Abu Mazen was careful in the wording of his commitments during the PLC meeting of April 29, 2003.
The text of Abu Mazen’s speech to the PLC at www.jmcc.org shows that all he says is that he will confiscate “unauthorized ” weapons, which certainly sounds good..
However, what most media outlets do not realize is that Abu Mazen’s call to collect “unauthorized” weapons would not include the arms issued by the PA to the Hamas and the Islamic Jihad as per an agreement that the PA reached with both organizations to supply them both with “authorized weapons” almost eight years ago.
Indeed, on May 9,1995, The Voice of Palestine reported an official statement from then- PA Justice minister Freich Abu Medein in which he announced that the weapons in the hands of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad would be heretofore defined as “authorized”, so long as they were registered with the Palestinian Authority. When Abu Meidan was asked about the dangers of the Hamas or Islamic Jihad using these weapons against Israel, his answer was that he had gotten “assurances that they would keep their weapons at home”. At the time, the New York Times reported the phenomenon of the PA authorizing weapons for the Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
All this occurred after the Voice of Israel Radio had been reporting for more than a month that the PA was going to confiscate their weapons, following the early April 1995 Islamic Jihad terror attack against an Egged bus near Kfar Darom, in which 6 Israeli soldiers and one American tourist, Aliza Flatow, were killed.
Abu Mazen was also careful in the way in which he worded his call for the end of Israeli settlements, something which rings well with the west and with some of those in Israel who advocate the idea of “territories for peace”. However, Abu Mazen made his call for the end of “illegal” settlements by weaving his words in with a call for the “right of return” so as to incorporate the PLO definition of “illegal” settlements, which defines all settlements as illegal if they replaced Arab villages and Arab neighborhoods that were lost in 1948.
Abu Mazen’s definition of “illegal settlements” would include, therefore, most of the Jewish communities in the Negev and the Galilee, and most of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa.
Abu Mazen was also careful about how he denounced “terror” — his words fell far short of a call to Arabs to stop murdering Israelis
As recently as March 3, 2003, Abu Mazen provided an interview to the London-basd Asharq Al-Awsat www.asharqalawsat.com in which he stated that “We didn’t talk about a break in the armed struggle. We talked about a break in the militarization of the Intifada… It is our right to resist. The Intifada must continue and it is the right of the Palestinian People to resist and use all possible means in order to defend its presence and existence. I add and say that if the Israelis come to your land in order to erect a settlement then it is your fight to defend what is yours”.
When Abu Mazen was asked whether this included “using arms” his answer was as follows:
“All means and arms as long as they are coming to your home, as this is the right to resist. The restriction applies only to ‘Shahada-Seeking’ [suicide] operations and going out to attack in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem… “
And when Abu Mazen referred to Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian State, he made specific reference to all of Holy Jerusalem, and not only to the Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem.
We might call this the Abu Mazen Double Entendre – He provides the buzz words for the world to think that he is a man of peace and compromise, while he provides a message for his people who understand every word that he says in a context of a war of national liberation.
On a day when the media around the world is reporting that Abu Mazen has promised to disarm Arab terrorists, the time has come to report what he is really communicating to his people… especially in the wake of Arab terror attacks in Tel Aviv and near Alon Moreh.