NEW YORK- The Israeli-American woman murdered by Palestinian Arab terrorists in Gaza last week was the 52nd such U.S. victim since the signing of the Oslo accords in 1993.
Tiferet Tratner, 24, a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen, was killed when Palestinian Arabs fired a rocket into the town of Neve Dekalim on September 23, 2004.
Of the 52 Americans murdered by Palestinian Arabs since 1993, 42 of them were murdered since the Palestinian Authority launched its war against Israel in September 2000.
The latest murder of an American citizen came just one day after Musa Arafat, the head of PA Military Intelligence and a cousin of PA chairman Yasir Arafat, told Reuters (Sept. 22, 2004) that “Palestinian security forces know who was behind the killing of three Americans in Gaza nearly a year ago but cannot act against the factions while fighting with Israel continues.”
The Bush administration criticized Arafat’s statement, but has taken no other action in response. The Zionist Organization of America is urging the Bush administration to respond to the murder of Tiferet Tratner and Musa Arafat’s statement by immediately withdrawing its opposition to the Koby Mandell Act, which would create a special office in the Justice Department to focus on capturing Palestinian Arab murderers of Americans.
The ZOA is also urging the Bush administration to:
* Demand that the PA hand over Abd Al-Aziz Awda, whom the U.S. indicted in February 2003 as the founder and “spiritual leader” of an Islamic Jihad terror cell whose victims included Alisa Flatow of West Orange, NJ, a 20 year-old Brandeis University junior, who was murdered in a bombing near Kfar Darom on April 9, 1995; and Shoshana Ben-Yishai, 16, of Queens, NY, who was murdered in a shooting attack on a bus in Jerusalem on November 9, 2001. Awda is head of the Al Qassam Mosque in the PA-controlled Gaza Strip.
* Place advertisements in Palestinian Arab newspapers, offering monetary rewards for the information leading to the capture of Palestinian Arab murderers of Americans. The State Department offers such rewards on its web site, but has not advertised them among the Palestinian Arabs themselves — even though in other cases of overseas murders of Americans, ads are routinely placed in local newspapers.