|Israel Resource Review
||16th May, 2003
Israel Security Establishment:
Skeptical About Abu Mazen
Svecurity Establishment: "Sharon, Abu Mazen Meet, Arafat Sponsors Terror"
Ma'ariv (p. 2) by Ben Caspit et al. -- On Sunday Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon is to depart for the United States, where he will meet with
President Bush and leading officials in the US administration. Prior to
that, on Saturday night, Sharon will meet with Abu Mazen for a "meeting of
Sharon is expected to say to Bush that Israel is prepared to begin
implementing the first stage of the road map. By taking this course of
action, he will attempt to dissolve the criticism of the fact that Israel
is the only that has not yet adopted the Bush plan.
Sharon's strategy in Washington will conform to Colin Powell's strategy
during his visit in Jerusalem: "Let's begin to move forward, then we'll
see." Officials in Jerusalem were encouraged yesterday by the results of
the preparatory visit that was made by Prime Minister's Bureau Chief Dov
Weissglass to Washington on Wednesday. However, it is clear that the
American president is going to demand explanations from Sharon about the
continued Israeli settlement activity and the failure to dismantle the
illegal settlement outposts in the territories. Sharon also is going to
have to explain the multiple contradictions between his recent statements
on the issue of settlement evacuation. Sharon intends to show Bush evidence
that the Palestinian reforms have not been implemented in full and that
Yasser Arafat still controls a substantial part of the Palestinian security
and intelligence organizations and a substantial portion of the money.
Until Arafat disappears and stops being an influencing factor, no progress
will be possible, Sharon will tell Bush.
On Saturday night Sharon is scheduled to meet in the Prime Minister's
Residence in Jerusalem with the new Palestinian prime minister, Abu Mazen.
Attending on the Palestinian side will be the new security minister,
Mohammed Dahlan and the speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Abu
Ala. Sharon, as far as can be ascertained, does not intend to ask any
ministers to join the meeting (even though Mofaz might still be asked).
Rather, Sharon wants only his closest aides in attendance, first and
foremost Dov Weissglass.
Abu Mazen is expected to demand that Sharon accept the road map
unconditionally, halt the military operation in Beit Hanoun and stop the
targeted killing operations. Sharon intends to tell Abu Mazen: The time has
come for deeds, not more talk and promises. Israel will not be able to
proceed with the process until you honor your commitment to engage in a
real war on terror, with all of the repercussions inherent in that.
Meanwhile, a high-ranking IDF officer said yesterday that "Arafat has
been giving explicit instructions to execute terror attacks and to escalate
the situation on the ground." He made that statement in response to the
heightened Kassam rocket and mortar fire in the Gaza Strip ever since Abu
Mazen was appointed.
"The man in the mukataa is interested in interfering with the process,"
explained the high-ranking officer. "He still controls the sources of power
and has been giving explicit instructions to escalate the situation on the
ground. The chairman has active channels of control over the General
Intelligence service and the National Security service, and he has issued
instructions via Fatah bodies, such as the resistance committees and the
El-Aksa Martyrs Brigades, which cooperate with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Arafat gave instructions and funding to his people and they have been
passing on the message to escalate." IDF officials are convinced that this
is why the leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad have refused to accept Abu
According to data that was presented yesterday by OC Southern Command
Maj. Gen. Doron Almog, there has been a sharp increase in the number of
Palestinian attempts to attack Israeli civilians and soldiers in the Gaza
Strip since April 29, the day Abu Mazen was appointed prime minister. Almog
said that in the past two and a half weeks the Palestinians have fired 50
mortar shells, 12 Kassam rockets and three rocket propelled grenades. In
this same period the Palestinians also detonated a car bomb, threw 25 hand
grenades at IDF troops and were involved in 50 "shooting incidents."
