Repeating the position expressed in many variations by PA officials in recent months, Al-Kidwa, responsible for the foreign relations of the PA, told Al-Hayat this week that the only step that would be taken is an "organization of arms" by agreement among all PA terrorist groups. The PA position on the matter would not change, Al-Kidwa declared, until "the Palestinian situation changes entirely."
In that regard, Al-Kidwa blamed Israel for the security situation in the PA, saying, "The Palestinians are still under Israeli occupation." The PA militias and police, he claimed, are in disarray and short of basic military supplies and training facilities due to Israeli policies.
In June of this year, Al-Kidwa told Reuters News Agency that the PA would not disarm "militants" until Israel totally withdraws to the pre-1967 borders. At the time, Al-Kidwa said his position "is based on international law and on a deep understanding of our responsibilities according to the Road Map, and I will not retract my words." PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, known as Abu Mazen, has never distanced himself from Al-Kidwa's remarks.
While the PA officially declares its desire to return to negotiations with Israel, the repeated statements by PA officials that they will not confront terrorists in their jurisdiction indicate a more pressing desire to collaborate with the Islamist groups. To that end, the PA has arranged for the Hamas terrorist organization to take part in upcoming parliamentary elections, has refrained from laying hands on Islamist terrorists (despite declarations to do so) and is granting monthly stipends to families of dead terrorists. In addition, public memorials and honors for terrorist leaders continue in the PA school system and in cultural venues.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has declared that the next step towards Road Map negotiations with the PA is the disarming of terrorist groups and the dismantling of the terror infrastructure. On Monday, White House spokesman Fredrick Jones similarly released a statement calling upon the PA to disarm terrorists and dismantle the terrorist infrastructure operating in the PA. Jones stated that the suicide bombing in Netanya was yet more proof of the need to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure to prevent future attacks.
In the Al-Hayat interview, Al-Kidwa also expressed support for permitting the PA candidacy of terrorist leader Marwan Barghouti, imprisoned for life in Israel on murder charges and for masterminding Fatah terrorist attacks. Barghouti received more than 90 percent support in recent Fatah primaries, held with an eye towards the planned January elections for the PA parliament. Al-Kidwa called upon the PA to exert more pressure on Israel to release Barghouti and all other imprisoned Arab terrorists.
More generally, Al-Kidwa, who is a nephew of the late PLO leader Yasser Arafat, supports the political participation of the younger generation of Fatah, many of whom are leaders in the terrorist Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades. The rise of a younger leadership, Al-Kidwa said, "is a natural thing, and the door must open before it, for there is plenty of room for the new generation to take up positions like any other political force."
MIM: Several months ago the PA announced they were uniting with the Al Aqsa Martyr Brigades who signed a "pact of honor" with other terrorist groups
Terror Group Aligned with PA Vows to Liberate the Galilee
Sunday, October 16, 2005
A terrorist group aligned with the Palestinian Authority, the Al Aksa Brigades has vowed to continue the armed struggle against Israel until it liberates "Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem and the Galilee."
The declaration was made in response to an interview given by IDF Chief-of-Staff, Lt.Gen. Dan Halutz, to a French newspaper. Halutz told the paper that the IDF was no longer targeting members of that terror group because it had joined up with the PA's armed forces and was no longer involved in attacks against Israel.
Calling the Galilee, "occupied territory," a spokesman for the Brigades said the organization would continue the armed struggle to liberate it.
The Galilee district, located in Israel's north, has an Arab majority. Not unlike Judea and Samaria, it is dotted with dozens of Arab villages and densely populated cities, many located adjacent to small Jewish communities. It was the focal point for riots and violent disturbances against the Israeli government when the Oslo War broke out in September, 2001.
The PA has repeatedly called for Israel to evacuate Judea, Samaria, Gaza, and Jerusalem, in order to establish a Palestinian state in these areas, but generally makes no reference to regions, such as the Galilee, that make up Israel's pre-1967 boundaries.
Under the Oslo accords, the Palestine Liberation Organization recognized Israel's pre-1967 borders, except for Jerusalem. The PLO and Fatah, its largest faction, rule territories ceded by Israel under the Oslo accords via the Palestinian Authority.
The PA apparently has accepted the Al Aksa Brigades into its armed forces despite that fact that it does not recognize Israel's right to exist in its pre-1967 borders.
Terrorist groups that often stand in opposition to the PA, declare their intent to "liberate" all of Israel and annihilate the Jewish state.
The Al Aksa Brigades has accused Israel and the United States of plotting to dismantle the group. They also claim that senior officials of the PA are collaborating with the U.S. and Israel on this issue.
The Brigades has announced its intention to run candidates for the Palestinian legislature in elections scheduled for January 2006.
The Al Aksa Brigades were established shortly after the onset of the Oslo War in September 2000 in response to Ariel Sharon's tour of the Temple Mount as Israel's opposition leader. The group takes its name from the Al Aksa mosque located on the Mount, and effectively functions as the Fatah's military wing.
A year and a half after the outbreak of the war (February 2002), Israel declared the group to be a terrorist organization. The United States and the European Community subsequently followed.
The Brigades recently signed a "Pact of Honor" with other terrorist groups operating out of the Palestinian Authority. The pact sets forth the relations between the various groups and their stand regarding the war against the Jewish state.
The pact states in its first paragraph that the "Zionist occupation of Palestinian lands is ongoing" and that the armed struggle "will continue as a legitimate, natural response."