Terrorists and Their Guns

Stop the madness.

Dr. Tzipora Pinner

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It must be coincidence. Because any other explanation for it would be too disturbing. On March 15, 2009, the Israel National News website featured two news items that fit each other like neighboring pieces of a puzzle.

In the afternoon, it could be read in the news briefs that Israel returned 300 weapons - mostly light-automatics seized in 2002's Operation Defensive Shield - to the Palestinian Authority. The one to announce this was none other than Hussein al-Sheikh, Minister of Civilian Matters in the Palestinian Authority. He must have appreciated it. Earlier in his life, before he rose to his present respectable position, he had been a commander of the Fatah's Tanzim terrorist group. The occasion of the announcement was the lifting of the Beit Iba roadblock near Shechem, which was removed by the Israel Defense Forces in order to facilitate mobility for the Palestinian residents of the
On the Palestinian side, intentions aren't even hidden.

A few hours later, two Israeli policemen were dead. They died because they were ambushed and shot at; their car overturned near Moshav Massua, southeast of Shechem. Responsibility for the shooting was claimed initially, among others, by the Fatah's Tanzim group, the same terrorist group of which the above al-Sheikh had been a commander in the past.

So, a former commander of the Tanzim announces the receiving of 300 guns from Israel, a roadblock is lifted near Shechem, and shortly thereafter two Israeli policemen are shot near Shechem - and Tanzim is among the first to claim responsibility.

Coincidence? Maybe. But it isn't the first time.

Israel has given already thousands of weapons to the Palestinian Authority "security forces", which consist of various branches of Fatah.

Also the Fatah's Tanzim are part of the PA security forces under the command of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and are therefore integrated into the "Road Map to Peace" plan. That entitles them to be well armed, and to supposedly maintain law and order in the PA-controlled areas. The idea behind arming them is that strengthening armed forces loyal to Abbas will help to prevent Hamas from seizing power in Judea and Samaria as it did in the Gaza Strip.

On the Palestinian side, this concept is well understood - and Israel's gifts are accepted with open arms and then exploited for a slightly different agenda. Since the implementation of the Oslo Accords, a deadly pattern has been established that repeats itself over and over again.

On the Palestinian side, intentions aren't even hidden. Let's see what recipients of Israeli and American arms shipments themselves had to say about this on earlier occasions.

In January 2007, as reported by the Jerusalem Post, Palestinian Authority Chairman Abbas himself, Israel's major "peace partner", made the following statement in front of thousands of followers concerning the proper use of firearms: "We have a legitimate right to direct our guns against Israeli occupation. It is forbidden to use these guns against Palestinians."

Abu Yousuf, a senior member of the Fatah special unit Force 17, stated bluntly in an interview with journalist Aaron Klein of World Net Daily, published on June 15, 2006, that "these weapons will not be used in an internal war, but against Israelis." He added that the terror organization "may share the weaponry with Hamas as well, if its 3,000-member militia is absorbed into the general PA police force." The weapons he spoke of were a 2006 shipment of 3,000 M-16 assault rifles and one million rounds of ammunition. Abu Yousuf added that, as far as his group was concerned, Israel transferred the weapons to his Force 17 unit "for its own political purposes. We are not concerned with the reasons. The weapons will not be used against our brothers, only [against] Israelis."

Abu Yousuf didn't utter empty words. He had his personal share in anti-Israel acts of terror, such as shooting attacks against Israeli forces in Ramallah and against Israeli civilians in Samaria. His most widely known victims were Rabbi Binyamin Zev Kahane and his wife Talia, H.y.d., who were murdered in a roadside shooting attack on the way home from Jerusalem in 2000.

Thinking of the two policemen who were murdered on March 15, in a roadside shooting attack, I can't help but observe how little has changed. The "sacrifices for peace" that Shimon Peres deemed necessary in the 1990s continue to be sacrificed and peace continues to be absent.

And the Palestinian Authority just got back 300 guns that were seized by Israeli soldiers in Operation Defensive
The "sacrifices for peace" that Shimon Peres deemed necessary in the 1990s continue to be sacrificed and peace continues to be absent.
Shield. It's actually just a small gift compared to the thousands of guns they already received on earlier occasions. It's part of a bigger scheme. According to the website www.israelpolicyforum.org, "A political source in Jerusalem noted that it was no coincidence that the newest Israeli gesture of good will was about to take place in proximity to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit in the region."

From the 1990s until now, the arms given by Israel and the US to the Palestinian Authority left behind a trail of dead Israeli policemen, soldiers and civilians. They were sacrificed in a so-called "low intensity conflict" while grandiose peace summits - with lots of history-making photos of the participants and occasional Nobel prizes - were held in safer places.

My heart goes out to the grief-stricken families, friends and colleagues of the murdered policemen. It's for them that I wrote this article.

As I'm planning to move to a Samaria settlement, the thought of driving on those same roads doesn't make me happy. But if I avoid them and choose to live somewhere else because of it, then the terrorists will have won. And the insane government policy of arming Palestinian militias with the long-term consequence of creating a Palestinian Terror State in the heartland of Eretz Israel will have won. I won't give them that victory.

In the meantime, our government must be prevented from handing out guns to murderers - and thereby aiding them - time after time. Even 16 years after Oslo, it's not too late. Stop the madness.