TIPH observers are patrolling seven days a week, all year around in order to assist in the monitoring obligations in the Hebron Agreement. TIPH observers are not authorised to intervene in incidents or disputes but enjoy freedom of movement in the city of Hebron. TIPH observers have the right to document their observations with cameras, including taking photos of the IDF, buildings and incidents. TIPH observers enjoy diplomatic immunity so they can carry out their tasks. They cannot be detained or arrested.
Report writing is a cornerstone of TIPHs work. The reports are not public, but shared with the Israeli and Palestinian authorities and the five contributing countries of TIPH.
TIPH writes incident reports, monthly reports and quarterly reports. If TIPH wants to draw the parties and contributing countries’ attention to a certain trend identified or to an event deemed important or serious, TIPH writes specific situation reports or study papers. Since 1997 TIPH has written more than 20 000 reports, serving as a witness and archive of the events taking place in the city over the years.
Confidentiality is an essential tool, which enables us to reach out and maintain access to people affected by insecurity and violence. Confidentiality allows TIPH to build trust, open channels of communication and influence change. TIPHs main focus is to ensure a feeling of security for the Palestinian population in Hebron. We do give public briefs about the situation in Hebron and speak publicly on some issues, but when it comes to addressing possible violations and breaches of international humanitarian law, international human rights law and the Hebron-related Agreements, it’s important that we are able to do this in a primarily confidential manner.
We report on breaches of international humanitarian law, international human rights law and of the Hebron-related agreements. It can be related to arrests, clashes, use of force, closures and ID checks or house searches, for example. We cannot go into detail about the observations as our reports are confidential. TIPH is not allowed to intervene. Therefore, we do not interfere with police investigations and security operations, but we observe and write our reports which are shared with the two parties and the five contributing countries.
Observers report on incidents which they have witnessed during their daily patrols in Hebron. They also report on incidents which have been communicated to them by inhabitants of the city. Violations of international humanitarian law, human rights standards and agreements applying to Hebron, whether committed by the Israeli or Palestinian side, are recorded in the incident reports. Damages to private property, prolonged ID checks, physical harassment, trespassing and stone throwing are examples of incidents TIPH reports on.
Incident reports are forwarded to the responsible authority with inquiries and questions through TIPHs liaison system. Among questions asked, is what measure the party intends to take to stop repetition of the reported incidents.
The parties are obliged to give an official response to the queries submitted by TIPH. If necessary, TIPH will demand further clarification from the parties, all with the aim to find remedies and solutions to the reported problems.
Monthly and Periodic Reports
TIPH writes monthly and quarterly reports giving an overview of the situation in the city and recent developments. This includes worrying trends and serious violations of the agreements observed by TIPH, but also positive steps taken and efforts made by the parties to normalise life in Hebron.
The monthly reports compile information from incident reports over a month. The quarterly reports analyses the developments observed during the last three months. In the quarterly reports TIPH also provide recommendations to the Israeli and Palestinian Authorities.
The reports are forwarded to the five contributing countries and the two parties.
On a day-to-day basis, TIPH monitor the developments in the city, regarding the two parties and the contributing countries. This includes political, legal and media monitoring which then serves as foundation for internal briefs and reports, advise to the Head of Mission and the senior management and the mission as a whole. Gender is one of TIPHs strategic priorities and a vital part of the activities carried out by the mission. TIPH works to ensure that a gender perspective is integrated in all aspects of TIPHs work, including operations, research and analysis, legal and liaison work.