More and more prisoners and fugitives connected to Fatah are to be released or pardoned. Israel has given the Palestinians a list of 256 prisoners that will be freed shortly as a goodwill gesture to the Abbas/Fayyed government in the West bank.
In addition, Israel agreed to pardon 178 fugitives, including the al-Aqsa brigades commander in Jenin, Zakaria Zubeidi, if they agreed to “lay down their arms” and not engage in terrorism against Israel again. These former terrorists are now being absorbed into the Palestinian Authority’s ‘security’ services, where of course they will be issued new weapons.
But even that is apparently not enough. Today, YNet reports that
Israeli and Palestinian security officials met Monday to discuss expanding the list of 178 wanted Fatah members set to receive amnesty from Israel.
The officials discussed the possibility of adding 206 members of the organization’s armed wing – the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades – to the list. However, the list presented by the Palestinians to Israel includes the names of 28 operatives to whom Israel refuses to grant amnesty.
Ynet has learned that Israel may agree to allow these members to move to other cities in the West Bank, or move abroad for several years, an option the Palestinians have so far rejected.
The al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades is a murderous terrorist organization that targets Israelis, civilians and soldiers, both inside and outside the Green Line. It has probably killed more Israelis than any other terrorist group, including Hamas.
What can possibly explain the mad rush to make dangerous concessions of this type? What is Israel getting in return from the Palestinians?
My opinion is that pressure is coming from the US. This is the implementation of the policy enunciated by President Bush in his speech yesterday, in which he mentioned the Palestinian security services no less than three times.
The plan seems to be that a Fatah army will be built to confront Hamas, in the West Bank and possibly in Gaza. Made up of former terrorists (after all, they are the ones capable of fighting), possibly including Palestinian Badr Brigade members from Jordan, and armed and trained by the US, they will be the tool by which Hamas is to be opposed.
I can’t think of a stupider plan, from Israel’s point of view. Take a bunch of violently anti-Israel terrorists located a few miles from Israel’s population centers, arm them, train them, even invite more of the same from other countries, and pay them to fight another terrorist group!
Suppose they succeed in destroying Hamas? Then what? Do they suddenly become peace-loving vegetarians who devote their energies to gardening?
Or suppose they decide that their common interest with Hamas — killing Jews — permits a temporary alliance to further their goal?
Or suppose that, after the arming and training and “bolstering”, Saudi Arabia comes along and manages to negotiate a unity agreement between Fatah and Hamas? Then Israel is facing hostile non-state armies on three sides.
I know that President Bush strongly supports Israel, but I think he has been sold a bill of goods by the Saudi-influenced Baker faction. This plan simply creates a monster that will sooner or later turn on Israel.
Israel must, somehow, get free of US domination and make her own security decisions. One lesson of the Holocaust is that the Jewish people can’t leave its security in the hands of others, no matter how well-meaning they may seem.