Beit Hanoun Operation
IDF: Arafat Responsible for Kassam Rockets
Yedioth Ahronoth (p. 4) by Itzik Saban et al. -- "IDF forces will remain in
Beit Hanoun for at least a few days in order to stop the launch of Kassam
rockets at Sderot," OC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Doron Almog said
At the same time, senior officers predicted that the IDF operation in
the Gaza Strip, during which five Palestinians have been killed so far-would
not completely stop the missile fire. Indeed, yesterday evening another
missile was launched at Sderot. The missile fell on open ground and
caused no damage.
Sixteen projectiles have been fired in Gaza since the beginning of the
month, wounding 14 civilians and soldiers. More than 20 Kassam rockets
have been fired at Sderot-some six kilometers away from Beit Hanoun-since
the beginning of the month, wounding around ten other civilians.
At midnight yesterday Givati Brigade Patrol Battalion troops, along with
armored and engineering forces, took over several sites on the outskirts of
Beit Hanoun, sites from which missiles were launched. The soldiers
demolished the homes of four terrorists and uprooted orchards. The troops
were attacked with anti-tank missiles, grenades, and bombs during the
operation. Searches revealed three Kassam launchers ready for use and one
anti-tank missile. The Palestinians reported five dead (including two
youths) and more than 30 wounded.
A senior IDF officer accused Arafat of giving explicit instructions to
Hamas to continue firing missiles at Israel in order to "disrupt" the
attempt to bring about calm in wake of Abu Mazen's appointment: "As a
result of Arafat's instructions, Abu Mazen's government is not getting
stronger. Mohammed Dahlan, who is in charge of the Palestinian security
services, is not doing anything to stop terrorism."
Arafat adviser Nabil Abu Rudeineh condemned the IDF operation, saying
that it was an escalation designed to destroy the road map and to prove
that Israel has no intention of achieving calm.
These articles ran on Friday, May 16th
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Why does US Sec'y of State
Powell Describe the PA Islamic State Constitution as a
Following the meeting that took place between US Sec'y of State Colin Powell and PLO leader Abu Mazen, senior AP diplomatic correspondent Barry Schweid reported that US Sec'y of State Colin Powell remarked that the PA constitution was a "positive" development. (See his AP May 12th dispatch from Jericho)
Following his praise of the PA State Constitution, Powell announced the US was allocating an additional $50 million in aid to Palestinian agencies to support Palestinian "civil reform", including the Palestinian Legislative Council , which is supposed to implement the PA State Constitution. According to a US state department official, this allocation is in accordance with a US policy which funds "non-governmental organizations in the West Bank and Gaza for specifically identified projects and initiatives . . . "
The question remains: Did the US sec'y of State examine the PA State Constitution which he says is a "positive" development? If he did peruse it and praise it, that is worrisome. If he did not peruse it
and praised it, this is even more worrisome.
Our agency received the PA State Constitution from the Vatican, following a briefing that Church officials in Jerusalem provided for a visiting US Congressional delegation. Church officials did peruse the constitution, and were quite upset at what they discovered . . .
The PA State Constitution places Church schools and all religious institutions under the authority of absolute Islamic regime, with no religious freedom, no civil liberties, no human rights and mandates the "right of return" for all Palestinian Arabs to go back to Arab villages that were abandoned in 1948 and which have been replaced by Israeli cities, collective farms and woodlands. (None of these lands lie in the west bank or Gaza.)
The author of the constitution, Palestinian cabinet official Nabil Sha'ath confirmed that this was indeed the final draft of the constitution.
The "right of return" which is mandated by the PA State Constitution has become the zeitgeist of the Palestinian Authority since the inception of the PA ten years ago.
Needless to say, the "right of return" clause negates the two state solution proposed by President Bush as a formula for peace in the middle east
Our translations of the Arabic language PA constitution, which was ratified by the PLC, can be perused at www.israelbehindthenews.com, in Hebrew, English and Russian.
