Jerusalem, Israel – A senior source in Israeli intelligence reports that the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of the Fatah organization chaired by Mahmoud Abbas, has threatened to target Jewish institutions outside of Israel.
The threat was made with the condition of Jews continuing to “invade” the Al Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem during this week’s Passover holiday.
Tthese groups are allowed to visit the Temple Mount grounds in small groups, although Jews are not allowed by the Israeli police to pray there, in accordance with the rules issued by the Islamic religious authority known as the WAKF.
The statement stated that “The Zionist conqueror bears full responsibility for this invasion and all Zionist targets are legitimate.”
Although the Al Aksa remains on the active list of organizations defined by the United States government as a terrorist organization, the Clinton administration and now the Bush administration have issued a waiver every half year for the past 13 years to allow the Fatah to maintain a Washington office, which is represented by Edward Abington, former U.S. consul in Jerusalem.
Meanwhile, numerous Jewish organizations host representatives of the Fatah, such as the Americans for Peace Now, the Israel Policy Forum and the Jewish Voices for Peace. All of these organizations were unavailable for comment, due to the Passover holiday.
The Failure Of The Riyadh Summit
Dr. Dore Gold, former Israeli U.N. ambassador, and now the head of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, has issued a stinging working paper in which Gold termed the Saudi initiative at the Riyadh Summit as a “failure,” writing that the ” initiative got off to a bad start when Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal warned Israel “its rejection of the plan would leave its fate in the hands of the “lords of war.”
Gold warned that the Saudis demand “full withdrawal” from “all the territories” Israel captured 40 years ago in the 1967 Six-Day War and the “right of return” of Arabs who fled from Israel in 1948. Gold notes that past peace conferences and diplomatic initiatives were based on U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, which does not make any such demands on Israel. Gold gave the example of the Madrid conference in 1991, which “produced a multilateral track that led to direct diplomatic contacts between Israel and the Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia.” Gold asks, simply, “If 242 was sufficient in 1991, why is it not good enough for 2007?
But the Arab peace initiative got off to a bad start when Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal warned Israel that rather than obtaining some flexibility, Israel was handed an ultimatum.
What has almost completely disappeared from the public discourse concerning the Saudi plan at the Riyadh Summit of the Arab League remains the fact that both Saudi Arabia and the Arab League remain in a formal, active state of war with Israel since 1948.
Hamas-Affiliated Executive Force Of The Palestinian Authority Will Not Be Dissolved
The Palestinian Ma’an News Agency reports that the outgoing Palestinian minister of Interior and Hamas leader, Said Siyam, now visiting Algeria told the media there that the Hamas-affiliated Executive Force, which was formed during his period in office, will not be dissolved.
He clarified that the force will continue to exist, because it has “succeeded where the other forces failed.”
Siyam, the head of the Hamas bloc in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), added that no changes will be made with respect to the force.
He also said “the force confirmed its success in the field through maintaining security and order and preventing the huge armed clans from violating the law and this is what the other forces couldn’t do.”
The significance of this development is that the Hamas security forces have now been absorbed by the mainstream Palestinian Authority armed forces, which remain funded by the European Union. The Bush administration proposal to provide new funding for Palestinian armed forces is still pending approval by the U.S. Congress.
David Bedein can be reached at Media@actcom.co.il. His Web site is www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com
©The Bulletin 2007