Daily Israel Report

PA: Conflicting Messages of Diplomacy and Terror

PA chief negotiator Saeb Erekat told reporters in London that Arabs view Israel’s unilateral expulsion as proof that terrorism works. He told Israeli TV the PA is proving its diplomacy won out.

By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 8/14/2005, 12:58 PM / Last Update: 8/14/2005, 12:58 AM

Erekat told the Totally Jewish web site in England that many Arabs see the planned pullout as a victory for terrorism. "Israel failed to weigh the consequences of its actions in not negotiating with us," he said.

The chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority (PA) explained that Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists "will claim they got you out like Hezbollah got you out from South Lebanon, kicking you in the ass" with suicide and rocket attacks.

If further negotiations for a new Arab state do not follow the planned expulsion, there will be more violence, Erekat warned.

"I want to see members of the Israeli government asking them to make the PLO a partner to the disengagement plan as part of negotiations, as part of a peace process between the PLO and the Israeli government," he stated, referring to the umbrella organization formerly headed by Yasser Arafat.

However, Erekat told Israeli Channel One television this week that the PA is telling its public that "cooperation and coordination, not Kassam" rockets made Israel withdraw from Arab cities in Judea and Samaria and agree to the expulsion of Jewish residents from northern Samaria and the Gaza region.

He added that a meeting this week between armed Hamas terrorists and PA chairman Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) "was a direct challenge" to the PA.

The London-based Al-Quds Arabic newspaper quoted Erekat as saying that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon warned Abu Mazen during their last meeting that the PA leader would meet the same fate as Arafat if he did not stop terrorism during the planned expulsion.

During the Oslo War, Israel bombarded Arafat's headquarters in Ramallah, where he was confined until shortly before his death last year.