Jerusalem – The Palestinian news agency Maan has published a report based on sources in Fatah, stating that Fatah chairman and Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas has announced his full acceptance of the agreement between Hamas and Fatah that was signed this week in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen.
Maan claimed that Mr. Abbas made that decision after a meeting with Azzam el-Ahmed, who headed the Fatah delegation to Sanaa, and other senior members of the movement.
In a joint declaration, Moussa Abu Marzuk of Hamas and Azzam el-Ahmed of Fatah stated that they “wish to restore the situation to its previous state, as it was prior to the incidents in Gaza,” referring to the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip last June. It was stated further in the declaration that the parties wish “to restore the unity of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian territory.”
The two organizations agreed to continue direct talks from the beginning of April. At the end of the talks, the situation in the Gaza Strip is supposed to return to its former state, and a Palestinian unity government is supposed to be formed, which will serve until an agreed-upon date for presidential and parliamentary elections. In addition, it was determined that a new security service would be established based on nationality rather than organizational affiliation.
Terrorist Involved In 2002 Netanya Attack Arrested
At the Bal’a village near Tulkarm, just east of the Israeli city of Netanya, Omar Jabar, head of the Hamas terror organization in Tulkarm area, was arrested by the Israeli army.
Mr. Jabar has been sought since 2002 for his direct responsibility in carrying out the suicide attack at the Park Hotel in Netanya in March 2002, where 30 Israeli men, women and children were murdered while 143 more were maimed.
Mr. Jabar recruited the contact that dispatched the suicide bomber, introducing him to the head of the Hamas in Tulkarm at the time, Abed Sayad. Mr. Sayad admitted in his investigation that the connection with Mr. Jabar had already begun in 1994, when the two were imprisoned together.
Since 2002, Mr. Jabar was directly involved in recruiting Hamas terrorist cells and in the past year was involved in their combat training. In recent years, while hiding in the United Nations Relief and Works Agency Tulkarm refugee camp, Mr. Jabar used his own family members to transfer encrypted messages to Hamas operatives in order to lead the Hamas terror organization in Tulkarm, finance his and other militants’ terrorist activity and purchase weapons.
Since January 2007, Mr. Jabar worked to establish and finance a Hamas operations cell in Tulkarm. He purchased weapons and recruited terror operatives intended for the establishment of a Hamas cell similar to operational cells active in Gaza.
Israel Arming PA
About 300 new cars for the use of the Palestinian Authority (PA), AK-47 rifles, rubber bullets and other crowd control measures and thousands of permits for work in Israel are part of a list of gestures that Defense Minister Ehud Barak is expected to offer to Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.
U.S. Security Coordinator Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton, who was charged by the U.S. administration with putting together plans for strengthening the PA in Judea and Samaria and upgrading its security forces, pressed Israel to make gestures toward the Palestinians. Following U.S. pressure and as part of the Annapolis process, Central Command Maj. Gen. Gadi Shamni assembled the new Israeli plan, which was adopted by Mr. Barak.
Due to the fear that removing roadblocks in Judea and Samaria will make it easier for terrorists to enter Israel, the plan does not include a removal of roadblocks. However, Palestinian armed personnel are to be reinforced. Mr. Barak is expected to announce that Israel has agreed to turn over security responsibility in the Jenin area to the PA’s security forces, which will be reinforced in this sector by two battalions, made up of 600 armed policemen who have been trained in recent months in Jordan.
This is in addition to the 25 Russian-made armored vehicles and millions of rubber bullets and other weaponry defined as non-lethal, which will serve the Palestinian police for crowd control. The Palestinians will also receive equipment for bomb detection. According to Israeli security sources, the Palestinian police will also receive AK-47 rifles and night-vision scopes.
Saudi King’s Dialogue Initiative
In a special address given on Monday in Riyadh, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia announced that the official religious establishment of the kingdom had given him religious permission for a conference of rabbis and bishops in order to find common solutions to the problems of the world.
“We have lost the trust, we have lost the morality, we have lost the loyalty to our religion and to humanity,” called the Saudi king. “We will appeal to God Almighty to save humanity from its members.”
The king expressed anxiety with regard to the deterioration of human morality and said that as a result he wishes to convene the leaders of the three monotheistic religions – Islam, Judaism and Christianity – to appeal to God with a request for protection.
“For the past two years, I have believed that humankind in the current era faces a crisis that has damaged the standards of reason, morality and humanity,” said the Saudi king at a conference dealing with Saudi-Japanese dialogue, which convened on Monday in Riyadh. “I have presented my thoughts to our clerics in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia to receive a green light from them. Thank God, they agreed to this.”
The Saudi king said that in his visit to the Vatican, he had received the blessing of Pope Benedict XVI for his initiative for an appeal to the Creator to save humanity and said that he would soon start to promote his initiative, and if it should meet with success, he would seek the U.N.’s sponsorship for the move.
Israel Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger welcomed the Saudi king’s initiative.
“Our hand is extended to any peace initiative and any dialogue aimed at putting a stop to terror and violence,” said the rabbi. “I have mentioned many times that the real path to the sought-after peace is through interfaith dialogue.”
At the same time, the Saudi initiative stopped short of nullifying the Saudi state of war with the state of Israel, which has existed since 1948.
Unlike Lebanon and Syria, which signed cease-fire agreements with Israel, and unlike Jordan and Egypt, which signed peace accords with Israel, Saudi Arabia remains the only Arab nation contiguous to Israel that has not come to any terms with the Jewish state.
In its continuing war with Israel, Saudi Arabia remains a consistent funder of Hamas and the 10 Palestinian terror groups in Damascus that never entered into the Oslo process in 1993.
David Bedein can be reached at Media@actcom.co.il. His Web site is www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com
©The Bulletin 2008