Temporary International Presence in Hebron

Temporary International Presence in Hebron or TIPH is a group of civilians observing the situation in the West Bank city of Hebron. It is staffed by personnel from Denmark, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey. One of its main tasks is to "promote by [its] presence a feeling of security to the Palestinians of Hebron" [1]

After the 1994 Hebron massacre in which 29 Palestinians were killed by an Israeli settlers the UN Security Council called for an international presence in Hebron. The first TIPH mission began on 8 May, 1994. However the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government could not reach an agreement on the extension of the mandate and the observers were therefore withdrawn on August 8, 1994.

May 12, 1996 the TIPH observers were reinstated, this time with only Norwegian members. Since then the mission has been reinforced with staff from other countries with Norway as the coordinator. TIPH is remaining in Hebron at the time of writing.

March 26, 2002 two observers, Catherine Berruex and Turgut Cengiz Toytunç were killed by two Palestinian gunmen. A Palestinian man is currently being prosecuted in Israeli court for participation in the attack.

TIPH has been criticized by Israeli settlers in Hebron to being to lenient in reporting Palestinian misconduct and to harsh on Jewish misconduct. Therefore the question of TIPH's successfullness or failure has become a part of the larger question wheter Israel should allow international observers and peacekeeping forces access to the West Bank.

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