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Militant Islam Monitor > Satire > Trust between Jews and Arabs who want to kill them at an all time low

Trust between Jews and Arabs who want to kill them at an all time low

Abbas tells Sharon: "I' weak - help me" as he asks for release of more terrorists
June 22, 2005

MIM: By staying in an East Jerusalem (Arab owned) hotel Wolfensohn is making a statement that the city does not belong to Israel. Maybe his next job will be to round up all the Jews and destroy the homes in the West part of that city as well? The obscene spectacle of Wolfensohn and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice holding forth to the press about destroying Jewish homes in Gaza to create lebensraum for Arabs was almost equaled by her performance at the American School of Cairo where she told the Arab audience that the United States, "has no cause for false pride, and we have every reason for humility."The US dhimmitude has only encouraged more scorn derision and Arab demands and given Muslims the idea that America is weak and can be forced to retreat and surrender if they keep up the pressure with attacks. The deportation of Jews in Gaza with the complicity of the Israeli government is seen as more proof that Arabs only need to keep using terrorism to acheive their goal of a Judenrein Middle East.

According to press reports "the timing of the meeting" between Abbas and Sharon, "could not have been worse".

Two Israelis were killed in ambushes earlier in the week, and a female suicide bomber with orders to blow herself up in the Israeli hospital where she was going for treatment was intercepted at a Gaza border crossing.

At the meeting attempted to portray himself as a victim and pleaded with Sharon help him strengthen his position by releasing more terrorists. When his demand was refused the Arabs blamed Israel for trying to start a civil war.

Mr Abbas condemned the terror attacks and said they worked against Palestinian interests. "Every bullet and mortar fired against you is fired against me too," he told Mr Sharon.

"I'm weak," Mr Abbas said at one point. "Help me."

"Don't say that," Mr Sharon said, in a reply that seemed friendly advice rather than cynicism. "People might believe it."

After Tuesday's meeting, a Palestinian official said: "Sharon wants to push us into a civil war and this won't happen"

Wolfensohn: Trust between Israelis and Palestinians at a 10-year low


By Aluf Benn

The western wing of the American Colony Hotel in East Jerusalem has been transformed over the past few days into the improvised office of the Quartet's envoy overseeing the disengagement plan, James Wolfensohn. The rooms have been furnished with desks, computers and filing cabinets; cartons of paper for the printer fill the bathtub; and the envoy has a bulletproof BMW, a diplomatic staff and security guards from the U.S. State Department to ferry and accompany him to and from the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, and meetings with senior Palestinian Authority officials and Israel and Palestinian businessmen.

Wolfensohn, until recently the president of the World Bank, is charged with overseeing the economic and civilian coordination of Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank, as well as forwarding initiatives to rehabilitate and develop the Palestinian economy. He is working in conjunction with the U.S.'s security coordinator, General William Ward; but unlike Ward, who spends most of his time in the region, Wolfensohn prefers to stop over every few weeks rather than to remain more permanently.

He believes it is better for him not to be dragged into dealing with the small details, but to oversee things from the outside.

In an interview yesterday with Haaretz, Wolfensohn spoke of distinct progress in the talks on coordinating the pullout between Israel and the PA. "In the first weeks, all the negotiations were on the agenda... What we've managed to do in the last couple of weeks is to say that we're actually getting into negotiations on the specifics," he commented.

Wolfensohn spoke of a number of key issues slated for discussion, with the list headed by the matter of the crossings between "the Palestinian areas" and Israel. "To the Palestinians, as well as for the Israelis, it's clear that you cannot create a prison in Gaza, or the northern West Bank, and if you do that, there is no possibility for either hope or peace," he said. "So it's in the interest of both sides, both economically and in terms of the future, to have appropriate methods of moving people and goods in a secure way."

The second key issue, according to the envoy, is that of the link between Gaza and the West Bank, with Wolfensohn noting the need for a physical connection between the two areas, as well as interim arrangements until this connection - a road, or rail line - is in place.

