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New Terrorist Demand: Get Out of Gaza

Arab terrorist gangs' weekend agreement to the PA's demand for a cease-fire was conditioned on Israel's releasing prisoners and withdrawing all Jewish civilians and military from Gaza.

First Publish: 1/23/2005, 10:21 AM / Last Update: 1/22/2005, 10:24 PM

After three days of a drastic reduction in mortar shell firing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade said its promise to stop the attacks was contingent on "a comprehensive cessation of all [Israeli] military operations in our land." The Islamic Jihad terrorist gang insisted that Israel completely withdraw from all of Gaza.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine hinged their agreement on Israel's releasing prisoners. About 10,000 Arabs, including more than 1,000 with "have blood on their hands," are in Israeli prisons.

A significant holdout was the Hamas terror group which denied reports it had agreed to a cease-fire and added that it is "considering" the idea.

Although virtually all the major news media reported that terrorist attacks have been reduced to "zero," terrorists returned to action Saturday. A Kassam rocket and mortar shell were fired Saturday near Neve Dekalim, an anti-tank missile was fired near Gane Tal and terrorists shot at IDF posts near Gan Or and Kfar Darom. Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade terrorists said they fired on the soldiers, No one was injured. All four communities are in Gush Katif in southern Gaza.

In Samaria, Molotov cocktails and rifle fire were directed at IDF troops near Shechem.

Palestinian Authority (PA) president Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) flexed his muscles against terrorist groups and for the first time directed security forces to fire at anyone trying to shell Jewish communities in Gaza. On the other hand, PA soldiers near Jenin executed a man suspected of cooperating with Israel, the fourth assassination in several days.

Most Israeli politicians have expressed satisfaction at Abu Mazen's success in almost putting an end to terrorist attacks the last three days. The day after Sderot buried a victim of a rocket attack, Mayor Eli Moyal said he was "happy about these days of quiet."

However, National Security Council chief Giora Eiland said that Israel expects Abu Mazen to take weapons away from terrorist groups. "Israel is not interested in a civil war among Arabs but expects to see a serious change and real steps to stop the ability of terrorists [to attack.]

Following Abu Mazen's moves against attacks on Israel, the United States announced Assistant Secretary of State William Burns will visit Israel soon to discuss chances for renewed Israeli-PA negotiations.