New York – Khaled Shawish, a senior terrorist commander in Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah, who had been sheltered since 2002 in Abbas’ presidential compound (the Muqata) in Ramallah, was captured this week by Israeli forces in Ramallah. Shawish is a senior commander in Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades who is responsible for the murder of 19 Israelis and the wounding of dozens in numerous attacks, including several in and around Jerusalem. The victims include Binyamin-Ze’ev Kahane, the son of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, and his wife Talia, who were shot to death while their five daughters were all seriously wounded in a December 2000 terror attack in which Shawish played a key role. Shawish also orchestrated two suicide bombings in Jerusalem in 2002, as well as a shooting attack in the French Hill neighborhood of Jerusalem. Shawish was cornered by Israeli forces when he left the Muqata in Ramallah. Israeli forces managed to wound Shawish in 2001 but failed to eliminate him (Israel National News, May 31). Israeli officials said that Shawish has been wanted by the IDF since 2000 and has spent most of his time near the Muqata. He was in possession of a gun when arrested (Jerusalem Post, May 31).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “The arrest of the terrorist Shawish by Israeli forces after he left Mahmoud Abbas’ presidential compound in Ramallah demonstrates as clearly as anything could that Mahmoud Abbas is no moderate anti-terrorist peace seeker. In addition to numerous other anti-peace, pro-terror actions and words, we now find out that he also shelters and protects terrorist murderers, just as Yasser Arafat did before him. Contrary to the absurd and false rhetoric one hears about Abbas’ moderation, opposition to terrorism and interest in peace, he is simply Yasser Arafat in a suit. Only this week, former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff, Lt-Gen. Moshe Yaalon, said categorically that Mahmoud Abbas is not a peace partner.
“Abbas after all, is the man who co-founded the terrorist group 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 has refused to implement the signed Oslo agreements and the 2003 Roadmap peace plan which requires him to fight, arrest, extradite 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 it. He has formed a unity government with the genocidal terrorist movement, Hamas. Why anyone would expect him to differ in his aims and conduct from Yasser Arafat is a mystery.
“That has not stopped governments around the world and the Bush Administration backing Abbas as though he were a force for moderation and peace. The ZOA has described this approach as divorced from reality and urged President Bush, who describes himself as ‘the best friend that Israel ever had,’ to cease supporting and funding Mahmoud Abbas and the PA terror regime. This policy not only harms Israel but also American interests and in particular the President’s war on terror, which is predicated on the idea that one cannot promote and sponsor terrorism and be a U.S. ally. The capture of the multiple murderer Shawish is a trenchant reminder of the terrorist sponsorship of Mahmoud Abbas and the PA.”