Though the world views Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas as a "moderate," the terrorist group Al-Agsa Martyrs Brigades declared this past Thursday that it follows his exclusive leadership of Mahmoud Abbas - even as it continues terrorist attacks against Israel.
- Just a month ago, reports Arutz-7's Haggai Huberman, a special Israeli Border Guard force arrested in Jericho a member of an Al-Aqsa terror ring, Mamdouh Fahoud, for his involvement in shooting attacks against IDF soldiers.
- A week later, the IDF stopped three terrorists who were about to infiltrate Netiv HaAsarah, a Jewish town just north of Gaza. Two terrorists were killed, and the third escaped; PA sources reported that they were members of Fatah's military wing, the Al-Agsa Martyrs Brigades.
- Three weeks ago, the IDF arrested Nasser Alharaz, the Al-Aqsa spokesman - one of those who was supposed to be pardoned by Israel in exchange for his abandonment of terrorism. He did not do so.
Fatah terrorists in general have continued to perpetrate terrorism against Israel. Palestinian Authority policemen belonging to Fatah committed the roadside murder of Ido Zoldan a month ago near Kedumim. Fatah has been behind many other attacks as well.
Despite this, Huberman reports, Israel has been building the PA army anew - just five years after the IDF nearly totally dismantled it during Operation Defensive Shield in 2002.
The government has ordered the army to give the PA increasingly more security responsibility in cities and towns throughout Judea and Samaria. Just as in the early years of the Oslo Accords, some 20,000 PA security personnel from various organizations - including General Security, General Intelligence, Preventative Intelligence, PA Police, and more - are now active throughout Judea and Samaria.
Uniformed and armed PA police are once again operating openly in nearly all PA-controlled cities: Ramallah, Jenin, Tul Karem, Kalkilye, Bethlehem, Hevron, and Jericho. The main training base for the PA forces is in Jericho.
At the same time, increasingly more evidence is being amassed that Fatah and Hamas are soon likely to re-merge. Though Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has threatened that Israel will greet such a move by calling off the talks with the PA, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has not said as much.
Opposition to Palestinian State
The talks in question, jump-started last month in Annapolis, are designed to reach a final-status in which a new Arab state, Palestine, is formed in the Land of Israel. Opposition to such a state has been steadily rising among American Jewry, according to the American Jewish Committee's just-released 2007 Survey of Jewish Public Opinion. The most recent findings show that only 46% support creation of a Palestinian state "in the current situation," compared to 54% in 2006 and 56% the year before that.