Don't Give Them Guns!

Outgoing MK Yael Dayan (Labor) told a Tel Aviv weekly a few days ago that the guns Israel gave the PA in the framework of the Oslo Accords several years ago were not those that were turned against Israelis. "Suicide bus bombings are not caused by guns," she said. Dayan, who will not serve in the next Knesset, does not think anyone in Labor regrets giving guns to the PA. Asked if the murder of 1

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Outgoing MK Yael Dayan (Labor) told a Tel Aviv weekly a few days ago that the guns Israel gave the PA in the framework of the Oslo Accords several years ago were not those that were turned against Israelis. "Suicide bus bombings are not caused by guns," she said. Dayan, who will not serve in the next Knesset, does not think anyone in Labor regrets giving guns to the PA. Asked if the murder of 10-month-old Shalhevet Pass in Hevron does not "lie heavy on your conscience," she answered in the negative.

In this connection, Arutz-7's Kobi Sela pointed out that Binyamin Regional Council head Pinchas Wallerstein, and others, warned many times during the early Oslo years against giving rifles to the Palestinian Authority. These warnings were scorned by Oslo proponents; then-Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, for instance, once responded in the Knesset with condescending derision, "What do you mean, don't give guns to the PA? Only Hamas should be allowed to have guns? And the PA police should throw rocks at them?!"

Sela noted that press reports of late 2000 show that shortly after the Palestinians began the Oslo War in Sept. 2000, a terrorist named Muhammad Damra - known as Abu Awad; head of Force 17, Arafat's Presidential Guard - took weapons from Force 17 stockrooms. These weapons were apparently those given the PA by Israel. Among those who were murdered by Damra-associated terrorists in the space of two months at the end of 2000 were Aish-Kodesh Gilmore, 25, in Jerusalem, Sarah Lisha (mother of five), Corp. Elad Valenstein, 18, Corp. Amit Zana, 19, Ariel Jerafi, Eliyahu Cohen, and Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane and wife Talia - most of these in drive-by shooting attacks.

It is estimated that some 140-150 Israelis were killed in shooting attacks that utilized guns and rifles given the terrorists by Israel. It is assumed that Israel gave the PA between 10,000 and 40,000 weapons. Suzie Dim, of the grassroots organization Cities of Israel, told Arutz-7 today that it is not known how many guns are currently in the possession of Arabs in Yesha: "There are evaluations of between 40,000 and 150,000 guns in the area. Israel has collected only 8,000 of them. Israel gave 15,000 directly to the PA, and all the rest we 'indirectly' allowed in by turning a blind eye to the smuggling by VIPs, etc."

Arutz-7 also spoke with Col. (res.) Rabbi Moshe Hager - head of the pre-military yeshiva academy in Beit Yatir - on this topic today. Hager said,
"The information we have is that some 20% of the guns used in attacks against us were those we gave the PA, such as Kalachnikovs, pistols, and MP-5 sniper rifles. Many of the other guns we gave them are used to defend wanted terrorists or in other ways against us. I was just informed that we made a very successful catch today, but the fact is that we are forced to act very cautiously, with special units and at special times, to catch the terrorists - but the war is thus dragged out, with all the economic and other after-effects that are entailed...
"We said at the time that giving guns is an existential threat to Israel, because our strength is in tanks and planes, which can't be used in urban fighting… Giving guns to the PA was a totally irresponsible decision, from a security standpoint. I might not be able to fault people like [Yossi] Beilin - but I have strong criticism on people in the army who backed this move, and I feel that they are not worthy of holding security positions in the State of Israel."


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