NEW YORK- The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has sent a telegram to Secretary of State Colin Powell, urging him to stop pressuring Israel to free terrorists, and instead pressure the Palestinian authority to surrender the terrorists who yesterday murdered an Israeli man and took shelter in Yasir Arafats PA headquarters in Ramallah.
In response to Powells pressure, Israel has begun releasing 163 Palestinian Arab terrorists who provided secondary support for terrorist attacks. (Washington Times, May 12, 2003) The ZOA notes that if the U.S. authorities captured individuals involved in providing secondary support for terrorist attacks In America, those suspects would be prosecuted and punished, not set free.
The Israeli daily Haaretz reports (May 12, 2003) that the terrorists who carried out Sundays drive-by shooting, in which an Israeli father of six was murdered, set out for the attack from Arafats PA headquarters in Ramallah. The Israeli news service IMRA notes that the victim was hit by a shot to the headpossibly an indication of the good training the terrorists received in the past. Part of the new program is for the CIA to train a new generation of Palestinians in marksmanship.
Responsibility for the attack was claimed by the Fatah terrorist movement, of which Arafat is chairman and PA prime minister Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) is second in command. According to Haaretz, after the attack, the terrorists returned to PA headquarters in Ramallah, where they are presently being sheltered.
The ZOA notes that in the past, when Palestinian Arab terrorists -including killers of Americans were sheltered by the PA, the Bush administration never demanded that the killers be surrendered. When dozens of terrorists took over the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem last year, the Bush administration pressured Israel to let them go free, with some going to Gaza and others going temporarily to Europe and Cyprus.
Z0A National President Morton A. Klein, chairman of the board Dr. Alan Mazurek, and National Executive Committee chairman Dr. Michael Goldblatt have sent a telegram to Secretary Powell, in which they wrote It is puzzling that the Bush administration, which has so vigorously pursued and killed terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq, is pressuring Israel to release terrorists and is silent on the PA sheltering terroristseven though President Bush himself has said repeatedly that those who shelter terrorists should be treated the same as terrorists.