ZOA: Why Does Israel Have To Close Judea & Samaria, If Abbas Is Supposedly Fighting Terrorism?
April 18, 2008

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has questioned why the need still exists for Israel to mount a massive security operation and closure of Judea and Samaria on the eve of Passover if Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas is a peace-seeking, moderate Palestinian leader who is allegedly preventing and fighting terrorism against Israel. Reports indicate that terrorist threats have led Israel military and security forces to go on their highest level of alert.


During the first stage of preparations, currently under way, thousands of police will form three rings of security extending from the Green Line pre-1967 armistice line dividing Israel from Judea and Samaria through to Israeli city centers. District forces have been ordered to be on the lookout for any Palestinian infiltrators. Thousands of police, Border Police and volunteers will help secure the capital, Jerusalem, including increased patrols at hotels and synagogues. Markets will also be a focal point of police presence, as well as the Old City and roads leading into east Jerusalem.  In Tel Aviv, police announced the completion of holiday preparations, which include the placement of roadblocks at the entrance to the city and checks of all incoming vehicles.  Police sapper units will also patrol the city’s streets, searching for suspicious cars (Yaacov Lappin, ‘Police on highest alert ahead of Pessah,’ Jerusalem Post, April 17, 2008).


ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “How are we to understand that, on one day, Israel’s Olmert and the US’s Bush and Rice praise Mahmoud Abbas as a moderate peace-seeker who is sincerely devoted to fighting and preventing terrorism and then, the very next day, Israel announces it is mounting a massive security effort to prevent Palestinian terrorism from Judea and Samaria into Israel and then, the day after that, Israel and the US negotiate with Abbas to determine how much land to give to him and when a Palestinian state under his control can be established.


“Why is America and Israel negotiating with Mahmoud Abbas to discuss more land concessions and even statehood while Abbas continues to be unwilling or unable to stop terrorist attacks emanating from Judea and Samaria, a territory he allegedly controls? If he cannot be motivated to stop terrorism when he is still seeking Israeli concessions, what possible motivation will he have to do it when he has received all these concessions? I have been told personally by former Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) Chief-of-Staff, Lt.-Gen. Moshe Yaalon that last year, Israeli forces prevented 186 terror attacks.


“One would have thought that the much-vaunted peace process that is supposed to be in progress with Abbas would mean, among other things, that terrorism and incitement to hatred and murder within the PA would be something of the bygone past. One must also wonder why the Olmert government is still proclaiming Abbas as a moderate and peace partner, when Abbas has taken absolutely no action to fulfill signed Palestinian commitments under the Oslo agreements and the 2003 Roadmap peace plan to arrest terrorists, confiscate their weaponry and end the incitement to hatred and murder that permeates the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps.


“If this is the situation today, 14 years after the start of the Oslo process, and only months before the conclusion of what Prime Minister Olmert says will be a ‘shelf agreement’ and what President Bush says will be a final peace settlement, what can the Olmert government believe and expect will be the situation this time next year or the year after?


“In these circumstances, it is dangerously unrealistic to proceed with a signed agreement with a PA regime that, to this date, has never honored a single one of its commitments. The Olmert government’s drive for creating a Palestinian state regardless of what Palestinians think and do is bound to lead to still more bloodshed and disaster. We have no reason for assuming that a sovereign Palestinian state, in a Judea and Samaria ethnically cleansed of Jews, will be any more peaceable, any more conciliatory or any more responsible than the current terror-promoting and terrorist-protecting regime.


“At no time has statehood been a method for preventing terrorism or producing peace. Iran, Syria and North Korea are all sovereign states – they are not lovely and peaceful. On the contrary, regimes like these in control of a country have greater capacity to inflict harm and advance their illiberal, violent agendas. The massive security operation that Israel is obliged to put in place to protect the country during a major holiday is stark and sad testimony to these truths.”

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