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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Meanwhile, the PA pays - and protects - terrorists

Hamas is being portrayed in the media as representing the "extremists" among Palestinian Arabs and Mahmoud Abbas' PA is consistently viewed as being "moderate." The Gaza operation has seemingly shown that the two sides are polar opposites, and has made many consider that it is now more important than ever to prop up the PA as Israel's only viable peace partner.

A little research shows that the idea of the PA and Fatah being anti-terrorism is a gross error.

It is true that the PA stayed largely on the sidelines during the war, and even seemed to passively support Israel against Hamas. It is equally true that there is no love lost between Hamas and Fatah over Hamas' violent, bloody coup in Gaza in 2007.

However, this antipathy must not be considered proof that the PA leaders are against terrorism.

The JCPA just released an important study about the Western hopes of the PA retaking Gaza and the PA's shortcomings. A couple of salient facts emerge:
In 2009, thousands of "unemployed" Fatah militiamen, such as members of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, still hold weapons that they conceal in their homes. In their current dormant status, they also continue to receive monthly salaries from the Palestinian Authority on the instructions of Abbas and Fayyad,15 who are eager to avoid conflict with these groups and to protect themselves from the death threats made by the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades and Hamas against them.16
Remarkable and ignored in Western diplomatic circles is that Fayyad has continued to pay the monthly salaries of between 6,000 and 12,000 Hamas Executive Force operatives in Gaza, in line with the 2007 Mecca national unity agreement that brought Hamas under the umbrella of the Palestinian Authority for budgetary purposes.20

It is widely believed in Western diplomatic circles that the PA in Ramallah was only paying the salaries of civil service employees in Gaza to encourage them to stay at home to avoid working with Hamas, especially after Hamas' expulsion of Fatah in June 2007. This is incorrect. The PA, and indirectly the U.S., and international donor countries have continued to pay monthly salaries to Hamas security operatives (Read: terrorists) and their commanders from the PA's $120 million monthly budget allocation to the Gaza Strip.21 The height of irony in this regard may have been seen during the Gaza war when Hamas fighters received their salaries from the PA at Gaza City's Shifa Hospital which was immune from IDF fire.22

Fatah's armed wing, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, announced on January 19, 2009, that its men in Gaza fought against Israel alongside Hamas, together with Islamic Jihad's Al-Quds Battalions. The Al Aksa Brigades said they fired 102 rockets and 35 mortars, and detonated explosive devices that wounded a number of IDF soldiers.72
Another recent article reveals an even more egregious display of support for terrorists by the PA:
Col. Radi Assidah, the Palestinian Authority's security commander in the Jenin area, said over the weekend that his force is protecting and providing shelter to Islamic Jihad fugitives.

A number of Islamic Jihad activists wanted by Israel recently handed themselves over to the PA security forces in the city out of fear that they would be killed or arrested by Israel, Assidah said.

Assidah said the Islamic Jihad men arrived about five months ago at the headquarters of the PA security forces in Jenin to seek sanctuary until their cases with Israel were resolved.

"They sought refuge with us," he said. "Since then we have been hosting them in our headquarters. They are not prisoners and they are entitled to leave whenever they want."

Assidah also revealed that the PA government of Salaam Fayad was paying the wanted Islamic Jihad men monthly salaries.
The PA is not only indirectly financially supporting terrorism by sending most of its budget to Gaza and freeing Hamas to spend money on weapons, it is also directly paying terrorists from Hamas, Al Aqsa Brigades and Islamic Jihad! And it is actively protecting wanted Islamic Jihad terrorists from jail!

To call this outrageous would be an understatement, yet the West - which is bankrolling the PA to the tune of some $2 billion a year - remains supportive of these corrupt, terror-supporting so-called "moderates."

Ironically, the Gaza operation makes the terrorist-leaning PA seem even more of a strategic partner for "peace," and the EU, US and current Israeli government is encouraging such thinking.

As Western money goes directly to people sworn to murdering Israelis.