Yet Israel Transfers Arms To PA
The Palestinian Authority (PA) Minister of Prisoners, Ashraf al-Ajrami, has honored PA security forces as heroes for being the backbone of Palestinian terror campaign against Israel since 2000. His words were uttered at precisely the time that Israel approved the transfer of 1,000 AK-47 rifles to the PA security forces that are being trained by American Lt.-Gen. Keith Dayton. In short, Israel is arming the same forces that carry out terrorism against Israelis. Ajrami condemned Hamas for waiting too long before embarking on a terror campaign to kill Jews.
The PA minister gloated that these forces had carried out what he called the greatest and most important operations [terror attacks] in the war. He also taunted Hamas for not immediately joining the Fatah forces in their war when it was launched in September 2000.
Ashraf al-Ajramis words of praise for PA forces:
· Now they [Hamas] are speaking [disparagingly] about the PAs security forces, calling them] Dayton Forces. These [security] forces paid the heavy price in the second Intifada, both as Shahids [Martyrs] and as prisoners. The greatest number of prisoners is from the security forces sector. They are the ones who bore arms and carried out the greatest and most important operations [terror attacks] against the Israeli occupation – and especially against soldiers, and some of the most famous operations [terror attacks] in the West Bank – Ein-Arik, Wadi Al-Haramiyeh, Sorda, and others. These were carried out by the heroes of the Palestinian security forces, who protected the homeland and the national interest, while Hamas merely looked on for many months before embarking [on terrorist attacks]. (Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, PA boasts of past terror attacks by security forces, Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) Bulletin, July 7, 2009).
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has long opposed arms transfers to the PA, as Fatah sponsors and protects terrorists that murder Israelis, including its own Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. Such transfers often go the very people carrying out terror attacks. For example, in May 2006 Israel transferred weapons and ammunition, including 370 assault rifles, to PA president and Fatah co-founder Mahmoud Abbas Force 17. Force 17 is a Fatah terrorist group headed by a terrorist on Israels most wanted list, Mahmoud Damra, who was personally appointed to his position by Abbas in May 2006. Damra was among those offered shelter in 2002 in Arafats presidential compound, the Muqata, in Ramallah after he masterminded a string of attacks, including the killing of IDF soldiers near Neve Tzuf in 2000 and of an Israeli citizen near Tapuach, in Samaria, in 2001. Damras terror cell also planted roadside bombs and fired upon Israeli civilian vehicles. Damra also served under Yasser Arafat in order to escape Israeli arrest (Israel National News, 7, May 30, 2006).
The PAs Abbas also has a long record supporting, praising promoting and protecting terrorists:
- Fighting Israel: We have a legitimate right to direct our guns against Israeli occupation Our rifles, all our rifles are aimed at The Occupation (Khaled Abu Toameh, Abbas: Aim guns against occupation, Jerusalem Post, January 11, 2007; Independent Media & Review Analysis, January 12, 2007).
- On suicide bombers: Allah loves the martyr (Wall Street Journal, January 5, 2005).
- On wanted Palestinian terrorists: heroes fighting for freedom (Ed OLoughlin, Abbas courts Gaza militants for votes, Age [Melbourne], January 3, 2005); Israel calls them murderers, we call them strugglers (Jerusalem Post, December 25, 2004).
- On Palestinian terrorist leaders Yasser Arafat, Hamas Ahmad Yasin and Abdel Aziz Rantisi and Palestinian Islamic Jihads Fathi Shikaki: martyrs (Palestinian Media Center, September 14, 2005); The ways of the shahids [martyrs] Arafat, Abu Jihad [Khalil Ibrahim al-Wazir], George Habash and even Sheikh Ahmed Yassin are the ways we recognize. These are the ways in which we are meant to preserve the national interests of the Palestinian people (Khaled Abu Toameh, Abbas proposes referendum to Hamas, Jerusalem Post, November 11, 2008).
