Killers escaped through previously closed road
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has called upon the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu to cease forthwith the practice of ending road closures, removing checkpoints and other so-called confidence-building measures for Mahmoud Abbas Palestinian Authority (PA) after todays terrorist attack near Hebron which resulted in the murder of four Israelis, two men and two women, one of the latter being pregnant.
The director-general of the Yesha Council, the umbrella group of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, Naftali Bennett, said that the assailants apparently fled the scene via a route opened as part of the gestures to the Palestinians after last Aprils visit to Israel by U.S. envoy George Mitchell. Mitchell urged Israel to make number of gestures to Palestinians, including release of prisoners, removal of checkpoints, transfer of authority over West Bank territories. Palestinian source says U.S. gave Israel encouraging list of demands (Roni Sofer, Govt source: Israeli gestures ahead of proximity talks, Yediot Ahronot, April 23, 2010).
Bennett said, We learn that every gesture begets more terror and are hurting over the horrible murder of four Israelis. This is a massacre that is not meant to foil talks, but is a direct result of negotiations and talks of concessions. The prime minister, who cancelled his trip to the US due to the flotilla and death of the Turks, must now cancel his visit and be in Israel at the time of such a barbaric terror attack.
Likud Knesset Member Zeev Elkin said, Unfortunately, all warnings that the policy of removing checkpoints and concessions to the Palestinians would lead to terror did materialize. Defense Minister Barak must take responsibility for the security of the citizens of Israel instead of serving as the foreign minister and deal[ing] with diplomacy (Roni Sofer, Likud MK: Attack proves Palestinians don’t want peace, Yediot Ahronot, August 31, 2010).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, This terrible Palestinian terrorist crime against four innocent Jews shows that the shedding of innocent Jewish blood is the inevitable result of relaxing security measures, like road closures and checkpoints. The next time people hear about Israel being called upon to make confidence-building gestures, they should remember that it means enabling scenes of carnage and tragedy like this.
Palestinian Arab terrorists compel Israel to create checkpoints and roadblocks in order to protect the lives of innocent Jews. If there was no Palestinian terror there would be no Israeli checkpoints and roadblocks.
It is morally and strategically wrong to prefer the convenience of Palestinians over the lives of Israelis; and especially so, when the concessions are being made to an interlocutor like Mahmoud Abbas terror-promoting PA. If the PA had truly ended the promotion of hatred and violence against Jews in their media, mosques, schools and youth camps, and if they had been arresting terrorists, and if they had outlawed terrorist groups, all required by signed agreements, then Abbas would have created at least the beginnings of a peace-loving culture and then Israel could consider reducing checkpoints and roadblocks.
This is not the first time Israelis have died because concessions on security. The murder of Rabbi Meir Chai in January by Palestinian terrorists belonging to Abbas Fatah which condemned the subsequent killing by Israel of the terrorists, while glorifying the dead terrorists as heroes was made possible by a similar, previous relaxation of security measures. This is not only obscene, but it helps to create an atmosphere and culture that encourages terrorist assaults against Israelis.
The ZOA urges Prime Minister Netanyahu to reinstate the checkpoints and roadblocks which have helped facilitate these heinous murders of innocent Jewish people. We urge Prime Minister Netanyahu to strongly demand that incitement must now end, terrorists must be arrested, and terrorist groups must be outlawed by the PA. As a first step, the PA must immediately rename he schools, streets and sports teams named in honor of killers of Jews. Naming these after terrorists can only inspire more Palestinians to become terrorists and perpetrate acts of terror.
The ZOA hopes Prime Minister Netanyahu will instruct the security services to re-institute the closures and checkpoints that might have detected these terrorists before they committed their foul deed or at least have enabled their capture after it.
We also call upon President Barack Obama to desist seeking one-sided confidence building measures from Israel. We ask him to see where these gestures have led and to recognize that those who place pressure on Israel which leads it to make such concessions cannot afterwards disassociate themselves from the consequences. It is necessary to absorb the lesson of this tragedy and not to repeat the policies that helped produced it.