Newsletter #218     Friday, January 21, 2004


Abbas’s PA will only partially fight terror

By Jerusalem Newswire Editorial Staff - January 20th, 2005

JERUSALEM - Fearing a major Israeli military incursion and possible weakening of his nascent authority, PA leader Mahmoud Abbas Wednesday ordered his forces in Gaza to deploy with the intent of preventing rocket and mortar attacks on nearby Negev communities.

Despite the deteriorating effect on Israel’s deterrent factor, Abbas’s words were enough for Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s left-leaning cabinet to shelf IDF recommendations on how to curb artillery attacks on Israeli Jews and renew contacts with the PA.

Sharon had frozen all contact with the PA last week in the wake of a fresh wave of Gaza-based “Palestinian” terror.

Talks between the two sides resumed Wednesday evening when IDF commander and PA security officials met at Gaza’s Erez Crossing, where the “Palestinians” laid out their plans for thwarting anti-Jewish rocket attacks in the short term.

The Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement emphasizing communications with the PA at this point would focus solely on security issues. Diplomatic contacts, the statement read, would remain on hold until Abbas had demonstrated his willingness and ability to curb terror.

But the PA’s solution to the increasingly unbearable artillery barrages against Israel’s Jews fell far short of its Road Map commitment to eliminate the scourge of Islamic terror.

“Major-General” Sa'eb el-Ajez, head of PA forces in Gaza, told The Jerusalem Post his orders did not include the authority to arrest known terrorists or open fire on those caught in the act of firing rockets.

Ajez said many of his men did not believe the terrorist rocket crews were criminals, and might resist orders to thwart attacks.

They “might not be motivated to have all the [terrorists] stop firing” at Jewish civilians, Ajez explained.

The PA is expected to deploy an advance force of up to 700 men Thursday in areas of northern Gaza repeatedly used as Kassam launch pads.

Israeli officials said they were closely monitoring the implementation and effectiveness of the move, while retaining the option of a full-scale IDF incursion.


  • Sharon Zigs, Sharon Zags
    Michael Freund - January 15, 2005  Last week, after a Palestinian suicide bombing attack on January 13, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon decided to “freeze” all contact with the leadership of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Yesterday, after a wave of Palestinian rocket and mortar attacks against Israeli towns and cities, Sharon decided to… resume contact with the leadership of the PA.

  • Rejecting the "Payroll Solution" for Illegal Palestinian Militias
    By Aaron Lerner - IMRA - January 17, 2005  Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas is reported to have given orders today for members of the Fatah al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades be incorporated into the PA security services. Members of other illegal militias are expected to be put on the payroll in the future. If the purpose of the exercise is to put a check mark on the Palestinian's Road Map "To Do List" in order to move on to the creation of a sovereign Palestinian terror state in temporary borders then the "payroll solution" is the way to go. But if one is serious about the Road Map requirements these gunmen have to be disarmed and their organizations broken up. Period.

  • The Shortchange Artist and Oslo
    by Bernard J. Shapiro - January 16, 2005  Think of Yasser Arafat and the US State Department as shortchange artists. They set up a scam called "Oslo" and the "peace process". They exchange promises for territory. They kept the territory, but never kept their promises. Like I said, it is a scam. There is only one way for Israel to win: don't play.

  • The Deeper Meanings of "Disengagement"
    By Louis Rene Beres - January 19, 2005  ".....All people, Jews or gentiles, who dare not defend themselves when they know they are in the right, who submit to punishment not because of what they have done but because of who they are, are already dead by their own decision; and whether or not they survive physically depends on chance. If circumstances are not favorable, they end up in gas chambers....."

  • Arafat Lives
    Efraim Karsh - January 2005  It is true that, during the past couple of years, Abu Mazen openly urged Arafat to scale down his war of terror and to return to the negotiating table. But this was a matter of tactics: Arafat himself had been amenable to negotiating so long as Israel proved sufficiently accommodating of his demands, while Abu Mazen never precluded a return to the “armed struggle” should circumstances so require.

  • Will Abbas Bring an End to Conflict?
    Bruce Thornton - January 19, 2005  The one issue central to resolving the crisis—stopping the murder of Israelis—is still unresolved. For all our delight at the spectacle of Palestinians voting and Abbas talking about peace and negotiations, we are back to the heady optimism after Oslo, when so much hope was quickly drowned in the blood of Israelis.

  • Don't expect tsunami relief to wash away hatred
    By Jonathan S. Tobin - January 20, 2005  So why should the Israelis expect anything more than the Americans get? Let's face it, in the last 60 years, American blood and treasure rid the world of the two greatest tyrannies in human history. American aid rebuilt Europe and American power ensured that Stalin's "evil empire" did not prevail in the Cold War. But as you may have noticed, that has not engendered a great deal of love from those Europeans who are only too happy to enjoy the fruits of life on a continent free of the scourges of Nazism and Communism
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