TIPH was established in 1994 as an international invention following a massacre in the Ibrahimi Mosque. On 25 February 1994, Baruch Goldstein, a settler and IDF reserve medic entered into the Ibrahimi Mosque and killed 29 worshippers and injured another 125. Goldstein was killed by survivors in the attack. The massacre triggered riots across the occupied Palestinian territory and in Hebron another 25 Palestinians were killed by the Israel Security Forces in the following days.
On 18 March 1994, the United Nations Security Council issued resolution 904 in which it strongly condemns the massacre in Hebron and called for measures to be taken to guarantee the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilians. After negotiations, representatives from Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel signed an agreement asking Denmark, Norway and Italy to provide observers for a temporary international presence in the city of Hebron. The mission was set on a three-month mandate from 8 May, 1994, however, as the parties could not agree on an extension of the mandate, TIPH withdrew on from Hebron on 8 August the same year.
As the Oslo process continued, an interim agreement, Oslo II, was signed on 28 September, 1995, calling for a partial redeployment of the Israel Security Forces from Hebron and for a second Temporary International Presence in Hebron to be established as the IDF redeployed from the city. On 29 April, 1996 an all-Norwegian TIPH set up in Hebron and it operated until the partial Israeli redeployment from Hebron on 17 January, 1997.
TIPH in its present form is the result of the Hebron Protocol which calls for Denmark, Norway, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey to provide observers for the mission in Hebron, with Norway as the coordinator. For the time being Denmark is not contributing to the mission. The agreement on TIPH outlines the tasks and mandate of the mission and is renewed every six months. On 21 January 1997 the Agreement on TIPH was signed and on 30 January, the six contributing countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding TIPH in Oslo. On 1 February the observers started patrolling in Hebron. TIPH is led by a Norwegian Head of Mission, who has the full operational responsibility and is in charge of the activities of the mission.
The mission is funded entirely through the five contributing countries.
TIPH observers come from the five contributing countries and have various backgrounds. Some of the observers have a civilian background and speak either Arabic or Hebrew in addition to English. Other observers have a police or military background, but they do not have this function in TIPH. Here they are working as civilians.
The five contributing countries have the decision-making authority in TIPH and meet twice a year (once in Hebron and once in one of the capitals) in a Capitals’ Meeting, which is coordinated by Norway through a Local Coordinator from the Norwegian Embassy in Tel Aviv.
Local Contact Group
The Local Contact Group consists of representatives of the embassies and representation offices to Israel and the Palestinian Authority and is a forum for the five contributing countries to stay informed about the developments in the mission and in Hebron, as well as a space where they can agree on policy issues and the running of the mission.
Area of Responsibility
TIPH Area of Responsibility (AoR) is established through the Protocol Concerning the Redeployment in Hebron. Read more about TIPH AoR here.