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PA Leaders Promise Quiet - Until Disengagement

Jibril Rajoub, PA security advisor and former head of its secret police, says all terrorist gangs agree that the "period of calm" would remain in effect at least until Israel withdraws from Gaza.
First Publish: 6/14/2005, 12:46 PM / Last Update: 6/14/2005, 10:37 AM

After Israel quits Gaza and hands it over to the Arabs, Rajoub said, "we will be able to re-evaluate the situation."

The current period of relative quiet - featuring fewer attempted terror attacks per day than during the height of the Oslo War in 2001-2003 - is known in Arabic as a "tahadiye." It is not even as binding as a "hudna," which means a temporary ceasefire. Even this "tahadiye," however, will not last longer than the scheduled withdrawal/retreat from Gaza, Rajoub says, unless it is actively renewed by the various terrorist organizations.

Rajoub himself is known to have been behind terror attacks against Israelis. In March 1997, for instance, the Israeli government submitted to the U.S. administration a list of violent incidents in Hevron and Bethlehem that were steered by Rajoub.

Islamic Jihad and Hamas have gone even further than Rajoub, threatening to call off the tahadiye immediately. Hamas and Islamic Jihad are unhappy with Israel's "violations," namely, continued arrests of terror leaders and the recent killing of the Islamic Jihad terror chieftain in Jenin. They announced two days ago that they will no longer accept the situation of "one-sided quiet."

Rajoub is attempting to calm the situation by promising - on dubious grounds - that the tahadiye will remain in effect. Even he, however, is not guaranteeing that it will last past the disengagement.

In the meanwhile, Palestinian terrorists launched a Kassam rocket at Moshav Katif last night, fired off several mortar shells at Katif, Gadid, and northern Gaza over the holiday, and sniper-fired at an IDF position near Gadid. In addition, a 50-kilogram was found and neutralized in northern Gaza. No one was hurt in these attacks.

Rajoub's intimidating remarks jibe perfectly with just-retired IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon's prediction. Yaalon said it is in the PA Arabs' interest to maintain quiet precisely until the disengagement is implemented, at which point a terror flare-up is sure to come. He said that the violence following the withdrawal will be full-fledged war, with a withdrawal from the rest of Judea and Samaria as the Palestinian Authority's objective. Tel Aviv and Kfar Saba will be placed under the same Kassam rocket threats that face Sderot today, he said.

Yaalon described the situation as follows: "You're out of Gaza? There'll be quiet [there]. You'll leave Judea and Samaria? There'll be quiet [there]. And if you leave Tel Aviv, then there will be quiet altogether!"

Deputy IDF Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Moshe Kaplinsky will meet with PA officials today to coordinate the withdrawal from Gush Katif and northern Shomron. This will be a continuation of a meeting held last week between Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz and Muhammad Dahlan, who holds the position of Disengagement Minister in the PA. Mofaz and Dahlan discussed border crossings to and from Gaza, security checks there, and how to ensure quick and efficient passage of Gazan Arabs through the checkpoints.