We discussed the seriousness of the PA state constitution with the US Consular press attache in Jerusalem and also with the press office in the State Department and press office in the White House
Yet we have not received any reaction or response from either the White House press office nor from the US State Department press office to the PA PA state constitution.
The question remains: Did Powell examine that constitution ?
Either way, Powell's characterization of the PA state constitution as a "positive" development is most worrisome. And his allocation of funds
to implement that constitution is even more worrisome.
Where is the US government concern for democracy, human rights, and coexistence in the middle east?
Does Foggy Bottom wish to impose Teheran in Ramallah??
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Islamic Movement Targeted
Ma'ariv (p. 2) by Ami Ben-David, Ben Caspit and Amir Gilat -- Israeli
officials have become concerned lately about the escalation in the activity
of the Islamic Movement's northern chapter and its increasingly close ties
with terror organizations.
A number of discussions on the subject have been held in recently weeks
by the prime minister and the internal security minister in which
officials raised the problem of terror organizations infiltrating certain
sectors of the Israeli Arab community. Mostly at issue are members of the
Islamic Movement's northern chapter, which is headed by Sheikh Raed Salah.
"The northern chapter of the Islamic Movement is very dangerous to the
security and future of the State of Israel. If they persevere with their
current course of incitement there will be no choice but to outlaw them and
to deal with them the way any organization that rejects the very existence
of the State of Israel is dealt with," said MK Ehud Yatom (Likud), the
deputy chairman of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
Former internal security minister, Uzi Landau, currently a minister
without portfolio, said: "Outlawing the Islamic Movement is an inseparable
part of the war on terror." Landau said yesterday that the decision about
the necessary action against the Islamic Movement was reached in the course
of his term as internal security minister. Landau: "No government in the
past wanted to touch the issue, but today the atmosphere has changed both
in the world and here. The State of Israel cannot tolerate anyone who,
under protection of the law, undermines the foundations of law. We need to
praise the security services that have been dealing with this issue, which,
for some time now, hasn't been one of errant weeds but entire plots of grass."
The Islamic Movement has been in the sights of the GSS and the Israel
Police for a number of years, but generally it manages to tread the
tightrope between the legal and illegal. The Islamic Movement made its
first political gains in the 1989 municipal elections, when its
representatives were elected mayors of a number of Arab communities,
including Umm el-Fahm, which to this day is considered to be a bastion of
The leaders of the Islamic Movement do not conceal their aspiration to
establish a strict Islamic state on all of Israel, but they argue that they
know that this is merely an ideal and that they are loyal citizens of the
State of Israel. That fact has not stopped a few members of the Islamic
Movement from taking part in terror attacks and from getting blood on their
hands as a result.
The Islamic Movement leaders organize a mass rally every year under the
slogan, "el-Aksa is in danger," in the course of which severe accusations
are made against the state.
Some of the movement's leaders refused on ideological grounds to run in
the 1996 Knesset elections, arguing that they should not be party to the
symbols of the Zionist state. As a result, the Islamic Movement split into
two chapters: the southern chapter, which is more moderate and which was
headed by the movement's founder, Sheikh Abdullah Nimr Darwish (who was
replaced a few years ago by Sheikh Ibrahim Sarsur), and the northern
chapter, which is more radical, that is headed by Sheikh Raed Salah.
The northern chapter of the Islamic Movement has drawn the attention of
the security forces repeatedly in the past number of years. Security
officials alleged that northern chapter activists published inflammatory
material and incitement in the Islamic Movement's mouthpiece and helped
terror activists from the territories by supporting their families under
the cover of humanitarian assistance.
The leader of the northern chapter, Sheikh Raed Salah, who until
recently served as mayor of Umm el-Fahm, is still in the sights of the GSS.