· On Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine founder and leader George Habash: The death of this historic leader is a great loss for the Palestinian cause and for the Palestinian people for whom he fought for 60 years (PFLP founder George Habash mourned as historic leader for Palestinians, Daily Star [Beirut], January 28, 2008).
· On Hamas: We must unite the Hamas and Fatah blood in the struggle against Israel as we did at the beginning of the intifada. We want a political partnership with Hamas (Jerusalem Post, February 5, 2007).
· On Yasser Arafat: It is our duty to implement the principles of Yasser Arafat (Haaretz, January 3, 2005); We will continue in the path of the late president until we fulfill all his dreams (Agence France-Presse, November 11, 2005); The Palestinian leadership wont stray from Arafats path (Yediot Ahronot, November 11, 2006).
· On using terrorism: At this present juncture, I am opposed to the armed struggle because we cant succeed in it, but maybe in the future things will be different (Abbas: Armed resistance not ruled out, Jerusalem Post, February 28, 2008).
· On Fatahs pioneering role in terrorism: I had the honor of firing the first shot in 1965 and of being the one who taught resistance to many in the region and around the world; what its like; when it is effective and when it isnt effective; its uses, and what serious, authentic and influential resistance is We [Fatah] had the honor of leading the resistance and we taught resistance to everyone, including Hizballah, who trained in our military camps (Abbas: Armed resistance not ruled out, Jerusalem Post, February 28, 2008).
- On disarming Palestinian terrorists: a red line that must not be crossed (Candidate Abbas confronts delicate balance on Hamas, Washington Times, January 3, 2005)
- On jailed Palestinian terrorists: our heroes. (Israel National News, May 26, 2006); In a statement broadcast by PA radio on Prisoners Day, Our position was and is still unwavering that it is not possible to make peace with Israel unless all prisoners and all detainees are freed There will be no signing of any agreement that does not guarantee freedom for all of them (Palestinians mark Prisoner’s Day across the West Bank, Agence France Presse (AFP), April 17, 2008).
- On the Lebanese terrorist group Hizballah: A source of pride and sets an example for the Arab resistance (Jerusalem Post, August 6, 2006).
- Protecting terrorists: Abbas, like Arafat before him, has sheltered wanted terrorists in the Muqata, his presidential compound in Ramallah, including Khaled Shawish, a senior Fatah commander responsible for the murder of 19 Israelis and the wounding of dozens more in numerous attacks, until Israeli forces captured him when he ventured outside the compound in May 2007 (Yaakov Katz, Man who killed Kahane’s son arrested in Ramallah, Jerusalem Post, May 31, 2007).
- Authorizes funding for suicide bombers families: In December 2005, he approved legislation mandating financial benefits to be paid to families of killed Palestinian terrorists (Scott Shiloh, Abbas Approves Monthly Grant To Families of Suicide Bombers, Israel National News, December 11, 2005).
- On Israel freeing of unrepentant terrorist Samir Kuntar: Abbas personally congratulated the family of this multiple murderer when Kuntar was released by Israel, while Abbas Fatah party organized a rally in Ramallah to celebrate the event (Khaled Abu Toameh, Haniyeh: Release thousands for Schalit, Jerusalem Post, July 16, 2008).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, It is deeply troubling that the PA continues to honor, arm and protect terrorists, contrary to all Palestinian commitments under the Oslo agreements and the 2003 Roadmap peace plan. It is particularly telling that, within Palestinian political culture, there is competition between the main Palestinian terrorist groups as to which is more bloodthirsty and that here, Fatah demeans Hamas for not committing terrorism sooner.
All this provides a clear indication that the present Obama Administration policy, like that of the Bush Administration before it, by ignoring Palestinian terrorism and incitement to hatred and murder while pressuring Israel to make further concession, is permitting the PA to continue in its extremist, terrorist path. Since it pays no penalty for its promotion of terrorism and hatred, why would it change its ways?
It is also disturbing that Israel is not opposing the transfer of further weapons to Abbas PA. 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, confiscate their weaponry and end the incitement to hatred and murder in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps that feeds terrorism.