Friday, August 23, 2013

Back in January 2008:
A dozen Palestinian gunmen surrendered to Palestinian forces on Tuesday, and the top Palestinian security official said this means a violent West Bank militia, is now defunct. However, Israeli officials are skeptical of such claims, and say gunmen still pose a threat to Israel.

The gunmen who gave themselves up Tuesday are from the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a violent offshoot of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement.

Al Aqsa was formed at the start of the Palestinian uprising in 2000, and at its height had hundreds of members who carried out scores of shooting attacks against Israelis. Most recently, Al Aqsa was involved in the killing of two off-duty Israel Defense Forces soldiers in the West Bank last month.

In recent months, Abbas' security forces have tried to assert control in the West Bank, particularly in Nablus, the West Bank's second largest city and a former militia stronghold.

As part of the campaign, they have urged Al Aqsa gunmen to surrender their weapons, in exchange for a promise of amnesty from Israel and the prospect of jobs in the security services. Hundreds have so far taken up the offer, but holdouts have remained.

In Nablus, a small Al Aqsa splinter group, which called itself The Knights of the Night, was the last to surrender, Palestinian Interior Minister Abdel Razak Yehiyeh said Tuesday.

This is the last military group of Al Aqsa to hand over its weapons, Yehiyeh told The Associated Press. The Al Aqsa Brigades have been dismantled.
Five and a half years later, the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades still maintains its webpage, and you can see its latest activities.

For example, they greeted one of their old comrades when he was one of those released by Israel as a "goodwill gesture."

You can almost read their minds:  "Israel made a goodwill gesture, maybe we should reciprocate and send a hail of bullets back to those swell guys."

A couple of weeks before, as the new round of negotiations were just getting underway, this group - as proud members of Fatah,whose leader is Mahmoud Abbas -showed off their arsenal of weapons that inexplicably managed to make their way through the much-praised PA security forces and declared, "Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine, we will continue developing our own weapons to crush the enemy, wherever he is."

There are only two alternatives: either Mahmoud Abbas approves of a terror group under his own command, or he is too weak to stop them.

The US is pressuring Israel to sign a "peace agreement" with someone who either supports this terror group, or who is too weak to control his own political party, let alone his political opponents.

It doesn't really matter which it is.

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