Terrorists belonging to Fatah, the Palestinian party (part of the terrorist PLO) co-founded by Yasser Arafat and Palestinian Authority (PA) chief, Mahmoud Abbas (now sole head), carried out two drive-by shootings in Judea and Samaria on Sunday, killing three Israelis and wounding five more, two of them critically. In response, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz cut security contact with the Palestinians and ordered the Israel Defense Forces to reestablish the roadblocks and blockades it had removed over the past year (Jerusalem Post, October 16).
Since the start of the Israeli-Palestinian so-called ceasefire in February, Palestinian terrorism against Israelis has continued and even hit an 18-month high in June and July, nearly half of it carried out by Fatah. During the first five months of the ceasefire (February 8 — July 8, 2005) Palestinians carried out 812 attacks on Israeli targets. Nearly half (47 percent) of the terrorist attacks in that period were claimed by Fatah (Jerusalem Post, July 18). Additionally, ZOAs own figures kept since the start of the terrorist campaign in September 2000 indicate that Fatah has been responsible for almost half of the murder of Israelis from that date until February 2005.
The PA took no responsibility for the latest crime and has instead placed the blame for Palestinian Arab terrorism on Israel. According to the Voice of Palestine radio, A spokesman for the Palestinian leadership called for an end to the Israeli policy of assassinations [i.e. eliminating individuals organizing or carrying out terrorist acts] which only leads to the kinds of reactions we saw yesterday in Bethlehem.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, In these two terrorist attacks over the weekend and the brazen attempt by the PA to blame Israel for these crimes, we see the fatal results of Mahmoud Abbas failure to fulfill his long-standing obligation under the Roadmap and numerous signed agreements to dismantle the terrorist movements, arrest their members and confiscate their weaponry.
It is critically important that the world that still believes that Hamas is the primary perpetrator of murder of Israelis understand that Abbas own Fatah is responsible for half the terrorist attacks on Israelis, including suicide bombings, and a large share of the violence and lawlessness within the PA. This shows that Mahmoud Abbas either supports the terrorism and violence or is not willing to put an end to it. Either way, he is not a peace partner or a reliable Palestinian leader.
Anyone who doubts Fatahs commitment to extremism and terrorism need only look at its Charter, which says that The Israeli existence in Palestine is a Zionist invasion with a colonial expansive base, and it is a natural ally to colonialism and international imperialism (Article 8); calls for the Complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence (Article 12) and says that Armed struggle [i.e. terrorism] is a strategy and not a tactic (Article 19).
Unless Mahmoud Abbas immediately acts to fulfill his commitment under the Roadmap to dismantle terrorist movements and end incitement to hatred and murder in the PA, starting with his own Fatah Charter, he is not a fit leader and his regime should not be the recipient of financial aid and concessions.