debkafile: Israel to permit Naif Hawatme and Farouk Kaddoumi, notorious figures from the blackest days of PLO terror, enter the West Bank
On the West Bank, Israel has further agreed to suspend arrest operations against 180 wanted terrorists of the Fatah-Al Aqsa Martyrs (Suicide) Brigades and radical Fronts -provided they renounce violence. The Olmert government has approved the two steps for the sake of propping up Mahmoud Abbas and his Ramallah-based government against Hamas rule of the Gaza Strip.
debkafile reports that security circles are aghast at these decisions.
There is no chance of the wanted Fatah terrorists, many of them planners of horrendous attacks on Israeli civilians, giving up terrorist activity – any more than of Farouk Kaddoumi, the hard-line head of the Fatah political department, or the unrepentant killer, Naif Hawatmeh, recognizing the state of Israel.
In this respect, there is no difference between these secular extremists and the Islamist Hamas.
Even Yasser Arafat refused Kaddoumi entry to the West Bank after he rejected the 1993 Oslo Accords and urged the Palestinians to continue armed “struggle.”. Hawatmeh was responsible for the deaths of 22 Israeli schoolchildren in the 1994 attack he ordered on the northern Israel town of Maalot – one of numerous other terrorist strikes. His Democratic Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestinian has joined the pro-Syrian Fatah al-Islam battling the Lebanese army for the last two months.
Ehud Olmert has reversed the unshakable taboos of all his predecessors.
Flanked by defense minister Ehud Barak and foreign minister Tzipi Livni (who said Saturday, July 14: Time is against us”), he has chosen to go further than the US, Europe and even Arab governments in extending support for the Palestinian leader who was routed in Gaza.
The 180 wanted Fatah terrorists are bound to Damascus, Hizballah and Tehran by operational, intelligence and financial threads too compelling to renounce.
As in past instances, these Palestinian gunmen will accept funds from Abbas’ purse, which has been stuffed with between $1 and 2 billion from Israeli and Western sources, while at the same time maintaining those connections and commitments.
But no sum is large enough to reinvent Abbas as anything but a loser on the Palestinian scene. He can only survive by patching up the Fatah quarrel with Hamas and accept a humiliating new share-out of power.
Therefore, the Olmert government’s reckless concessions to the Fatah leader is for nothing, or worse, they will sustain and buoy up Palestinian terrorist and radical political factions on the West Bank without saving Abbas.
In Damascus and Tehran, Israel’s actions will be taken as irrational, symptomatic of weakness and panic. They could conceivably decide that with Israeli leaders in this low state the time is opportune for an offensive.