Wolfensohn believes the solutions vis-a-vis the crossings, the link between Gaza and the West Bank, and the easing of restrictions on movement in the West Bank itself must strike a balance between preserving Israel's security and the need to facilitate the passage of people and goods on the Palestinian side.

"They're all the same issue of how to build confidence, trust and security in order to free up economic and social progress," Wolfensohn said. "And the sad thing is that the level of confidence between Israelis and Palestinians at this moment is at its lowest in the past 10 years, so it's not an easy task to reestablish confidence."

"The problem I have in this part of the world, which I love, is that everybody is so hyped up about the other side that these irrational rumors emerge in the debate. And everybody has an angle," he continued.

"The principle for Israelis is clearly security, and we need to find solutions that within the framework of security enable a better life for the Palestinians - and I believe it is possible. I also believe that a better life for the Palestinians is one of the more important elements in Israeli security." He added: "If you have a people that have a sense of hope, they're much less likely to go out and shoot you."



Israel warns it could re-enter Gaza after pullout if attacks persist
06.22.2005, 02:36 PM

JERUSALEM (AFX) - Israeli troops could move back into the Gaza Strip to pursue Palestinian militants if they continue to carry out attacks after this summer's pullout from the territory, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said.

'If, after the withdrawal from Gaza, attacks are carried out against Israeli towns such as Ashkelon (a southern city close to Gaza), the Tsahal (Israeli army) will have the right to react and in this instance can return to Gaza to restore order,' Shalom told a gathering of diplomats in Jerusalem.

Israel is due to withdraw all of its troops from the occupied territory after the evacuation of the 8,000 Jewish settlers who are due to be uprooted from mid-August.

A general involved in the planning for the pullout had earlier warned that the Israeli army would not hesitate to respond decisively to any attacks by militants during the pullout, even at the cost of civilian casualties.



Sharon tells Abbas to drop the weak act
Abraham Rabinovich, Jerusalem

PLEADING that he was too weak to curb terror attacks against Israel, and asking for Israeli gestures that would strengthen him, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was told by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that if he acted weak he didn't deserve gestures.

The two men met for their first working session since their summit in February, shortly after Mr Abbas's election as head of the Palestinian Authority.

Unlike the fanfare and hopes that accompanied that first meeting, this one was marked by a sense of disappointment by both leaders in the man across the table.

Mr Abbas had come with a list of requests which, if Israel granted them, he argued, would raise his stock among the Palestinian people and permit him to act more forcefully.

Mr Sharon had one request, that Mr Abbas crack down on Islamic Jihad and other militants who are stepping up their attacks on Israel despite the ceasefire that has officially been in place since February.

Mr Abbas condemned the terror attacks and said they worked against Palestinian interests. "Every bullet and mortar fired against you is fired against me too," he told Mr Sharon.

"There are people on our side who are trying to thwart peace and take action against Israelis in order to halt the process."

He praised Mr Sharon for forging ahead with his plan to evacuate the Gaza Strip despite such incidents and despite opposition from right-wing Israelis.

But he called on the Israeli leader to make concessions, such as the freeing of additional Palestinian prisoners, so that Mr Abbas could show his people that he was able to achieve results.

"I'm weak," Mr Abbas said at one point. "Help me."

"Don't say that," Mr Sharon said, in a reply that seemed friendly advice rather than cynicism. "People might believe it."

Mr Sharon said Mr Abbas had sufficient forces to curb the militants if he wished.

The Palestinian leader, however, had made it clear after taking office that he would seek to disarm the militants by persuasion rather than force.

After Tuesday's meeting, a Palestinian official said: "Sharon wants to push us into a civil war and this won't happen."

The timing of the meeting, held in Mr Sharon's official residence in Jerusalem, could not have been worse.