Last year a court order was issued barring Salah from leaving Israel
because of suspicion that he was about to meet in Qatar with Sheikh Yousef
Kardawi, the spiritual father of the Islamic terror organizations. He was
also barred from leaving Israel to take part in the Omara ceremony in Mecca
after the GSS submitted a detailed report to the internal security
minister that warned: "His departure from Israel will be exploited for
meetings with hostile elements." In response to a petition Salah filed to
the High Court of Justice, a panel of judges determined, after having
looked at the material, that Salah's departure was liable to jeopardize
national security "with near certainty." Salah was summoned four months ago
to be questioned on suspicion of incitement.
In the past the Islamic Movement's non-profit organization for
prisoners' welfare and for orphans' welfare were shut at the order of an
IDF general after they were suspected of serving as conduits to transfer
funds to the families of terror activists.
In all of the above cases, say Islamic Movement leaders, no one
ultimately was indicted and the charges were part of the political
persecution of the movement.
The Foothold of Evil
Ma'ariv (p. 3) by Amit Cohen (news analysis) -- That which began as the
occasional fingerprints of radical Israeli Arab Islamic charities has
quickly and disturbingly developed and evolved into a bold foothold of all
the strains of evil in the community beating in the heart of Israel. Hamas,
Islamic Jihad, Hizbullah, Iran and even al-Qaida-all try to influence the
Islamic Movement and aspire to exploit it as a fifth column, as an
infrastructure that can provide intelligence and, in quite a number of
cases in the past, to have it take part in terror attacks.
The Islamic Movement's northern chapter is one of the most sensitive
organizations about which the GSS and the Israel Police try to gain
intelligence. A delicate balance is maintained in the way in which this
northern chapter is dealt with: on the one hand, security officials try to
thwart the seditious activity carried out by some members of the Islamic
Movement; on the other, officials try to refrain from taking action that
will inflame the passions of Israeli Arabs.
The most disturbing point is the cooperation between the Islamic
Movement and Hamas. Most of that activity is focused, apparently, in
collecting contributions for Hamas's charities and parochial schools, which
ultimately are used to fund terror as well. Early in 2003 officials
discovered that funds were being transferred from charities overseas
directly into the Palestinian territories, transfers that were facilitated
by the Islamic Movement's northern chapter.
But in addition to logistical-financial aid, say security establishment
officials, Islamic Movement activists are also actively involved in
terrorist activity. Six months ago a terror cell comprised of three Israeli
Arabs from Ramle, all members of the Islamic Movement, was caught. The
three had been recruited by Hamas's military wing and had even met with
Mohammed Deif in Gaza. The three had planned to build a bomb lab for
terrorist purposes and to kidnap and murder Israeli soldiers.
Officials are also afraid that the radicalization of Israeli Arabs will
help hostile foreign elements, such as the Iranian Revolutionary Guard,
Hizbullah or al-Qaida, to infiltrate. A year ago Prime Minister Sharon said
that the Iranians were active within the Israeli Arab community by means of
the Islamic Movement.
Legal measures against the Islamic Movement were accelerated after the
annual rally in Umm el-Fahm last September that was organized by the
northern chapter's leader, Sheikh Raed Salah. Thousands thronged to the
rally, which was titled, "el-Aksa is in danger" and listened to speeches
that incited [against Israel] and donated money to the Palestinians. In the
wake of the rally, Salah was investigated on suspicion of incitement and
breaching national security. In tandem, discussions about outlawing the
Islamic Movement were held.
Last December then interior minister, Eli Yishai, decided to shut Saut
al-Hak Waal-Huriya, the Islamic Movement's mouthpiece, arguing that it
provided a platform to Hamas's position in support of suicide bombing
attacks. The relationship between the Islamic Movement and Hamas is
reciprocal. One can find articles by Sheikh Raed Salah on Hamas's internet
site alongside of articles by Abdel Aziz Rantisi, one of the leading Hamas
officials in Gaza, or Ibrahim Makadme, one of the commanders of Hamas's
military wing and one of the movement's leading ideologues, who was killed
These pieces can on May 13th
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