Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

in association with the Fairness Project
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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May 20, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

Focus on the PFLP
    The PFLP, which executed yesterday's Netanya bombing, is the second largest constituent organization in the PLO, after Fatah.
    Abu Ali Mustafa, who followed George Habash as head of the PFLP, was permitted by Israel to return to the West Bank in September 1999. From his base in Ramallah, Mustafa specialized in planning car-bomb attacks, particularly in the Jerusalem area.
    The capture of a PFLP squad revealed that Mustafa was planning to bomb Israeli schools in Jerusalem on the opening day of the 2001 school year. Israel acted to eliminate Mustafa before these plans could be executed.
    Mustafa's successor, Ahmad Sa'adat, planned and ordered the murder of Israel's Minister of Tourism, Rehavam Ze'evi, in Jerusalem on October 17, 2001. Until his recent exile to Jericho, Sa'adat was based in Ramallah, not far from the offices of Yasser Arafat.
    Israel's recognition of the PLO as a partner in the peace process was based on a signed commitment by Arafat to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on September 9, 1993, that "the PLO renounces the use of terrorism and violence and will assume responsibility over all PLO elements and personnel in order to assure their compliance, prevent violations, and discipline violators." Yet Arafat has protected Ahmad Sa'adat and the PFLP.

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Daily Alert Back Issues

The Washington Rally for Israel
  • Speeches
  • Photos
  • News Resources - USA and Europe:
  • Cheney: Israel Shows Problem of Tracking Terrorists
    Vice President Cheney compared the challenge of protecting Americans from terror attacks to the crisis in the Middle East -- which claimed more lives even as he spoke. Cheney cited Israel as evidence that even the best government efforts to track terror sometimes fail. "So after you've done everything you can, you still have to assume you may get hit." (Washington Post)
  • Arms Ship Reported Sunk by Israel
    Israel recently sank a ship laden with arms on its way from Lebanon to Gaza, according to Jane's Foreign Report and the New York Post. Israel had planned to capture the boat and publicly display its contents, but decided to sink it when it was learned that the ship was defended by 20 armed men. (JTA)
  • Hamas Vying to Lead Palestinians
    An alleged offer by the Palestinian militant group Hamas to stop suicide bombings in Israeli territory may be part of a plan to position itself as a workable replacement for Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority. (Strategic Forecasting)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:

  • Bombing in Netanya Kills 3, Wounds 50
    On Sunday a Palestinian suicide bomber wearing an IDF uniform attacked the Netanya market. One of the victims, Arkadi Weizelman, 39, had survived the Park Hotel bombing in Netanya during Pesach.
        Israeli security sources believe the attack was planned by Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) chief Ahmad Sa'adat, who was also behind the murder of Israeli cabinet minister Rehavam Ze'evi last year. After the recent lifting of the Israeli siege of Arafat's headquarters in Ramallah, Sa'adat, who originally was to be held in a Jericho prison under British guard, was instead provided an office in Jericho with full freedom of movement and unrestricted communications - including telephone. (Jerusalem Post/Yediot Ahronot/IMRA)
        On Monday another bomber blew himself up while being checked by border policemen in northern Israel. No injuries were reported.
  • Barghouti Papers Point to PA Funding of Terror
    Documents seized in the Ramallah office of Tanzim leader Marwan Barghouti suggest the Palestinian Authority rechanneled funds from its official budget to Fatah and Tanzim groups in the territories. Copies of 60 checks were found indicating that funds were taken out of a PA bank account and paid to Fatah and Tanzim operatives. (Ha'aretz)
  • Global Commentary and Think Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • A Tireless Quest for Arms - Ze'ev Schiff
    The Palestinians' attempts to smuggle weapons and ammunition have not ceased. If the Palestinians had the control at international border crossings that they are demanding, they would be able to stockpile far larger quantities of arms. Therefore, when the talks on the final settlement arrangements resume, it will be of vital importance to strenuously oppose granting the Palestinians full authority at these crossings. (Ha'aretz)
  • Just Try to Imagine a Palestinian Democracy - James Bennet
    The Palestinian Authority is being asked to do something that American administrations have not asked of any established Arab state: to create a true democracy. Though it is far from clear they will stand up to Mr. Arafat, many Palestinians are yearning for democracy. (New York Times)
  • Hostility to Arafat Grows Among the Palestinians - Amir Taheri
    "Bush is naive if he thinks Arafat is the man to clean the mess," one Palestinian journalist said privately. "Arafat is at the center of a system of corruption. There can be no reform unless Arafat goes." (LA Times)
  • Reforming the Palestinian Authority - CNN "Insight"
    Includes statements by Yasser Arafat, Hanan Ashrawi, Jibril Rajoub, Nabil Amr, George W. Bush, Ariel Sharon, Muhammad Hourani, Mustafa Barghouti, Saeb Erakat, Daniel Ayalon, and Ari Fleischer. (CNN)
  • An International Force in the West Bank and Gaza Strip: The Security Aspects - Nitsan Alon and Natan Sachs
    External intervention would not only be hazardous, but would also likely do more harm than good in the fight against terrorism. (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
  • A Larger Canvas . . . - Samuel R. Berger
    Israelis are not driven to the sea by suicide bombs; they are driven to the right. Terror ultimately is a strategy of suicide for the Palestinians. (Washington Post)
  • A Holy Duty to Kill - Betsy Pisik
    A mother lovingly dresses her 12-year-old son in the homemade costume of a suicide bomber, complete with small kaffiyeh, a belt of electrical tape and fake explosives made of plywood. (Washington Times)
  • The Case for Israel - David Brudnoy
    Stop by enough Middle East "peace" rallies these days and you�ll feel like Churchill in the late 1930s, who wondered how much longer his countrymen would be swept up in pathetic attempts to rationalize Hitler�s behavior. (Boston Phoenix)
  • Talking Points:

    Scorecard on Operation Defensive Shield

    • IDF casualties: 29 killed, 236 wounded - 9 seriously
    • Palestinian casualties: 265 killed, 541 wounded. Of those killed, Jenin & vicinity - 106, Nablus - 79, Ramallah - 40, Bethlehem - 16, Tulkarm - 13, Kalkilya - 2
    • Palestinians arrested: 1,000 (Jerusalem Post/IDF)
    • In addition to the physical elimination of terrorists and the generation of intelligence sources of unprecedented scope, there is no longer any Area A that is off-limits to the IDF -- areas that can be used as bases for terrorist operations against Israel.

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