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Monday, October 20, 2003

The PA makes arrests

JPost editorial
When the Palestinian Authority arrested eight Palestinians following the bombing that killed three Americans in Gaza last week, it was noted with equanimity, as if nothing could be more natural.

Palestinian leaders, after all, roundly condemned the attack, so why should they not take action against the perpetrators?

What has not been noted is the striking contrast between the PA's response to terrorism against Americans and its response to similar attacks against Israelis, both of which it claims to oppose.

In the case of the murdered Americans, who were on their way to interview candidates for Fullbright scholarships in Gaza, Yasser Arafat ordered an immediate investigation. The arrests came soon after.

Israeli officials have dismissed the arrests as a sham, and many expect that even the low-level terrorists apprehended will be soon released. There is no indication that any systemic action against the Resistance Committees – a catch-all term for bands of terrorists from different organizations – will be taken.

But even if the investigation and arrests amounted to "rounding up the usual suspects," terrorism against Israelis does not produce even this attempt at creating the appearance of action on the part of the PA. It is telling that, when Americans are killed, we hear none of the standard PA excuses for inaction, such as we have no power, no control, and Israel has destroyed our institutions of justice.

In the aftermath of American deaths, the PA has been at pains to demonstrate what it can do, rather than what it cannot.
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