Revolving Door Justice: PA Bows to Hamas, Releases Terrorists

The Palestinian Authority, bowing to pressure from the Hamas terror group, has released two Hamas terrorists who were arrested just the day before for carrying Kassam missiles.

, | updated: 19:32

Shortly after the terrorists were arrested on Monday, PA para-military forces clashed with Hamas terrorists in a showdown over what was publicized as PA chief Mahmoud Abbas’ “iron fist” policy against Hamas terrorists and other opponents.

However, this "iron fist" went soft the very next day, as the PA released the terrorists from prison.

In an effort to reduce Hamas attacks against Israeli targets, Abbas issued an order allowing only official PA para-military forces to openly carry weapons in the street. While the order has not succeeded in stopping missile attacks against Israel, the two terrorists were arrested because they were defying that order by carrying Kassam rockets and launchers.

Prime Minister Sharon has accused Abbas of working only to maintain quiet, but not to actually disarm the terrorist organizations.

The arrest of the Hamas terrorists on Monday provided the PA with an opportunity to showcase recent measures to combat terrorism before the international media. But when faced with threats of violence from Hamas - as well as Egyptian pressure - the PA quickly hurried them out the back door.

An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman commented on the release, saying, “If we start seeing a revolving door, as we saw in the past… this would not be a good sign.” He said that Israeli-PA relations could improve only if the PA mounted a “continuous, ongoing effort against the terrorists.”

Hamas denied that the terrorists were about to fire rockets at Israeli targets. Hamas said they were committed to “maintaining calm,” and accused the PA of kow-towing to Washington at the expense of Palestinian unity.

A spokesman for the PA’s interior department, Toufik Abu Khoussa, was convinced, however, that the Hamas suspects were about to fire a Kassam. "The three were in a car, en route to fire rockets, when police waved for them to stop. Gunmen opened fire at the police, forcing policemen to fire back," he said.

Khoussa said the Hamas terrorists were violating the ceasefire that Abbas had negotiated with the terrorists in Egypt. According to Khoussa, that agreement was supposed to last until the end of the year.

Military sources say that despite Abbas’ order and the terrorist “ceasefire” that was negotiated last March in Egypt, terror incidents were up a sharp 54% in April compared with the month before. Two hundred and fifty terror incidents occurred in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza in April. Gush Katif was shelled 57 times, as opposed to only ten times in March.