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PA On Verge of Collapse

A defense expert told Israel Radio Saturday that the Palestinian Authority (PA) is in a state of paralysis as terrorists' authority has become outwardly more apparent in the past few days.

First Publish: 6/12/2005, 2:26 PM / Last Update: 6/12/2005, 2:37 AM

The statement Saturday by PA foreign minister Nasser al-Kidwa, that Arab terrorists should remain armed, signals a crisis for the PA, according to defense expert Moshe Elal. He said that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon should immediately demand that PA chairman Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) reject the comment, which contradicts the American roadmap plan and the Sharm el-Sheikh summit accord.

"Al-Kidwa is trying to bypass Abu Mazen and hints that there will be a more militant leadership," Elal said. "His words are very harsh, and we must take him seriously because of his past and his importance," referring to his being the nephew of former PLO leader Yasser Arafat.

Elal pointed out that Abu Mazen is dealing primarily with internal Arab issues such as elections. "The matters that interest Israel are being dealt with by ministers Nasser Yousef and Mohamed Dahlan. The PA is paralyzed and cannot execute any decision. Abu Mazen should resign because he is not in control."

The PA chairman, successor to Yasser Arafat, recently has surrendered to Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror leaders' demands. After they refused to speak with PA chairman Abu Mazen this past week, the PA agreed to release two terrorists from a Jericho jail who had been charged with involvement in the February suicide bombing at The Stage nightclub in Tel Aviv, which killed five Israelis. The Islamic Jihad has demanded that the other five also be freed.

Following the release, Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders halted mortar shell and rocket attacks on Israel. However, Abu Mazen has yet to surrender to the terrorists on their demand to set a date for the postponed PA legislative elections in which Hamas expects to win a large number of seats. Failure to reach a compromise could prompt another round of attacks on Israel's western Negev towns.