Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon publicly acknowledged that even in the post-Arafat era, the Palestinian Authority is doing nothing to halt terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians in and around the Gaza Strip, even though it has the means to do so. In fact the attacks are intensifying.
In a joint news conference Wednesday, Dec. 22 with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Sharon said: By now, we have not seen even the slightest step taken by the Palestinians to halt terrorism. [T]hey are not making even the slightest effort. it is not a problem of forces. In the Gaza District, they have 30,000 armed security people under the control of the Palestinian Authority. We would have expected that if they would not start now with the dismantling of those terrorist organizations, at least they would make an effort to prevent the deployment of those mortars and rockets that are attacking our towns and settlements on both sides of the border. I would have expected that they would do that.
Wednesday saw the worst barrage of rockets and mortars yet fired by Palestinian-Arabs at Jewish communities in the Gaza Strip. This included an unprecedented spate of 14 mortar shells launched into Netzer Hazani in 20 minutes on Thursday, injuring one man. Homes and schools in other Jewish towns in the Gaza Strip have been destroyed in the airborne assault just in the past few days.
Meanwhile, Palestinian-Arab rockets continue to rain down on Israeli towns in the Negev. One Kassam rocket injured eight people and caused damage at the entrance to an industrial area this week.
Because of this inaction, the Zionist Organization of America calls on Prime Minister Sharon to reconsider his unilateral withdrawal from the Jewish section of the Gaza Strip, which will force 9,000 innocent Jews out of their homes.
The attacks are intensifying, not ebbing, and making it clear to terrorists that Israelis are fleeing under the pressure of terrorist attacks.
Without the presence of Jewish communities and Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian-Arabs will be able to fire their rockets and mortars that much closer to Israels population centers, more weapons will be able to come in to the Gaza Strip from Egypt, and the terrorist leaders will surely learn that more terrorism brings more concessions.
Further, we call on Prime Minister Sharon to halt negotiations with Palestinian-Arabs until the Palestinian Authority brings a halt to these attacks.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: It has become clear that Mahmoud Abbas is no moderate and is continuing the deplorable policies of Yasir Arafat.
We believe that all negotiations with Abbas must end and no further money should be sent to the Palestinian-Arabs until they have ended their attacks for a significant amount of time, close down bomb factories, arrested and imprisoned terrorists and ended the promotion of hatred of Jews throughout their media and in their schools.