Friday, September 20, 2013

20-Sep-13: The Arabs demonstrate why releasing more terrorists to the Palestinians makes so little sense

The headline over this photo from the Telegraph (UK)
reads "Hamas and Fatah sign reconciliation deal". But that
was April 2011, and this is now [Image Source]
It has gotten almost zero publicity in the wider world, but the Arab news media seem to know that yet another mass release of convicted Palestinian Arab terrorists is about to happen. We posted on this two days ago: "18-Sep-13: 250 more Palestinian Arab prisoners to be released with Israel's agreement?"

We write frequently here [examples] on why the idea that Israel should free unrepentant convicted terrorists into the hands of the PA and Hamas is a very, very bad one. It will not bring peace, contribute to understanding or discourage acts of terror. Quite the contrary.

So let's consider how, when it comes to very practical matters, the Palestinian Arabs are viewed by their own devoted Arab brethren.

The Egyptians have taken huge steps in recent weeks to create a new wide buffer between themselves and the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Arab Gaza Strip. They evidently recognize the price they are now paying for years of security neglect of the border they share with Gaza, and the disastrous effects this is having on security in Sinai.

An AFP report from Wednesday ["Hamas: Egypt destroying Gaza tunnels to tighten blockade"] quotes the head of the Rafah municipality in Gaza saying
"The Egyptian army has destroyed 95 percent of the tunnels with the aim of setting up a security buffer zone." 
The report gives this background:
Egypt's army has destroyed many of the tunnels on the Egyptian side of Rafah which are used to smuggle goods, including building material and fuel, into the blockaded Palestinian territory. Egypt says it is part of a crackdown against Islamist militants in the Sinai Peninsula who have links to extremists in Gaza. Egypt's ambassador to the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, Yasser Othman, told AFP the measures are aimed at tightening security on the border. "The aim is not to worsen the situation inside Gaza." [But Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum] disputed this, saying the moves had nothing to do with Egyptian security operations in Sinai but rather a way to intensify the blockade and "bring the Palestinian people to their knees"... Hamas's energy authority has warned its sole power station faces closure due to the lack of fuel entering the Strip since Egypt began destroying the tunnels. The tunnels' destruction, which began after Egypt's army in July ousted president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, a Hamas ally, has already affected residents of Rafah... "They've destroyed 700 tunnels for the buffer zone," said Abu Taha, a 30-year-old in charge of a tunnel used to smuggle in fuel. [AFP]
About the Kingdom of Jordan's western border, the one currently shared with Israel, what view does Mahmoud Abbas of the PA have? He's quoted in the Jerusalem Post this week by the indispensable Khaled Abu Toameh:
The future border of the Palestinian state with Jordan will exclude Israel... The Palestinian state border with Jordan will extend from the Dead Sea through the Jordan Valley up to Beit She'an, Abbas said while attending a graduation ceremony at a Jericho university Sunday. "This is a Palestinian-Jordanian border, and that's how it will remain. Frankly Israel won't be present between us and Jordan" [Jerusalem Post]
How do the Jordanians see it? In fact, they are taking their own steps to ensure they don't have to live with an Palestinian Arab regime as their immediate neighbour. 

Why? Because they are considerably happier with Israel being there. Here's the Arab-Israeli journalist Khaled Abu Toameh again ["Does Jordan Want Palestinians In Control of The Border?", published today on the Gatestone Institute website]:
[T]he question is whether Jordan really wants to have Palestinians on its borders... The last thing the Jordanians want to see is hundreds of thousand of Palestinians move from the West Bank or Gaza Strip into the kingdom. Understandably, the Jordanian monarch cannot go public with this stance for fear of being accused by Arabs and Muslims of treason and collaboration with the "Zionist enemy... In private off-the-record meetings, top Jordanian officials make it crystal clear that they prefer to see Israel sitting along their shared border."
In addition to the obvious reason - a concern that "the border with Jordan will be used by Palestinian terror groups and Islamist fundamentalist organizations to smuggle weapons and terrorists into the West Bank and Israel", Abu Toameh reveals another:
It is no secret that the Jordanians have long been worried about the repercussions of the presence of Palestinians on their border. In a recent closed briefing with a high-ranking Jordanian security official, he was asked about the kingdom's position regarding the possibility that Palestinians might one day replace Israel along the border with Jordan. "May God forbid!" the official retorted. "We have repeatedly made it clear to the Israeli side that we will not agree to the presence of a third party at our border." The official explained that Jordan's stance was not new. "This has been our position since 1967," he said. "The late King Hussein made this clear to all Israeli governments and now His majesty, King Abdullah, remains committed to this position... Besides the security concerns, the Jordanians are also worried about the demographic implications of Palestinian security and civilian presence over the border. Their worst nightmare, as a veteran Jordanian diplomat once told Israeli colleagues during a private encounter, is that once the Palestinians are given control over the border, thousands of them from the future Palestinian state would pour into Jordan... The Jordanians already have a "problem" with the fact that their kingdom's population consists of a Palestinian majority, which some say has reached over 80%. The last thing the Jordanians want is to see hundreds of thousands of Palestinians move from the West Bank or Gaza Strip into the kingdom." [Gatestone Institute website]
Of course it's not only the Jordanians and the Egyptians. The Palestinian Arab world itself is as deeply fractious as ever. See these instances among many others from just the past ten days:
To add a final diplomatic dimension to this mess, note that in the Palestinian Arab media, Saeb Erekat - the PA's "chief negotiator" - is in the headlines (in Arabic but not yet English) again today threatening to call off the current 'peace' negotiations with the Israelis. Khaled Abu Toameh tweeted this morning that this is the tenth such call by the PA in the current round.

Now remind us again why it makes sense to free convicted, unrepentant Palestinian Arab terrorists into the outstretched arms of those ever-troublesome Palestinian Arab regimes whose own Arab neighbours extend them zero trust.

No comments: