In the wee hours of the morning of August 5, 1998, an Israeli patrol jeep was fired on near the Israeli west bank community of Yitzhar. It was a well planned ambush. The two young civilians, only one of whom was armed, were dragged from the jeep, and each shot in the nape of the neck, to ensure their death.
The tracks of the attacking vehicles led to Nablus, a city under the control of the Palestine Authority and the Palestine Liberation Army.
The background to the timing killings provides some insight into why the attack took place when it did.
On August 4, a discrete gathering took place in an East Jerusalem hotel, where members of the Palestine Authority Legislative Council met with Palestinian Arab human rights activists to prepare for the special PLC that was planned for the next day. On the PLC agenda: allegations of massive fraud.
Three Palestinian citizens groups have presented documented evidence that armed tax collectors of the Palestine Authority have been systematically embezzling funds from the health, education and welfare funds of the Palestine Authority.
Allegations of fraud are not new to the Palestine Authority, whose official Bank Leumi account on Hashmonaim street in Tel Aviv is nothing other than the Palestine Authority Yassir Arafat’s personal account, which can only be drawn on with Arafat’s personal signature.
That was the arrangement made between Arafat and Israel’s late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, and such a “funding procedure” appears in writing in the Palestine Authority-Israel economic agreement that was signed in April, 1994.
The previous time that the Palestine Legislative Council had scheduled to deal with wide allegations of corruption in the Palestine Authority was on July 30, 1997, at a special session of the PLC that gathered for that purpose on that date at 4PM. However, at 1:30 PM, some Palestinian Arabs planted bombs at the crowded Machaneh Yehudah open market in Jerusalem, killing sixteen people.
Needless to say, as an American consular official reported to me, the subject of corruption was obfuscated by matters of security at the July 30, 1997 meeting of the PLC.
And so it is with the PLC session for August 5th. The corruption issue is off the agenda. Israel’s demands for security take its place.
Meanwhile, the Palestine Authority educational system has formally incorporated the Palestine National Covenant into its official school curriculum.
That means that Palestinian Arab school children learn that their role in life is to engage the state and people of Israel in a state of war.
Palestine Television airs daily scenes of little Palestinian Arab children who begin their daily classes in the Palestine Authority schools with the call to kill the Jews and to liberate Palestine.
That will most certainly divert the education for Palestinian nationalism from the civics of nation-building to an instinct to terror.
The focus of the PA curriculum remains the million Arabs who continue to dwell in the 1949 “temporary shelters” of the Palestinian Arab refugee camps, operated by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, on the premise and the promise of the “inalienable right of return” for Palestinian Arabs to reclaim the lands where hundreds of Israeli kibbutzim and cities have sprung up since the genesis of the Jewish state.
The Palestine Legislative Council could have devoted its August 5th session to take a major step towards housecleaning. After the murders of two Jews, the matter was deemed irrelevant. That is especially because the Hamas has been officially incorporated into the Palestine Authority. Advocates of the peace process had assumed that Hamas would be crushed by the PA, not welcomed as Arafat’s partner in the direction of the new Palestine Authority.