NEW YORK- The so-called “moderate” prime minister of the Palestinian Authority has declared that Hamas terrorist attacks against Israel are “justified.” In response, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is urging the Bush administration to acknowledge that the PA is a terrorist regime and treat it accordingly.
Last week, Hamas suicide bombers massacred 16 Israelis on two buses in Beersheba. This weekend, Israel defended itself by striking at a Hamas training camp in Gaza, where terrorists were training to launch additional attacks. According to the Jerusalem Post (Sept.6 2004), the camp is used by Hamas members to “prepare bombs, carry out shooting exercises with rifles and RPGs, practice infiltrations into settlements, and Kassam rocket firings,” and “a suicide bomb discovered last Tuesday in the underwear of a Palestinian at the Erez crossing between Gaza and Israel was prepared at the site.” After the Israeli raid, an official Hamas statement acknowledged that Israel hit a camp “where a group of fighters was training.”
PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei, who has been described as a “moderate” by Western leaders and much of the international media, said that Israel’s pre-emptive strike against the terrorists was a “crime.” Qurei said: “For there will be retaliation and the retaliation will be justified.” (Jerusalem Post, Sept.6, 2004)
The Bush administration’s Road Map plan requires the PA to treat Hamas and other terrorist groups as enemies, by seizing their weapons, arresting their members, and dismantling their entire network of training camps, weapons depots, and safe houses. But the Qurei and the PA have not taken any of these steps.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: “The PA prime minister has made it unequivocally clear that he sides with the terrorists. Consequently, the U.S. should treat the PA exactly as it treats other terror regimes, by imposing all available economic and diplomatic sanctions. The U.S. should withdraw its support for creation of a Palestinian Arab state, and halt the $215-million in annual U.S. aid to the Palestinian Arabs. President Bush said to Congress on September 21, 2001: ‘Every nation in the region now has a decision to make. Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists.’ PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei has shown, in word and deed, that he is with the terrorists.”