New Truce? Arafat Lies through Jibril’s Teeth

But behind his apparent docility, Arafat is busy building a new Palestinian administration that will accommodate the Hamas, Jihad Islami and al Aqsa Brigades terrorist organizations and provide them all with ministerial posts. The new ministers will be anonymous backers of those organizations who are not on Israel’s wanted list. Their names will be discussed in negotiations led on Arafat’s behalf by Jibril Rajoub and Marwan Barghouti from his Israeli jail. Arafat is banking on international opinion forcing Israel to accept his puppet government.
Jibril started the ball rolling with a widely-publicized call for a “new ceasefire” that will be binding on all Palestinian factions for an unlimited period. Israeli officials rejected the call on the spot as designed to take the heat of Arafat and Hamas terrorists.
According to debkafile‘s intelligence sources, while Hamas also rejected Jibril’s truce call publicly, its heads say privately they are ready to talk. The sign language between Arafat’s mouthpiece and Hamas on a “new truce” indicates they are referring to a formula familiar to both, the 1995 Cairo understandings.
Those understandings stemmed from the Palestinian Authority’s failure to rein in terror two years after undertaking to do so under the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords. Nothing had been done to stop Hamas striking at Israeli civilian targets. To paper that crack over, Arafat advised the Hamas to pretend to agree to a ceasefire while only halting attacks from Palestinian-controlled areas. The Islamist group was allowed to continue to clandestinely plan and organize terror under the Palestinian Authority’s aegis but to launch attacks only from places under Israeli security control. The PA was thus able to wash its hands of ceasefire violations.
The Israeli government at the time bought this deal, which remained in effect until early 1996 when the first buses were blown up in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
The Hamas may well accept the “ceasefire” on offer now too, especially since its Gaza Strip leaders are hiding underground and pinned down by Israel’s targeted attacks. In 1995, the Islamic radicals ran an independent operation; now they operate hand in glove with Arafat’s terror groups, the Fatah, Tanzim and the al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, both in the Gaza Strip and on the West Bank.
Arafat has offered a large carrot for their cooperation. Through Jibril, he promises not only to set aside one or two portfolios for Hamas-backed ministers in the new Palestinian government, but also funding disguised as ministerial budgets to keep its terrorist operations afloat.
Arafat’s designated prime minister Ahmed Qureia has not been co-opted to the negotiations for setting up the government he is to head. It will be presented to him as a take-it or leave-it proposition. Above all, as US treasury secretary John Snow swings through Middle East to discuss ways of choking off terrorist financing, Arafat is fashioning a new Palestinian administration that will present a respectable facade for the flow of terrorist funding and so circumvent the crackdowns imposed by the United States, Europe and latterly Jordan on Hamas finances.
US treasury secretary Snow will find more than one conduit to block.
Tuesday, September 16, Jordan retracted a 24-hour old directive from its Central Bank ordering a freeze on dealings with six Hamas account-holders and five charities supporting Palestinians. A day earlier, King Abdullah’s emissaries informed Washington that Jordan’s banks had stopped all dealings with Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, Khaled Mashaal, Musa Abu Marzuk, Osama Hamdan (top man in Beirut) and Imad al Alami (top terror operations commander in Damascus). The announcement was timed for the king’s meeting with President George W. Bush in Washington.
It was retracted hours after the Hamas published a condemnation of “the first Arab-Muslim nation to bow to American dictates”. Jordan’s information minister Nabil Sharif, explained lamely that the Central Bank had reversed itself after acting unilaterally without the knowledge of the Amman government.
There is little importance to any action taken by Jordan. In any case, debkafile‘s Palestinian sources say Hamas and its leaders have long withdrawn their assets from Amman’s banks and shifted them to Beirut and Damascus.

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