Cairo Agreement vs. Four Israeli Casualties

Broadcast March 20th, 2005 on


Within several days after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was said to have persuaded the terror organizations to accept a 'tahadiya' temporary cease-fire with Israel, Palestinian gunmen shot three IDF soldiers and an Israeli policeman on the West Bank. The incident highlights the highest hurdle facing Abbas if he is sincere about halting the violence and working out a peace deal with Israel.

David Essing reports:

Palestinian Gunmen

The Heart of the Matter - Palestinian terrorists opened fire with automatic rifles wounding 3 IDF soldiers and an Israeli policeman on Saturday night. Two of the soldiers are in serious condition. The wounded personnel were tracking down some of the thousands of Israeli cars, stolen by Palestinians and driven into the West Bank, where the security fence has yet to be completed. Just a couple of days ago in Cairo, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced that he had persuaded Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the other terror groups to maintain the 'tahadiya' temporary cease-fire with Israel.

What's going on? Simply this, it illustrates that sooner or later the Palestinian President will have to crack down on all the terror groups if he is to succeed in making peace with Israel. In order to make good on his declarations about halting the terrorism, he will have to back up his words with action. Abbas cannot have it both ways; to talk of opening a new page of non-violence toward Israel while leaving the terrorists armed with their machine guns, Qassam rockets and even Strella ground to air missiles - to open fire as they see fit. By leaving the terrorists and their arsenals in place, Abbas grants the terrorists a veto power. Surely this lesson should apply to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as much as it does to Northern Ireland, where 'all hell has broken loose' after IRA members murdered Robert McCartney, apparently in a bar room brawl and then intimidated some 70 eye-witnesses. Moreover, when Mahmoud Abbas says he is not willing to use force to disarm the terrorists because it could lead to Palestinian bloodshed, does it not follow that the Palestinian leader is also saying that he is ready for Israel to absorb the casualties? The Saturday night attack on the Israeli servicemen proves this is not a theoretical question. On the other hand, Ariel Sharon is turning over backwards to help Mahmoud Abbas; it's just been announced that after Jericho, Israel is now pulling out of Tul Kerem on the West Bank.

As ISRACAST reported last month, the Sharm el Sheik summit opened a corridor for halting hostilities and moving into the Roadmap peace plan. But as Sharon and Abbas move through this corridor, terrorist ambushes can sabotage their progress. If and when the two leaders reach the Roadmap, Sharon says he expects not only a 'tahadiya' from Abbas, but the actual dismantling of the terror organizations and what the Brits in Northern Ireland call 'the proscribing of illegal weapons'. This by the way will likely be the message that Sharon will convey to George W. Bush at their upcoming meeting at the President's ranch in Texas.

David Essing, IsraCast, Jerusalem

Transcription done by Yael Yaffe-Last
Studio Production by Avi Yaffe Jerusalem Recording Studios LTD.

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