In November 2002, a terrorist infiltrated Kibbutz Metzer late at night and murdered two young children in their sleep, as well as two women and a man. Back then, the killer belonged to the Fatah’s al-Aqsa Brigades. He was sent on his mission on behalf of Arafat’s people; at the time, the Palestinian leader was still considered a peace fan.
Nine years have passed, and the murder in Itamar followed a pattern that is almost identical to the 2002 attack. Regardless of the killer’s organizational affiliation, it proves that Mahmoud Abbas’ dozens of operational, military and intelligence agencies are still incapable of safeguarding the territory expected to become the “state of Palestine.”
It is doubtful whether these agencies would be able to provide security for Palestinians in the West Bank. They certainly won’t be able to serve as a buffer against terror attacks and hostilities directed at the Israeli public, both in the West Bank and within sovereign Israeli territory. This would suffice for openly demanding that Abbas improve his capabilities before voicing a pretentious demand for political independence.
If the killer belongs to one of the many groups associated with Fatah, such terror attack by an inseparable part of Abbas’ organization requires Israel’s government to consider, time and again, whether the Palestinian Authority is indeed a political body seeking peace, or a terror group that is again dressed up as an innocent sheep.
Even before Abbas uttered his meaningless condemnation of the despicable murder in Itamar, he should have looked at his own administration and asked: “Wait a minute, am I ready to establish an independent state? Am I even leading an independent entity that is worthy of joining the family of nations? Do I and does the establishment I head want to and are capable of fighting terror? The answer is apparently negative. Abbas cannot and apparently does not want to change his ways.
The endorsement granted to Abbas by South American leaders and other heads of state to establish an independent Palestinian state confused him. These nations did not take into account the Palestinian administration’s actual capabilities. South American states, which include a significant Palestinian population, and Western European states wishing to curry favor with the Palestinians ignore one prominent fact – the Palestinian Authority is not yet ready to become an independent political entity. Rushing to declare its independence may prove to be a reckless act.
Again we see global hypocrisy reigning supreme. Denmark, for example, is struggling against the incitement of Palestinian bodies that represent some 300,000 Palestinians living in the country. This minority is unwilling to be a part of the “Danish tribe.” Denmark would never allow the establishment of a Palestinian state next to its border, but as far as Israel’s border is concerned, who cares?
Then there’s the European Union, which places a series of obstacles before allowing Turkey to join the EU, because it realizes that Ankara is still not ready to join it. Yet when it comes to the Palestinian entity, whose ripeness for political independence is far off the global standard, the Europeans are in favor of such upgrade.
It’s no secret that Mahmoud Abbas and his associates do not control the West Bank. He and his people would not dare enter quite a few areas as their lives would be threatened there. In some villages and towns, Hamas and opposition bodies exercise authority, without using arms and without forces trained by American generals. Had it not been for the IDF’s West Bank presence, Hamas would have carried out a coup a long time ago similar to the one in Gaza in 2007.
When Abbas screams at Israel to “get out of the West Bank and hand over more land to the Palestinian Authority,” he quietly adds, “but not now…because Hamas will eat us alive.” He knows the truth, as does General Dayton, his American advisor who trains his forces. The Palestinian security establishment cannot bear the burden of combating potential terror across the West Bank. So who exactly is rushing to gain independence?
Building new neighborhoods in Ramallah and upgrading the stock exchange in Nablus isn’t enough. You want independence? First put an end to incitement and eliminate terrorism.
Moshe Elad is a national security studies lecturer at the Western Galilee Academic College. In the past, he held several senior posts in the “territories”
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