NEW YORK – A leader of the Palestinian Arab terrorist group Islamic Jihad has boasted that his and other terror groups are using the so-called cease-fire to develop even more powerful missiles to murder Israelisyet the Bush administration is still not pressuring the PA to act against the terrorists.
Asked about Israels protests that the terrorists are using the cease-fire to develop missiles and other weapons for future use, Mohammed al-Hindi, leader of Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, told the Scottish newspaper The Scotsman (August 10, 2003): It is natural that we strengthen ourselves during hudna [the cease-fire]. It is natural that the Palestinians, Fatah, the Islamic Jihad, Hamas, be ready to defend their people in the coming stages.
Middle East Newsline reported (July 31, 2003): Israeli military intelligence officials said Hamas has been firing the new missile as part of efforts to develop a Kassam with a range of up to 20 kilometers. The officials said the missile firings take place nearly nightly north of Gaza City toward the Mediterranean Sea. Hamas has sought to develop a missile with a range long enough to strike a major Israeli city. The officials said the Hamas target appears to be Ashkelon, the city closest to the Gaza Strip. Ashkelon also contains a major power station. We know that this missile can reach a range of 14 kilometers, an Israeli official said. But Hamas wants something that can strike Ashkelon from the northern Gaza Strip and this would require a range of at least 20 kilometers.
Likewise, a senior Israeli Army officer told the Jerusalem Post (July 21, 2003) that Hamas is utilizing the cease-fire to build more than 1,000 Kassam rockets The Palestinian Authority is doing nothing to stop the smuggling of huge amounts of arms, weapons, and ammunition Sometimes they arrest a militant under the most comfortable conditions possible and release him within hours. The longest a militant has been held, is four days.
Morton A. Klein, National President of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), said: The only difference between Abu Mazen and Yasir Arafat is that he wears a suit and shaves. The so-called cease-fire is not a step towards peaceit is allowing the Palestinian Arabs to prepare the next steps for their continuing terrorist war. The Bush administration should insist that the PA fulfill President Bushs Road Map requirement that it immediately dismantle terrorist capabilities and infrastructure.