New York – The ZOA has described as ludicrous the call by Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas for Hamas to accept existing agreements entered into with Israel by the PA, saying that this falsely implies that the PA under Abbas and Fatah previously complied with PA undertakings under these agreements.
The agreements signed by Israel and the PA under the Oslo peace process include commitments by the PA to dismantle and disarm terrorist groups, confiscate their weaponry and end the incitement to hatred and murder in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps. None of these commitments have been fulfilled by the PA. The PA apparently accepted these agreements but has not fulfilled any of the obligations contained in them.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, It is ludicrous for Mahmoud Abbas, in calling for Hamas to accept agreements previously signed with Israel by the PA, to imply that the PA till now fulfilled these agreements. As the ZOA has noted many times, Abbas himself has repeatedly refused to implement commitments to disarm terror groups and terrorism against Israel actually reached an 18 month high six months into his presidency of the PA. PA salaried clerics continue to deliver blood-curdling sermons of hate and extremism.
Worse, Abbas never closed the bomb factories, confiscated illegal weaponry or arrested terrorists, or renamed the schools, streets and sports teams and even the Gaza border crossing named for Palestinian terrorists who murdered Jews. He did not act to stop terrorists even on occasions when Israel provided him the information on their whereabouts. Above all, his own Fatah group has carried out more attacks on Israeli civilians over the past five years than Hamas. This is not fighting terrorism and incitement; this is terrorism and incitement. The PA has consistently failed to fulfill its undertakings.
Because Abbas and Fatah say they accept agreements while violating them, they are sometimes seen as moderate compared to Hamas, which openly rejects and violates agreements. If people had been willing to hold the PA to its obligations over 12 years, we might have a different situation today in which Palestinians would be moving to accepting Israel. As the record of the PA and Abbas show, the main issue is not accepting agreements, but fulfilling them.
Clearly, formal acceptance by the PA of agreements reached with Israel on fighting terrorism and ending incitement to hatred and murder was meaningless because there was no fulfillment of these terms. Accepting agreements has done nothing to bring peace. Fulfilling agreements, however, would be a vital step in this direction.