Wednesday, August 03, 2005
....After the projected withdrawal of the police and the IDF, the Palestinian Authority (PA) plans to hang 60,000 flags it has ordered throughout the empty Jewish towns. One-third of them will bear the likeness of dead PLO chairman Yasser Arafat and 35,000 will bear the seal of the ruling Fatah party.
Hamas terrorists have also ordered thousands of flags to celebrate the 'victory of the intifada,' which they say forced Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to order the IDF to retreat and expel Jewish residents from Gaza.
Meanwhile, PA spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina warned that the PA would not be responsible for terrorism if Israel carried out a large scale operation in Gaza.
Deputy Defense Minister Ze'ev Boim (Likud) said Monday that the IDF would have to take full control of Gaza if terrorists interfere with the planned expulsion.
Abu Rudeina responded, saying "such threats would not serve a sort of full and calm withdrawal, and would affect badly the truce which has been observed."
An intelligence research center has drawn up four possibilities for 'the day after':
- Democracy in the Palestinian Authority (PA),
- all-out war by terrorists,
- occasional terrorism, and
The scenarios were drawn up by researchers at the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center headed by Lt.-Col. (res.) Dr. Reuven Erlich. The researchers noted they could not state which scenario would take place because of extreme instability in Gaza.
- The most optimistic possibility is a long period of calm during which the Palestinian Authority (PA) will try to re-organize and overcome terror. 'The United States, The European Union and possibly Egypt will encourage [PA chairman] Abu Mazen to work with the PA institutions,' according to the Intelligence Center. Under this scenario, the PA will try to democratize its government and establish a temporary Arab state with the cooperation of Gaza strongman Mohamed Dahlan.
- The second option is all-out war between Israel and terrorists. This option envisions advanced Kassam rockets that have a range of nine kilometers (five miles) and have been stockpiled during the past few months when Israel has eased restrictions on movement of Arabs. Researchers said the rockets have been tested in launches off the Mediterranean Coast and easily can reach population centers in Ashkelon, where a huge electrical power station is located. The rockets also can reach Tel Aviv, Afula and Bet She'an from Samaria, and Jerusalem from both Judea and Samaria.
- The third possibility is a continuation of today's occasional terrorist attacks but with more cooperation between the PA and terrorists. Researchers wrote that the security fence will help prevent suicide bombers from attacking and that terrorists are more likely to strike soldiers and Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. The report did not estimate how Israel would react to such attacks.
- The fourth and last scenario describes anarchy in the PA which could include battles between the PA police forces and terrorist organizations while Israel remains on the sidelines.
The report did not include the possibility that Israel and the PA will renew negotiations towards implementing the American road map plan.It noted that the Arabs are in a dilemma on cooperating with Israel because both sides have made territorial demands that contradict each other. Israel has vowed not to hand over to the PA all of Judea and Samaria, which the PA lists as a condition for peace.
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said ...."We reject out of hand the idea of a "Gaza state" and a 'West Bank state.' The thing we fear most is that Gaza would become one large prison that would not be sufficiently open to the outside world," he said.
Regarding Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Abbas said, “... Perhaps he would be satisfied with a withdrawal from Gaza, but this would mean Sharon does not want peace – this means he would be held responsible for disturbances that would ensue in the region and all around the world...”
GAZA - With just 19 days left to disengagement, the Palestinians have already set their sites on a new goal: Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia said Wednesday that the prize is a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as is its capital.
'We are telling the entire world, today Gaza and tomorrow Jerusalem. Today Gaza and tomorrow and independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital,' he said ....'We won't establish a country with the racist separation fence; there won't be a (Palestinian) state with aggressive settlements and a state will not arise without our achieving all the rights of our Palestinian nation and the right of return.'
'Our forces are ready to build our homeland and are ready to turn the Israeli withdrawal to one that is orderly, quiet and the beginning of the freeing of the entire homeland,' he said.
Sunday, July 31, 2005
In a move that has been condemned by Palestinian journalists as a threat to the free media, the Palestinian Authority on Saturday issued a ban on the publication of any news related to its security forces.
The PA Interior Ministry, which is in charge of the security forces, said the ban applied to local, Arab and international news organizations working in Palestinian territories.
It said the decision was taken "out of concern for the public interest and in line with national and professional responsibilities."
According to the ministry, journalists who want to cover stories related to the PA security forces will be required to fill out a special form and seek prior permission from the ministry officials.
The ban follows complaints by some Palestinians that the PA security forces are partly responsible for the growing state of lawlessness and anarchy in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Tawfik Abu Khoussa, spokesman for the PA Interior Ministry, said the decision came after some newspapers and TV stations published "inaccurate and incorrect" details about the Palestinian security forces.
"This has happened many times recently and the information was not based on official sources," he argued. "Some of the reports have caused damage to the security services and the police and almost resulted in confrontations with the people."
Abu Khoussa, who previously served as deputy chairman of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate in the Gaza Strip, dismissed allegations that the new instructions were a breach of the freedom of the press.
"We don't want to impose censorship on the media or restrict the work of journalists," he said. "We only want to make sure that the reports about our security forces are true and accurate. We want to put an end to rumors and attempts to defame the security forces."
The PA's Ministry of Information expressed "astonishment" at the ban and said it was opposed to the decision. Deputy Minister of Information Ahmed Suboh said the ministry was against such restrictions and would inform the Interior Ministry of its position.
Palestinian journalists expressed deep concern at the latest decision, saying it was yet another sign of the PA's attempts to tighten its grip on the local media. "This decision contradicts [PA Chairman Mahmoud] Abbas's promise to work toward a free and independent media," a prominent Palestinian journalist in Gaza City told The Jerusalem Post.
"Every day we hear about a new measure restricting the work of journalists. The Palestinian Authority wants to turn us into its official spokesmen."
Another journalist from Ramallah said he and many of his colleagues are under increased pressure from the PA to stop reporting on stories that "reflect negatively" on the Palestinian leadership. "There is a feeling here that there is no difference between Yasser Arafat and Abu Mazen] Abbas]," he said. "Abu Mazen is imposing severe restrictions on the media just like Arafat."
Last week the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, which is controlled by Abbas loyalists, issued a warning to all journalists to refrain from reporting on clashes between Hamas gunmen and PA security forces in Gaza City. It warned that any journalist who violated the ban would be punished for harming the national interests of the Palestinians.