Handover of Towns Frozen Due to PA Violation of Commitments

The security cabinet approved the recommendation of Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz to freeze the handover of Arab towns to the Palestinian Authority due to its refusal to disarm terrorists.

, | updated: 17:37


Defense Minister Mofaz told members of the mini-security cabinet that the PA was not standing by its promise to collect weapons from wanted terrorists, and that the handovers must therefore be brought to a halt.

The PA announced again today that it has no intention of disarming members of the various terror organizations operating in territory Israel already handed over. PA security chief Rashid Abu Shabak said the PA refuses to disarm the “Palestinian resistance” until Israel hands over the rest of the towns to the PA.

Last month, masked gunmen of a Hamas “vice and virtue commando” in Gaza gruesomely murdered a 22-year-old university student because she was seen in public with her fiance.

In response to the murder, Abu Shabak said, "Arms of resistance should not be displayed in streets. Arms of resistance should not be used in family feuds. Arms of resistance should not kill a woman who goes out with her fiance." It was unclear if his omission of a ban on using the arms Israeli civilians was purposeful or not.

Despite Israel's freeze on handing over control of additional towns to the PA, preparations are being made to release an addition 400 Arab security prisoners from Israeli prisons. Israel released 500 in February.

The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee decided Wednesday to require a Knesset vote in order to change the conditions of the peace accord with Egypt. This would require a Knesset vote on the government's proposal to allow hundreds of armed Egyptian forces in the Sinai. Their purpose would be to prevent weapons-smuggling into Gaza after an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza.



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