Israel Resource Review 20th April, 1998


Jews Grit their Teeth While CIA and EU Train the Palestine Liberation Army
by David S. Bedein, MSW,
Media Research Analyst
Bureau Chief: Israel Resource News Agency
Beit Agron International Press Center, Jerusalem

Today, April 22, 1998, marks Jewish holocaust Remembrance Day, when people around the world recall the slaughter of six million Jews in twenty one countries that occurred over a period of six years, while the US, Great Britain and other great nations of the world closed all avenues of exits to the European inferno.

It goes without saying that most people would take a dim view of killing Jews. Yet on March 5, 1998, the New York Times published a front page investigative story that documented how the CIA tains the Palestine Liberation Army, which spearheads the war against the state and people of Israel, aligned and in coordination with the Arab states who remain in a state of war with the Jewish state since its inception almost exactly fifty years ago. These nations still in a state of war include Syria, Iraq, Libya, Algeria, and, most recently, Iran. Meanwhile, the Palestine Liberation Army openly supplies weapons and training for Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Fatah Hawks, the Palestine Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine - all of which continue terror activity against the Jewish state. In addition, the Palestine Liberation Army operates its own Preventive Security Service, which maintains iron fist control over the Palestinian Arab population, also in East Jerusalem, suspecnding any notion that the Palestine-state-in-the-making will maintain any respect for human rights or civil liberties. Just ask the Palestinian human rights organizations. American and Israeli security experts concur that the PLA, operating on its own, represents no serious threat to Israel's ultimate security. However, an Israeli military expert recently gave an interview to the Associated Press in which he expressed an overriding concern in all Israeli security circles that the CIA-trained PLA security forces , which have swelled to well over 50,000, could easily hamper the dispatch of Israeli troops to the front at a time of war. It would be no problem for many of the PLA forces to melt into the Palestinian west bank civilian population.

In terms of the coordination with the Arab states in the area, I asked Yassid Abd Rabu, Yassir Arafat's senior security aide, as to whether the Palestine Authority's PLA security services would give logistical support to Syria in a time of war between Syria and Israel. I reminded him of the enthusiastic PLO support for Iraq during while Bagdad reigned scud missiles on Israel in 1991. Abd Rabu responded that "we all hope for peace with Syria". When I pressed Abd Rabu about the possibility that war would indeed break out between Israel and Syria, he firmly acknowledged that the PLA would "give all logistical support" to Syria at a time of war.

In its March 5 investigative story of the CIA training exercises for the PLA, the New York Times was quick to mention that these activities were being carried out with the full knowledge of the Israeli security establishment.

"Knowledge does not mean approval", gritted Dr. Uzi Landau, the chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee. It also goes without saying that the European Communitty-Palestine Liberation Army security pact that was initialled by British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Yassir Arafat on April 21, 1998 was with the "knowledge and not the approval" of the state of Israel".

Landau, like others with whom I have discussed this with in the Israel Ministry of Defence and the IDF, would prefer not to launch a frontal attack on the American government. That would be like biting the hand that also feeds you.

Perhaps the peoples of the world do take a dim view of killing Jews. That does not prevent the nations of the world from participating in the process, while Jews grit their teeth.

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The Hamas
Exerpts from Al-Ahram
Al-Ahram Weekly
26th March - 1st April, 1998

The following are excerpts from articles which appeared in the Egyptian English weekly, "Al-Ahram" of Al-Ahram Weekly 8th - 15th April, 1998

Close Up -- "Boiling Over"
by Salama A. Salama

The Palestinian Authority (PA), for reasons of its own, has in the past few days offered three different versions of killing of Hamas bombing expert Mohideddin Al-Sharif, finally exonerating the Israeli intelligence services from the charge of having assassinated Al-Sharif, throwing the blame instead on financial and political strife within the ranks of Hamas.

. . . The absence of compelling evidence absolving Israel of Al-Sharif's murder should be weighed against the compelling circumstantial evidence in favor of its involvement, The Israeli intelligence services have been hunting Al-Sharif for months -- even years.

