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Wednesday, July 09, 2003

ZOA News Release : Palestinian Authority Already Releasing Terrorists That It Arrested Just Last Week


NEW YORK- Continuing its traditional policy of "revolving door justice," the Palestinian Authority is already releasing the handful of terrorists that it arrested last week.

During the past decade, under the leadership of Yasir Arafat, the PA repeatedly detained terrorists in order to impress the Western media, then quickly released them when there was no media attention. This policy is continuing under the PA's new prime minister, Arafat's second in command, Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen).

The chief of Israeli Military Intelligence, Major General Aharon Zeevi Farkash, told Israel Radio (July 6, 2003) that "while the PA detained some terrorists suspected of attacking Israeli targets in the Gaza Strip since the PA took security responsibility in the Gaza Strip that they released the terrorists after talking with them." (Translation courtesy of IMRA)

Likewise, the New York Times reported on July 7, 2003, that of nine terrorists that the PA arrested last week for firing rockets at Israel, two have already been released, "and the other seven are expected to be freed soon."

The PA's policy violates President Bush's Road Map, which states that the PA is required to "undertake visible efforts on the ground to arrest, disrupt, and restrain individuals and groups conducting and planning violent attacks on anywhere." The PA was required to implement a policy of arresting terrorists by the end of May 2003, but it did not. Nevertheless, the Bush administration has continued to praise the PA and Abu Mazen, and has refrained from criticizing their failure to arrest and imprison terrorists.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: "It is incredible that President Bush is silent while Abu Mazen makes a mockery of the Road Map by arresting and then immediately releasing terrorists. The Bush administration's plan to drastically increase U.S. aid to the Palestinian Arabs (from $213-million to as much as $1-billion) has sent a message to Abu Mazen that the U.S. will turn a blind eye to his blatant violations of the Road Map. The Bush administration has clearly learned very little from the Oslo mistake of ignoring Palestinian Arab violations."