If this is true, it represents a new low in Israeli self-esteem and common sense:
Israel had agreed to cease arrest raids on Fatah-affiliated fugitives in the West Bank if they proved that they were ready to stop all terror activity against the Jewish state, al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade leaders told the Palestinian Ma’an news agency on Saturday.
Reportedly, 178 Palestinian fugitives from the West Bank would no longer be sought by security forces if they proved that they had ceased terrorist activity. Martyrs Brigades Jenin chief, Zakahriya Zubeidi, was said to be one of the names on the list.
Also on the list is Daoud Haji, one of two terrorists who participated in a 2002 attack against troops at the Ein Arik checkpoint. Six soldiers were murdered in the massacre when Haji and another terrorist stormed the checkpoint shooting both soldiers on guard and those sleeping in a near-by caravan. — Jerusalem Post (my emphasis)
Note that it’s not clear what they would have to prove. It is nonsensical, anyway, to ‘prove’ that you are “ready to stop” doing anything. What constitutes proof? I know someone who has ‘proved’ that she is “ready to stop” smoking a million times, but she still smokes.
This is supposedly being done because these terrorists are the Fatah elements most “dedicated to standing up against Hamas”. I don’t need to point out that despite their differences, the one thing that they do agree with Hamas about is their desire to kill Jews.
Deals with the devil always turn out badly. Let’s hope that this report is just wishful thinking on the part of the al-Aqsa terrorists.
Update [1436 PDT]: PM Olmert has confirmed that it’s true, although a spokesperson said that Zubeidi is not included.
“The agreement serves Israel’s interests in that the Fatah men on the list will lay down their arms and leave the cycle of terror,” a senior Israeli official said. — YNet
Of course. Thank goodness.
Update [15 July 0818 PDT]: Zubeidi will be pardoned after all.