Terrorists from a military organization subservient to Yasser Arafat were the ones who murdered two Jews in the Binyamin region over the past several days. After Abu Mazen formed his new Palestinian Authority government, Arafat still retained control over five military organizations - Force 17, the National Security Forces, Military Intelligence, the naval forces, and General Intelligence. Haggai Huberman reports that an Israeli official says that members of the PA's Military Intelligence, headed by Musa Arafat, carried out the two drive-by murders of Gideon Lichterman and Tzion David. The official says that the murderers set out from the PA headquarters in Ramallah - the Mukata - and returned to it after the murders.
Israel has long warned that even after the formation of the new PA government, Arafat continues to pull the strings of terrorism from his official position.
The Yesha Council insists that the easing of travel restrictions in the PA be rescinded, as "enabling Arabs to wander around Yesha increases the danger of attacks." The Council also demands that the Prime Minister order another siege on the Mukata until all the terrorist murderers who have found refuge there are caught or turned over. The IDF placed the Mukata under siege for about two weeks, destroying most of its buildings, last September. Prime Minister Sharon said today that 18 terrorist leaders - among them leaders of terrorist organizations such as Toufik Tirawi - are still hiding under Arafat's wings in the Mukata, and that "the minute Arafat leaves, they will be taken."
A group of people who have either been wounded in drive-by shooting attacks, or are relatives of those who have been similarly murdered, wrote a strong letter to Prime Minister Sharon last week on this matter. The two dozen signatories - including the widows of Rabbis Yitzchak Arama and Elimelech Shapira, Aryeh and Assaf Hershkovitz, and Gilad Zar; the widowers of Sarah Lisha, Techiya Blumberg, and Sarah Blaustein; and the parents of Sarit Amrani, Binyamin Kahane, and Esther Alwan - warn that a decision to relax restrictions on Arab traffic in Yesha will be "an abandonment of Jewish lives," that it is "an expressly unlawful order," and that "this message is already written in blood on the roads of Yesha."
One of the signatories, Geulah Hershkovitz, was asked by Arutz-7's Emanuel Shilo this morning if she thought that the Prime Minister was attentive to letters of this sort, or does he simply have a totally different set of considerations. "He is definitely attentive," she responded, "but - I don't know why, but Arik Sharon is not the same Arik Sharon he used to be. I'm not a politician, but I know that just as we cried out a few years ago not to give them [the PA] guns, we're now crying out not to open the roads to free Arab traffic. We all know that we just have to wait for a major terrorist attack, and then the roads will be closed again. So why, why do we have to give them more Jewish blood? Why can't we just do what we know how to do? Why do Jews have to be murdered all the time? Why, why?"