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Sharon Signals Abbas Over Terror Escalation

Jerusalem Summit To Focus On Terrorism

Ariel Sharon - Mahmoud Abbas (Archive)

Just hours before Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas meet in Jerusalem, Israeli security forces launched a major sweep on the West Bank rounding up 50 terrorist suspects. The Israeli action follows deadly Palestinian attacks despite the current understanding to halt the violence.

Palestinian Terror Attack

'Enough is enough!' that's the message from Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon after the latest Palestinian attacks have killed and wounded Israelis. Israeli security forces carried out an overnight sweep on the West Bank arresting some fifty terror suspects. Israeli officials say some of them were not 'ticking bombs', suicide bombers or other terrorists about to launch a mission against Israel. Since the understandings at the Sharm el Sheik summit in February, Israeli security forces have ceased their counter-terror campaign and only fired back when attacked. However, Israeli intelligence says Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has not kept his part of the bargain - although Hamas has cut its terrorism other groups such as the Islamic Jihad have not and Abbas is doing nothing to stop them.

Within 24 hours - one Israeli soldier was killed and three others wounded in a Palestinian shooting attack from the Gaza Strip. This was followed by the murder of one Israeli civilian and the wounding of a second in a shooting attack on the West Bank.

Left - Wafa Ibrahim trying to blow herself Right - Interviewed (CH 10)

Then an attempted mega-terror attack - At the Erez terminal in the Gaza Strip that enables Palestinians to go to jobs inside Israel or be treated at Israeli hospitals, Wafa Ibrahim, a young Arab woman in a robe shows up. The woman was severely burned in a fire and has been treated at Soroka hospital, in Beer-Sheva. After passing through Palestinian security, she presents a genuine document from Soroka hospital for her to receive more medical treatment yesterday. Hidden under the robe in her underwear, the woman has been armed with ten kilograms of explosives to be detonated inside the hospital! When Israeli security detects the suicide bomber at Erez, she tries unsuccessfully to blow them up.

Moreover, since the 'Tahdia' ceasefire was supposed to have gone into force, Israeli security forces have foiled dozens of suicide bombing attempts and other terror terror attacks. In addition, the Palestinians have kept up a sporadic shower of Qassam rockets and mortars at settlements in the Gaza Strip and the Israeli town of Sderot just over the border. Although, Sharon has been turning over back-wards to avoid an escalation less than two months before the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and 4 West Bank settlements, the terrorists crossed his red line when Israelis start getting killed and wounded. He will undoubtedly lay it on the line at today's summit with Abbas. Sharon can be expected to tell the Palestinian leader first - that Abbas is making a big mistake in not disarming the terror organizations which are actually building their strength during the current lull; and secondly that it is also a mistake to invite Hamas terrorists into the political process. But Sharon's bottom line will be that if Abbas does not or is not strong enough to halt the attacks, Sharon will. At the same time, the Prime Minister has also made clear that he will carry out the Gaza withdrawal on schedule starting after August 15th and that it will not be carried out under fire. That does not mean there will be no disengagement; it does mean the IDF will do what it takes to halt the fire and the withdrawal will then be implemented.

David Essing

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