The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has opposed the Israeli Defense Minister, Amir Peretz, authorizing the transfer of 5,000 rifles to Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas Presidential Guard ( Jerusalem Post, November 1). This latest move to bolster the forces of Mahmoud Abbas Fatah against Hamas follows on a similar arms transfer in May when the Olmert government transferred weapons and ammunition, including 370 assault rifles, to Abbas Force 17. Force 17 is a Fatah terrorist group headed by a terrorist on Israels most wanted list, Mahmoud Damra, whom Abbas appointed in June. Damra was among those offered shelter in 2002 in Arafats presidential compound, the Muqata, in Ramallah after Israel accused him of masterminding a string of terrorist attacks. Israeli security officials say that since September 2000, Damra has led a terror cell based in Ramallah that has carried out deadly attacks, including shootings at Israeli vehicles, attacks against Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and the planting of roadside bombs.
At the time of that earlier arms transfer, a senior member of Force 17 and the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, both Fatah terrorist groups, Abu Yousuf revealed in an interview that, These weapons will not be used in an internal war but against Israelis The weapons will not be used against our brothers, only [against] Israelis. Other members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades also confirmed that the weapons transferred by the Olmert government to Abbas in May had been used in two subsequent terrorist attacks which resulted in the death of one Israeli and the wounding of another ( World Net Daily, June 15). From September 2000 until December 2005, Fatah terrorists murdered 405 Israelis, almost as many (442) as those killed by Hamas in the same period.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, It is deeply troubling that the Olmert government has yet again approved the transfer of weapons to Mahmoud Abbas Fatah, despite the continuing involvement of Fatah in the terrorist murder of Israelis and the evidence that quickly emerged last time as to the intended and actual use of these weapons against Israeli men, women and children.
This policy error mirrors the mistakes committed by the Rabin government early in the Oslo peace process when arms were transferred to Yasser Arafats PA which were subsequently turned upon Israeli soldiers and civilians. However, this time it is even less excusable than before because experience has repeatedly shown that Israelis arms given to the PA end up being used against Jews while Abbas and the PA does absolutely nothing to arrest and jail terrorists and confiscate their weaponry and end the incitement to hatred and murder in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps that feeds terrorism.
Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah are not moderates. Abbas co-founded the terrorist Fatah with Yasser Arafat and was his deputy for 40 years. He funded the Munich massacre. He wrote a Ph.D. thesis and a book denying the Holocaust. As president of the PA, Abbas said it is our duty to implement the principles of Yasser Arafat. He refers to terrorists as heroes fighting for freedom. He rebuffed President Bushs call at the 2005 Aqaba summit to accept Israel publicly as a Jewish state. He has declared that neither Fatah nor Hamas need recognize Israel. He approved legislation mandating financial benefits to be paid to families of Palestinian shahids that is, dead terrorists. We urge Israel to immediately revoke this decision before the arms are transferred.