ZOA Opposes Israel Granting Amnesty For 178 Fatah Terrorists
July 19, 2007

Abbas hiring these terrorists
for security force

New York – The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is opposing the Israeli decision to grant amnesty to 178 Fatah members previously on Israel ‘s wanted list of terrorists. Under the terms of this deal, these Fatah members in Judea and Samaria have agreed to renounce attacks against Israel in return for an Israeli promise to stop pursuing them. The Fatah members are to be incorporated into the official Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces. An official in Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s office confirmed the deal would extend to wanted Fatah members who openly renounce terrorism, and that it is part of a series of measures to bolster PA president Mahmoud Abbas ( Fox News, July 15).

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “This decision simply makes no sense. These Fatah members are on Israel’s wanted list for a reason — that reason is their record of involvement in terrorist attacks against Israelis. There should be no amnesty for such people, least of all when the PA itself remains an unreformed terror regime and while Fatah’s Constitution states that Zionism is racism (Article 7) and demands the destruction of Israel (Article 12) and the use of terrorism as an integral part of the campaign to achieve that goal (Article 19).

“Why is Olmert making this dangerous concession? It is not as if Abbas has fulfilled even a single one of the PA’s 14 year old commitments under signed agreements to end terror, jail terrorists and stop the incitement to hatred and murder in its controlled, media, mosques, schools and youth camps that feeds terror. Abbas has not jailed terrorists, confiscated illegal weapons, or closed the bomb factories. He has not changed the textbooks, maps, broadcasters or clerics that call for terror and destruction. Nor does almost anyone ask — If Abbas is as often claimed a moderate and peacemaker who is serious about cracking down on terrorists, why would he wish to see terrorists released into the PA? These terrorists can only seriously harm the quest for peace.

“It is Abbas and Fatah who have all along controlled, and retain control today, over the content of Palestinian textbooks and the official PA media, both of which promote hatred of Jews, Israel, Christians and America. Until now, not only has Abbas not lifted a finger to stop terrorism against Israelis, he has praised terrorists wanted by Israel as ‘heroes fighting for freedom’ and declared that ‘Israel calls them murderers, we call them strugglers.’ Abbas has also described Hamas terrorist chieftain Sheikh Ahmad Yasin as a ‘martyr.’ Abbas’ Fatah, especially the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, are just as much involved in suicide bombing and other acts of terrorism as Hamas, the Popular Front, the Popular Resistance Committees and other Palestinian Arab terrorism groups. Fatah has murdered nearly 500 Israelis in nearly 7 years of suicide bombing and terrorism.

“If Olmert is determined to make such concessions, he should have been exerting all possible pressure on Abbas to carry out PA obligations. Instead, he has effectively pardoned unpunished terrorists without obtaining a single thing from the PA. Moreover, why is Olmert, after 14 years of harsh experience of nothing but broken promises from the PA, willing to accept a fresh promise of non-violence from terrorists? Why will the latest promise be any different? If these terrorists are willing to murder Jews, why would they not also be prepared to lie to Jews in the signed statements Olmert is requiring of them? This decision by the Olmert government is but the latest in a series of harmful decisions that is making Israel more vulnerable, less secure and ever more susceptible to foreign pressure.”

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