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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The 'immunity' sham

Yesterday, WorldNetDaily reported that most of the Fatah terrorists who received guarantees that Israel would no longer pursue them had not turned in their weapons as required under the arrangement. Today, the Olmert-Barak-Livni government assured the 'Palestinians' that it won't look too closely at whether or not the terrorists turn their weapons in. In fact, if 'one or two' terrorists continue to carry out terror attacks, that won't bother the government either. No sense in letting a terror attack or two get in the way of 'peace', eh?
Officials from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office told Palestinian leaders the Jewish state would not "look with a microscope" at whether terror leaders from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah organization turned in their weapons in compliance with an amnesty agreement last month, a top Palestinian diplomat told WND.

Part of the amnesty deal required the 178 terrorists – all of whom are members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the declared "military wing" of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah organization – to disarm and to sign a document stating they would not carry out terror attacks.

WND reported yesterday most members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades granted amnesty by Olmert have not turned in their weapons despite media reports to the contrary, while some haven't even signed their amnesty contracts.

A senior Palestinian diplomat close to Abbas told WND yesterday officials from Olmert's office said they would not closely investigate whether all Brigades members turned in their weapons.

"Olmert's team told us they will not look into the disarming process with a microscope for single problematic cases. They said they will look at the macro not the micro level. Israel said if some wanted guy was still acting (committing attacks against Israel), they won't explode everything just for that," said the diplomat, speaking on condition his name be withheld.


Abu Yousuf, a senior leader of the Brigades in Ramallah, told WND most Brigades members turned in one of several pieces of weaponry they possess. He said most Brigades members have two to three guns, including one to two personal weapons and one assault rifle issued by the PA, since the majority of Brigades members are also members of Fatah's security forces.

"It's true Brigades members turned in one of their weapons as a symbolic act, but they kept the others," he said.

Yousuf is suspected of shooting at Israeli forces operating in Ramallah. He carried out a shooting attack in northern Samaria in December 2000 that killed Benyamin Kahane, leader of the nationalist Kahane Chai organization.

Ala Senakreh, overall chief of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in the West Bank and one of the terrorists granted amnesty, told WND the one weapon he turned in to the PA is "easily accessible."

"It's close by and available to me anytime I need an additional weapon," he said.

Senakreh said aside from "protecting" himself from Israel, weapons were also needed for protection from rival clans and members of Palestinian families of suspected "Israeli collaborators" killed in recent years by the Brigades.

"We killed several collaborators, so now I am a walking target. What if one of the family members tries to take revenge?" he asked.

Senakreh's cell, along with the Islamic Jihad terror group, is suspected of directing all suicide bombings in Israel in 2005 and 2006.

Kamal Ranam, chief of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in Ramallah, laughing, said he is still armed.

Not all Brigades members even signed their amnesty deals.

Nasser Abu Aziz, the No. 2 leader of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and Senakreh's main deputy, told WND he will not sign the agreement, calling the deal "an Israeli trick."

"I am sure this is part of an Israeli conspiracy against our fighters," Aziz said.

The Brigades' failure to keep their side of the amnesty deal is well-known to the Israeli security apparatus. Members of the Israel Defense Forces military intelligence unit said they complained to Olmert's office in recent days, explaining most of the Brigades members did not disarm.

But according to senior Palestinian officials, Olmert officials said the prime minister would strongly consider granting amnesty to 206 more Fatah gunmen, mostly Brigades members, who haven't yet officially received amnesty. Some of the 206 are senior Brigades commanders, but most are mid-level militants.

Asked to confirm the report, David Baker, an Olmert spokesman, did not reply with an answer as of press time.


Israeli diplomatic officials said amnesty wasn't yet granted to some of the 206 militants because of the militants' connections to the Lebanese Hezbollah militia. But seven senior terrorists granted amnesty by Olmert last month previously told WND on the record they serve as conduits for their terror group's relationship with Hezbollah, and, according to Israeli security officials, the most important Brigades leaders who serve as Hezbollah conduits already received amnesty.


Regardless of whether Olmert grants amnesty to the remaining 206 militants, according to Palestinian officials the Israeli prime minister already has given de facto immunity to the entire Brigades terror group and to all Fatah fighters in the West Bank.

"We were directly told Fatah fighters will not be targeted regardless of official amnesty," the Palestinian official said, speaking on condition his name be withheld.
On June 9, 2005, Olmert told the Israel Policy Forum, "We are tired of fighting, we are tired of being courageous, we are tired of winning, we are tired of defeating our enemies, we want that we will be able to live in an entirely different environment of relations with our enemies." I guess he meant that now he'd like to lose the war instead.

Olmert's departure from the scene is long overdue.


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