. . . Sharif may have been killed by Israeli agents, or possibly by the double agents active throughout the Palestinian political spectrum. This time, through its constant denials, Israel seems to be giving itself away.

Since its establishment, Israel has commonly resorted to assassination as an expedient means to its policy ends. By assassinating Ayyash, Israel triggered retaliatory suicide bombings which claimed 60 lives, precipitated the downfall of Peres and the accession of Netanyahu and the Likud, and put an end to the peace process.

. . . US efforts to urge Israelis and Palestinians to exercise self-restraint are totally unrealistic. Such US endeavors only buttress Israeli state terrorism and prevent the Palestinians from retaliating or evening the score, since Hizbullah in southern Lebanon has taught Israel the dangers of such retaliation.

Hamas may have complied recently with the Palestinian Authority's urging that it suspend operations against Israel, in the hope that some progress would be achieved. But with the assassination of one of its leaders, threats to escalate the violence against Israel would be fully justified. Does Israel truly want to see an end to violence against its own people? Does it seek to help the Palestinian Authority abide by its commitments in security guarantees, which Israel uses as a pretext for its reluctance to withdraw from Palestinian land? On the contrary, it is quite clear that Israel seeks to maintain a certain level of insecurity and violence, beyond its genuine security needs. Without this process of violence and counterviolence, Israel cannot sustain its occupation of Palestinian land on any grounds. In other words, when the Palestinians refrain from violence, Israel deliberately incites their fury -- precisely the situation created by Al-Sharif's assassination.

"Waiting for Hamas"
by Graham Usher

[Heading:] The Palestinian Authority has exonerated Israel from responsibility for the killing of Hamas military leader, Mohieddin Al-Sharif. Much will depend on Hamas' next move writes Graham Usher from Jerusalem.

The Israeli government is adamant that it had "no hand" in the death of Hamas military leader, Mohieddin Al-Sharif, whose dismembered corpse was found beside a wrecked car in Ramallah on 29 March. Once it became known that the victim was Al-Sharif -- wanted by Israelis as the alleged "second engineer" behind the suicide operations that have rocked Israel in recent years -- Israel has spared no channel to convey to Yasser Arafat that it was not involved and that the Palestinian Authority (PA) would be held "responsible" for any reprisals against Israelis by Hamas or its military arm, Ezzeddin Al-Qassam. Madeleine Albright too has reportedly told the Palestinian leader that "any terror attack now would destroy the peace process."

Arafat probably understands this better than Israel or the Americans. He is also aware that Israeli disclaimers and American warnings are likely to cut little ice with Palestinian public opinion.

On Thursday, thousands of Palestinians attended Al-Sharif's funeral.... Although Hamas supporters led the procession, many of those present were nationalists known for their support of the peace process, including the PLO's head of Jerusalem affairs, Faisal Al-Husseini.

. . . The fact that the PA's official account of Al-Sharif's killing now seems to coincide with Netanyahu's is unlikely to lessen Hamas's suspicions. Nor is it likely to avert Hamas's expected response...

. . . Yehia Ayyash was the "first engineer", allegedly responsible for a wave of suicide attacks inside Israel in 1994 and 1995. Following his certain Israeli sponsored death in Gaza in 1996, Ezzeddin Al-Quassam responded with suicide attacks in Jerusalem and Ashkelon that left 45 Israelis dead, brought the peace process to its knees and effectively lost the elections for Shimon Peres's Labour Party.

With Netanyahu and Likud in power, Arafat is aware that any repeat of such vengeance will draw consequences even more mortal for the Oslo process.

The PA's conclusion that Al-Sharif was killed by members of his own movement, if true, is thus a denouement that will be welcomed by Israel and Arafat alike. But if Hamas rejects this conclusion, then the likelihood is that "revenge" will still be the price of Al-Sharif's death for the Israelis. As for the political consequences of such retaliation, this, almost certainly, will be the PA's price to pay.

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