Powered by WebAds

Friday, December 28, 2007

The hazards of employing terrorists

I missed the occasion but it turns out that I broke the 5000 post mark with my first post this morning. This one is number 5005. The second anniversary of my blog is next Friday. You can all do the math.

Overnight, the IDF shot and killed one of Ahmad Qurei Abu Ala's bodyguards. Abu Ala (pictured, top left), a former 'Palestinian' Prime Minister and now their chief negotiator, is scheduled to meet with US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice next week. Israel Radio has been reporting all day that no one knows yet whether that meeting will be affected. The bodyguard was shot when he pulled a gun on the soldiers when they were trying to arrest him. It seems that the bodyguard, one Muatassem a-Shariff, was a weapons dealer and supplied weapons to Fatah's 'militant youth' division - the Tanzim.

When this story first broke this morning, Israel Radio was saying that there was a real danger because a-Shariff accompanied Abu Ala to Olmert's residence and other sensitive locations wearing his bodyguard hat. Subsequently, they backed off, saying that a-Shariff had been barred from entering Israel and did not attend any meetings between Abu Ala and Israeli politicians.
On Thursday, Qurei, known also as Abu Ala, head of the Palestinian negotiation team, participated in talks held in Jerusalem in which Prime Minister Olmert and PA President Mahmoud Abbas met for their first meeting since last month's Annapolis conference.

Palestinian sources reported that IDF troops operating south of Ramallah in the town of Bituniya shot and killed Muatassem a-Shariff, a Fatah operative and a Presidential Guard member. Eye witnesses said a-Shariff was shot while after opening fire while trying to escape IDF troops who came to his house in order to arrest him.

The military said this was not the first instance that officials in the Palestinian Authority security forces were involved in terrorist activity.

Several weeks ago, just prior to the Annapolis conference, Ido Zoldan was killed by terrorists later revealed to be Palestinian policemen from a force sanctioned by Israel.

According to the IDF, Shariff was involved in weapons smuggling, including selling weapons to Fatah's Tanzim, whose leader Marwan Barghouti is jailed in Israel.

A Palestinian official strongly condemned the killing, saying Israel "proved once again that it does not want stability in the West Bank."
Bituniya is about a five-minute drive from my house. The real question here is why Israel isn't vetting Fatah's 'security personnel' if Fatah won't do so themselves. Obviously, the IDF (and presumably the General Security Service and the border police) knew about this guy. Was the issue raised with Abu Mazen and Abu Ala? If not, why not and what will it take to get similar issues raised and dealt with in the future?


At 12:26 AM, Blogger Jack Steiner said...

I missed the occasion but it turns out that I broke the 5000 post mark with my first post this morning. This one is number 5005.

Oy, it took me 2.5 years to hit five thousand.


Post a Comment

<< Home