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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Hamas terrorists to join PA "police"

OK, let me get this straight. Instead of the PA arresting known and wanted terrorists, named by Israel - they are paying them and giving them guns and protection from Israel. Sounds like a great confidence-building measure to me!

Fugitives to join PA security forces
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH

About 350 Palestinian gunmen will be incorporated into the Palestinian Authority security forces soon as part of a deal reached between PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and leaders of all the Palestinian factions, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

The militiamen, who are on Israel's list of wanted terrorists, belong to various factions, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

This is the first time that members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad would serve in the PA security forces.

PA Minister of Agriculture Ibrahim Abu al-Naja revealed that the agreement to recruit the fugitives was achieved with the help of a top Egyptian security delegation that visited the West Bank and Gaza Strip earlier this week. The delegation, led by Gen. Mustafa Buhairi, deputy head of Egyptian Intelligence, held a series of meetings with representatives of all the factions and commanders of the security forces.

"The fugitives who will join the security forces belong to all the Palestinian groups and factions," Naja said. "The move is designed to protect them against Israeli assassination attempts."

"The Palestinian Authority does not distinguish between the wanted men," he said. "They are entitled to join the security forces because of their involvement in the resistance."

"There's no reason why Hamas and Islamic Jihad gunmen can't join the security forces," the official added. "They are part of the Palestinian people. The Israelis and Americans should be happy about this move, because it means that these men will stop all of their activities."

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