the multinational mission, TIPH had 142 members. Since February 2000, there are between 85 and 90 TIPH members in Hebron, shared between the six countries. The contingents provided by each country vary in size.

The six countries’ governments recruit the TIPH members within their respective countries, according to the needs of the mission. More than one half of the mission members have police or military background. Many of the TIPH members have participated in other international mission work, mainly with the United Nations. Additionally, TIPH has at its disposal Arabic and Hebrew speakers. Some of them have degrees in Middle Eastern Studies or have experience of work in the region, while others are of Middle Eastern origin. Around one quarter of the TIPH members are women.

The TIPH headquarters is located in Ras Al-Joura, in the northern part of Hebron. Two other buildings in the same area are allocated as living quarters for the TIPH members. The TIPH members live in apartments, two to four members in each, segregated by gender but with mixed nationalities. A cafeteria (The TIPH TOP Restaurant) has been set up in one of the buildings.

The TIPH uniform is grey with blue armlets marked with OBSERVER in English, Arabic and Hebrew written in white on red. The uniform is supplemented with a blue cap with the TIPH logo, as well as blue vests or blue padded jackets according to season. TIPH vehicles are white with white diplomatic license plates and marked with the TIPH logo on both sides and on the hood.

Sources: Temporary International Presence in Hebron