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I have been wrestling with this for days. Why would Israel release 250 terrorists from Jail ? Why would the Prime Minister of Israel continually make one-sided concessions? What would make an Israeli government prop up the Fatah leader Abbas, when the man is a terrorist, not an ex-terrorist, but someone who leads an organization that commits terrorist acts today? What concessions has Fatah made in the past year? NONE ! Yet here we go again, Olmert’s little game called lets put Israelis in greater danger. Is there an an overpopulation problem in Israel Ehud? Lines to long at Dr. Lek’s Ice Cream? Why are you releasing terrorists to kill Israelis? It can’t be for peace—Neither Fatah nor Hamas wants peace they have both said it publicly. Sorry but I just don’t get it.

Boosting Terror in the West Bank By P. David Hornik Predictions that the scenes of intra-Palestinian savagery from Gaza would cause a decline of Palestinianism were of course premature. The Israeli cabinet has now voted to release 250 jailed Fatah terrorists “without blood on their hands” in a “gesture” that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert promised in his recent meeting at Sharm el-Sheikh in the Sinai with Mahmoud Abbas, Hosni Mubarak, and Jordan’s King Abdullah. The idea is that releasing terrorists will “strengthen Abbas” and is something he needs to shore up his popularity in the Palestinian street. This idea of bolstering the head of Fatah with an influx of terrorists who failed in their murder-missions goes back to 1994, when Israel started periodically freeing large numbers of such peace-emissaries in efforts to propitiate the then Fatah leader Yasser Arafat. In other words, the same old Palestinianism, one of whose tenets is that when it comes to the Palestinians even the most basic norms of prudence and morality have to be stood on their heads, and that doing so will achieve good results even if it has been proved time and again only to generate more bloodshed. After all, both the Bush administration and Olmert responded to Hamas’s takeover of Gaza with a surge of optimism. With Abbas no longer an official junior partner in a unity government with Hamas—and no blame ever accrued to him for that indiscretion—the decks were now clear for renewed infusions of arms, military training, funds, and released terrorists to his Fatah movement, which apparently keeps answering to a deep-seated Israeli and American dream of subcontracting the War on Terror to “moderate” or “our” terrorists. Meanwhile, Haaretz like other Israeli media reported last week that “IDF soldiers kill Fatah commander in West Bank”: Muhammad Abu al-Heija, a leader of the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades in the Jenin refugee camp, and the deputy of Zakariya Zubeidi, one of the top commanders of the Fatah-linked armed group, was killed in a pre-dawn gun battle with Israel Defense Forces troops. . . . The IDF said soldiers carrying out operations in the camp had come under small-arms fire, and that a bomb was thrown at them. “He had an M-16 [assault rifle] with a telescopic sight,” an IDF spokeswoman said of the dead man. “During the incident, an explosive charge was thrown and the Israeli force came under fire.” . . . Across the West Bank Sunday night, a total of six wanted Palestinians were arrested, among them members of Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, and Fatah. The ordinary citizen blinks and wonders how the powers that be come up with these fine distinctions between terrorists. If a Fatah terrorist fires at Israeli forces with an M-16, and if Fatah terrorists are arrested along with Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists in an overnight sweep, why precisely does the Bush administration funnel tens of thousand of rifles to Fatah, why does Israel free up millions of dollars in tax revenues to Fatah, and why is Israel now planning to discharge 250 less-successful Fatah terrorists from prison? One also wonders why it is worth being an Israeli soldier and risking one’s life fighting a Fatah terrorist at the same moment that another Fatah terrorist is being released from an Israeli prison and another one is learning the fine points of combat under Lt.-Gen. Keith Dayton, the U.S. “security coordinator” responsible for supplying and training Fatah forces. The Bush-administration and Olmert-government sophisticates will of course answer that there are important nuances within Fatah, that the explicitly terrorist, heavily Iranian-supported Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades somehow exist in splendid isolation from the noble democrats of Force 17. These same savants told us that Fatah, in general, and Hamas were so different from each other that it was worth cultivating the former as an army that would vanquish the latter—and are not deterred by the recent Gazan spectacle of Fatah “excelling” Hamas only in cowardice while equaling it in horrific savagery (see “A Visit to Fatah’s Torture Chamber”). Lebanon is crumbling. Gaza is gone. No one is stopping Iran. Western forces are not prevailing in Iraq or Afghanistan. The “doctors’ plot” has hit England and Scotland. In this grim scenario, one place where the jihad is still being contained, and where the Western forces of Israel are perfectly capable of containing it, is the West Bank. Give enough guns to Fatah, remove enough Israeli checkpoints, set loose enough bloody terrorists, and that success will be endangered too.

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