Palestinian Monitoring Group
The Palestinian Monitoring Group (PMG) was established in August 2003 to monitor and report on all events taking place on the ground in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip and to thereby enable the Palestinian government to provide to the U.S. Monitoring Mission, then led by John Wolf, highly credible, detailed and comprehensive reports on Palestinian and Israeli compliance with, or violation of, their obligations under the Quartet Roadmap.
The structure and size of the U.S. Monitoring Mission indicated that it would focus on broad political developments but would not have the capacity to collect, aggregate and analyse the detailed information needed to ensure its political judgements accurately reflected the reality on the ground. Instead it would rely on the two parties to the conflict for its information. Yet a clear and substantial inequality existed between the capacity of the Palestinians and the Government of Israel to deliver this information and therefore to influence the judgements of the Monitoring Mission and thus of the Quartet. The PMG was established to reduce this inequality of capacity and represents a strategic shift in the ability of the PA to positively influence the peace process by ensuring the international community understands the precise reality on the ground in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
After the disbanding of the formal Monitoring Mission in October 2003, the need for the Palestinian government to be able to effectively communicate to the international diplomatic community the reality of Israeli and Palestinian actions in the West Bank and Gaza strip is arguably even more critical. The PMG is therefore dedicated to regularly producing both simple factual reports and more analytical reports so that the international community has a full, timely and accurate understanding of events on ground, and thus a balanced and fair perspective of the peace process upon which to base their own policies.
The PMG still remains ready to adapt its operations in order to respond to the needs of any third party monitoring mission deployed within the Occupied Palestinian Territories as part of the peace process, or to tailor its outputs to monitor compliance with any bilateral agreement reached as part of that process.
The PMG was designed, set up and staffed by Adam Smith International advisers that specialised in monitoring missions in conflict environments. The primary client of the PMG is the Negotiation Affairs Department of the PLO (NAD), particularly the Head of the NAD, Dr. Saeb Erekat, who provides political direction and approval for the PMG's work. The PMG also receives and responds to requests from the President's Office and Prime Minister's Office.
PMG reports are produced by a permanent staff, with support from part-time local and international consultants, working at the PMG Central Office in Ramallah. These reports are based on information provided by Palestinian ministries and security agencies and on research undertaken by permanent staff themselves.