It is a commonly held assumption that a demilitarized Palestinian Arab state would emerge from the current entity known as the Palestine Authority, which would serve the “security interests of the state of Israel”, given the Palestine Authority contracted responsibility to disarm Arab terror groups that function within territory under its control.

The question remains: Is it too late for PA demilitarization? The current Palestine Authority operates a Palestine Liberation Army which acts as an umbrella force that licenses arms for each and every armed faction within the Palestine Authority, including the Palestinian groups that oppose any accord with Israel: Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, the Palestinian Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Fatah Hawks. Back as May 9, 1995, the Palestine Authority’s official Palestine Broadcast Corporation ( the PBC) officially announced the PA policy to license arms for each of these groups, each of which appears on the list published by the State Department that are defined as terrorist organizations.

The series of “Oslo accords”, signed by Arafat and three successive Israeli prime ministers – Rabin, Peres and Netanyahu, cosigned and witnessed by Russia and the US, allow for a Palestinian Arab armed force that would have 9,000 men and women under arms. Arafat signed an accord which provided that any Palestinian under arms would first have to be vetted by Israeli intelligence to ensure that he did not have a background in terror activity. Yet as early as December 10, 1993, it was discovered that the PLA had drafted two Arab residents from the west bank community of Tequa who had murdered the curator of the Herodian, David Rosenfeld, in 1982. They had been released when the Israeli government handed over more than 1000 convicted Palestinian Arab terrorists in exchange for 6 Israeli soldiers who had been captured by a PLO terror group in Lebanon. David Rosenfeld’s widow complained to Israeli prime minister Rabin, whose office responded on June 10, 1994 that the PLA was indeed drafting convicted killers into their armed forces without Israeli government approval. On June 20, 1995, Israel Minister for Public Security Moshe Shachal confirmed to me in a videotaped interview that the Palestine Liberation Army had grown to more than 19,000, and that more Israel no longer had any information as to the personnel then serving in the PLA. In December, 1995, Arafat announced that his commanders for Ramallah and Nablus would the men who planted bombs in Jerusalem’s Zion Square on July 5, 1975, killing thirteen people.

American intelligence experts place the number of PLA troops at more than 50,000.

Living in a generation which has witnessed the victories of the non-mechanized Viet Cong and the Algerian FLN “liberation” armies over the mighty forces of the US and France, the question remains, what are the security implications for Israel of the PA’s current Palestine Liberation Army?

Whatever possibilities existed for a demilitarized Palestinian state, the 1998 reality of the PA’s Palestine Liberation Army flies in the face of any such suggestion.


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David Bedein
David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.