By: Morton A. Klein
July 26, 2007
Rabin Made Mistake Arming Arafat — Olmert Makes Same Mistake Arming Abbas
Arms may be used to murder Jews — as before
New York – The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is critical of the decision by the Olmert government to authorize the transfer of 1,000 rifles from Jordan to the security forces of Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA). The weapons were delivered to the PA security forces three weeks ago following Israeli authorization. The transfer of the M-16s rifles was kept under strict confidence on both sides, in an effort to prevent any possible leak. Earlier this year, several thousand rifles were delivered to Fatah forces in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, but most of those arms came under Hamas’ control following its takeover its June takeover of Gaza (Haaretz, July 26, 2007).
In November 2006, then-Israeli Defense Minister Peretz authorized the transfer of 5,000 rifles to Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas’ Presidential Guard ( Jerusalem Post, November 1, 2006). Also, in May 2006, the Olmert government transferred weapons and ammunition, including 370 assault rifles, to Abbas’ Force 17. Force 17 is a Fatah terrorist group headed by a terrorist on Israel’s most wanted list, Mahmoud Damra, whom Abbas appointed in June. Damra was among those offered shelter in 2002 in Arafat’s presidential compound, the Muqata, in Ramallah after Israel accused him of masterminding a string of terrorist attacks. Israeli security officials say that since September 2000, Damra has led a terror cell based in Ramallah that has carried out deadly attacks, including shootings at Israeli vehicles, attacks against Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and the planting of roadside bombs.
At the time of that earlier arms transfer, a senior member of Force 17 and the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, both Fatah terrorist groups, Abu Yousuf revealed in an interview that, “These weapons will not be used in an internal war but against Israelis … The weapons will not be used against our brothers, only [against] Israelis.” Other members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades also confirmed that the weapons transferred by the Olmert government to Abbas in May had been used in two subsequent terrorist attacks which resulted in the death of one Israeli and the wounding of another ( World Net Daily, June 15, 2006).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “It is deeply troubling that the Olmert government continues along the misguided path of approving the transfer of weapons to Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah, despite the continuing involvement of Fatah in the terrorist murder of Israelis and the evidence that quickly emerged on previous occasions as to the intended and actual use of these weapons against Israeli men, women and children.
“This policy error is simply a re-run of the mistake committed by the Rabin government early in the Oslo peace process when arms were transferred to Yasser Arafat’s PA which were subsequently turned upon Israeli soldiers and civilians. However, this time it is even less excusable than before because experience has repeatedly shown that Israelis arms given to the PA end up being used against Jews while Abbas and the PA does absolutely nothing to arrest and jail terrorists and confiscate their weaponry and end the incitement to hatred and murder in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps that feeds terrorism.
“Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah are not moderates. Abbas co-founded the terrorist Fatah with Yasser Arafat and was his deputy for 40 years. He funded the Munich massacre. He wrote a Ph.D. thesis and a book denying the Holocaust. As president of the PA, Abbas said ‘it is our duty to implement the principles of Yasser Arafat.’ He refers to terrorists as ‘heroes fighting for freedom.’ He rebuffed President Bush’s call at the 2005 Aqaba summit to accept Israel publicly as a Jewish state. He has declared that neither Fatah nor Hamas need recognize Israel. He approved legislation mandating financial benefits to be paid to families of Palestinian shahids — that is, dead terrorists. There is therefore no justification for allowing any arms to reach him which will only be used against Israelis.”