Two Israelis were killed in ambushes earlier in the week, and a female suicide bomber with orders to blow herself up in the Israeli hospital where she was going for treatment was intercepted at a Gaza border crossing.

Israel, in response, renewed its assassination program, which had been suspended with the ceasefire.

A missile fired from the air missed its target in the Gaza Strip, but it alerted militants to what they might now expect. In addition, 50 Islamic Jihad activists were arrested in the West Bank.

Mr Sharon, who had refused to deal with Mr Abbas's predecessor, Yasser Arafat, whom he termed an arch-terrorist, believes that Mr Abbas is sincere in his condemnation of terror and in his wish to arrive at a peaceful settlement.

"We see good intentions on the part of the Palestinian Authority," Mr Sharon said after the meeting.


Militants fire at Palestinian PM as truce with Israel unravels

Ahmed Qureia, the Palestinian Prime Minister, was forced to cut short a visit to the West Bank city of Nablus today after gunmen unleashed a volley of shots towards the building were he was holding talks, underlining the growing state of lawlessness.

Even as the Prime Minister's bodyguards hustled him away from the sports club in the city's Balata refugee camp, militants fired further shots and a bomb exploded some distance from his motorcade, although there were no injuries.

The protest by disgruntled militants further highlighted the uphill task facing Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President, as he attempts to rein in militants just a day after a summit with Ariel Sharon, the Israeli Prime Minister, ended in deadlock, leaving the four-month ceasefire in a precarious state.

Israel, angered by an upsurge in violence, had given the Palestinians few concessions and turned the screw further today when it confirmed it had resumed a policy of targeted assassinations of senior militants, a measure it had confined only to activists caught breaking the ceasefire declared during February's Sharm el-Sheikh summit.

While Mr Abbas and Mr Sharon conducted their two-hour meeting at the Prime Minister's official residence in Jerusalem yesterday, the Israeli air force fired a missile into a building in Gaza in a fruitless attempt to kill an Islamic Jihad commander.

"There was an attempt in Gaza to intercept an [Islamic Jihad] activist," Gideon Ezra, the public security minister, told Israel's Army Radio. "It was unsuccessful. An opportunity presented itself. Any means to neutralise the organisation are relevant and possible."

Military officials said that the Islamic Jihad attacks that left an Israeli settler dead in the West Bank and killed a soldier in Gaza were prompted the shift in strategy, even though the movement has not publicly abandoned the ceasefire.

Eleven more Islamic Jihad suspects were arrested today, to add to the 52 held in raids a day earlier, in further signs that Israel is focusing it attention on that group in what it sees as Mr Abbas's failure to confront the militants.

Islamic Jihad resumed mortar bomb and rocket salvoes against Jewish settlements in Gaza in retaliation for the Israeli sweeps to capture wanted militants.

Khaled al-Batsh, a senior Islamic Jihad leader in Gaza, gave warning of "terrible consequences" if Israel carried through its assassination threat and said the relative quiet would end. "This decision is meant to escalate violence against our people. The calm would thereby end. We will not be dictated to by Israel," he said.

The violence in Nablus was yet another signal that the truce could unravel and bring chaos to the already fraught Israeli plan to pullout out of settlements in Gaza and the West Bank within two months.

Gunmen fired in the air and waved their weapons angrily, startling Mr Qureia who had been in the sports club haranguing an audience of militants saying that the Palestinian people were desperate for quiet and order.

As the shots rang out Mr Quriea's bodyguards stood at window and trained their weapons on the gunmen in the streets below before he and other ministers in his entourage left.

Mahmoud al-Khatib, who claimed to have fired at the building, said his frustration had boiled over because of Palestinian officials' treatment of his father, jailed by Israel for 21 years.

"Officials live in luxury and we, the ones who gave so much to Palestine, have got nothing," said Mr al-Khatib. "I reached a point where I'm willing to kill so I can take back my rights, my father's rights, and the rights of all those like us."

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