Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas took steps Tuesday against factional fighting by outlawing armed groups outside the official PA security forces, and ruling that the government will confiscate all arms from these groups.Today:
"On the basis of the declaration of a state of emergency in the Palestinian territories, and by virtue of my authority, all armed militias, groups and brigades that do not belong in practice to the security services shall be treated as illegal organizations," stated the decree.
Fatah-affiliated Al Aqsa Brigades refuse to dissolve or to disarm and reject the truce in the West BankAbbas' next move will be, as usual, forfeit.
The Fatah-affiliated Al Aqsa Brigades have announced that they have rejected the presidential decree regarding the disbanding of militia in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The spokesman of the brigades, Abu Oday, told Ma'an that, following consultations with the brigades' leaders in the West Bank, they have issued the following declaration:
First: the rejection of the dissolution of the brigades, "because they are a resistance group, and are defending the country and the dignity of the people".
Second: the refusal to disarm the group, "because it is a legitimate arm of resistance, and is the only weapon to remain to defend the Intifada ["Uprising"]."
Third: the rejection of the description of the brigades as 'militias', "which defame the Palestinians, and it is nonsense to describe the only remaining armed wing as a militia." [EoZ - wonder what they think of "terrorists?"]
Fourth: the brigades support the presidents' decision to withdraw illegal arms used in the lawlessness, and announce that they stand with the security forces to stop the state of disorder.
Fifth: the brigades will "do their best" to aid the security forces, "and will be honored to stand beside the security forces to defend the country."
Sixth: the brigades will not be complacent before the crimes of the occupation, "and will retaliate for the crimes committed [by the occupying Israeli military], especially in the recent days in the [Gaza] Strip, Nablus and Jenin.
Seventh: the brigades reject the connection established between themselves and the current state of lawlessness, and confirm that they "were created to confront the occupation and its aggression against the Palestinian people".
Eighth: the brigades will not be committed to a truce with the Israelis, as long as the occupation continues the crimes and incursions against Palestinians and their cities.
Either Abbas controls the terrorists, in which case he is complicit in terrorism, or he has no ability to control his own factions, in which case he is weak to the point of irrelevance. Either way, he is not someone who should be "strengthened" and rewarded.