Shin Bet: Security Fence Has Paid for Itself "With Interest"

(Jerusalem Post) - Herb Keinon Shin Bet chief Avi Dichter told the cabinet Sunday that 14 suicide bombing attempts were foiled during the last six weeks, and the number of terror alerts has increased recently from some 30 per day to 50. Dichter said the relative quiet is a result of Israeli preventive actions. Dichter said the security fence - of which 107 kilometers have been constructed - has already paid for itself "with interest." Because of the fence it is much more difficult to penetrate into Israel. Dichter believes PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei when he says that he will not dismantle the terrorist infrastructure. Dichter said that since the days of the Abbas government, Arafat has regained 100% control over the Palestinian security services. Of the PA's $93 million monthly budget, Arafat's office receives some $8 million. By comparison, only $6 million a month goes to the PA's health system. This disproportion "cries out to the heavens," Dichter said. He said some 300 people are employed by Arafat's office, and that the rest of the funds goes to Fatah in the territories, and helps ensure Arafat's control. Donor countries, such as the EU and Japan, contribute some $30 million a month to the PA, and some of this money, he said, goes to support Fatah. According to Dichter, Hamas and Islamic Jihad are interested in reaching a new cease-fire agreement in order to rebuild their damaged infrastructure. Today 90% of their energy is being devoted to survival, and 10% to carrying out attacks, he estimated. "If there is a new hudna, this proportion will change."

2004-11-24 00:00:00

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