Ever since Abbas took control of the PA, people have been asking “why is there still Palestinian Terror?” Is it that Abbas can’t stop it,or is it that he won’t?

Abbas claims that he can’t. If he could, he would really, truly, stop the terror coming out of the West Bank and Gaza—but he just doesn’t have the military juice to fight them–cross his heart hope to die.

Others disagree, they say he won’t. They claim that the “moderate” Palestinian leader is just like his predecessor Arafat, acting like a public “peacemaker” for the world community and performing the role of terrorist leader behind closed doors.

World Net Daily published an interview with Abu Ahmed (the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades leader in the northern Gaza Strip). Ahmed gave the answer, he WON’T

Abu Ahmed, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades leader in the northern Gaza Strip, told WND his group, including the militants launching rockets, is loyal to Abbas and coordinates “resistance operations” with the Fatah party. “The Al Aqsa Brigades is the military wing of the Fatah and the President Abu Mazen (Abbas) is the chairman of the movement. We are committed to our leadership, to Abu Mazen. All our activity is in accordance with the political line of Fatah, which consists of fighting the occupation until the creation of a Palestinian state. The rocket shooting is part of this vision,” Abu Ahmed said. All rockets fired from Gaza have been launched from the northern part of the territory, which falls within Abu Ahmed’s jurisdiction in the Brigades. Asked why Abbas distances himself from Al Aqsa’s rocket firing, Abu Ahmed told WND, “Listen, we are aware of our president’s (Abbas’) declarations but we are also aware of the international political system that brings the president to adopt this position.” The terror leader said Abbas never asked his group to halt the rocket fire. “We know what is Fatah’s general political line and we act according to this line and I can say that we were never asked to stop shooting rockets. Therefore, the rocket shooting is not in any way harming our loyalty and our commitment to [Abbas] and his leadership.” Abu Ahmed refused to address information released by Israeli security officials his group is financed by Hezbollah, but sources in the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades admitted they receive some funds and training from the Lebanese militia. The Brigades sources also said they regularly coordinate their attacks with Mahmoud Dahlan, Fatah’s strongman in Gaza. “We are still totally committed to Fatah and [Abbas] regardless of help from other groups. The help is sanctioned by Fatah,” a Brigades source said. Some Israeli and Palestinian security officials told WND Fatah militants are launching rockets at Israel for internal political reasons. Calm in Gaza favors the opposition Hamas government, said once Israeli security source. “It gives Hamas a chance to govern during quiet times and not during Israeli operations in Gaza, during which the Palestinian take some frustration out on the Hamas government. Fatah wants violence and Israeli retaliation to generate opposition to Hamas,” the source said. But Abu Ahmed denied the accusations: “This is totally wrong,” said Abu Ahmed. “Our shooting is taking place when there are Israeli crimes, especially in the West Bank. Our shooting at the end of the day is directed against the Israeli enemy and aims first of all to clarify that we will react when our people and militants are hurt.” Both Israel and the U.S. State Department consider the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades to be a terror organization. U.S. policy calls Fatah “moderate” and dictates the Brigades is a separate entity, but still affiliated with Fatah. The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, together with Islamic Jihad, has taken responsibility for every suicide bombing in Israel the past two years, including an attack in Tel Aviv in April that killed American teenager Daniel Wultz and nine Israelis. The Brigades also has carried out scores of deadly shooting and rocket attacks against Israeli civilians in recent months. All Brigades leaders are also members of Fatah. Many openly serve in Fatah’s security organizations, including Force 17, which functions as police forces in Gaza and the West Bank. The U.S. reportedly has provided training, funds and weapons to Force 17. Abbas last June appointed senior Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades leader Mahmoud Damra as commander of Force 17. Damra, who was arrested by Israel in November, was on the Jewish state’s most-wanted list of terrorists.

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How are the US and Israel reacting to the fact that Abbas is leading the rocket fire? By trying to prop him up. Forward.com is reporting :

U.S., Israel Seek To Boost Abbas With Prisoner Swap

Nathan Guttman | Fri. Jan 05, 2007

Washington – Israeli and American officials are seeking ways to credit Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas with any Israeli-Palestinian deal on a prisoner swap reached in the coming days.

Israel and the United States are expected to agree to the release of leading Fatah activist Marwan Barghouti as part of the deal, viewing him as a potential reformer who can help Abbas. Barghouti was arrested in April 2002 by Israeli forces and is serving five life terms for aiding terrorism.

According to reports in the Israeli press, Israeli and Palestinian officials already have agreed on the main components of the prisoner-swap deal. Ha’aretz reported Tuesday that Israel would start off the deal with a release of women and children held in Israeli prisons in return for a video tape of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier held by Hamas since his kidnapping last year on June 25. In the second phase, Israel will release 450 Palestinian prisoners, including Barghouti and Hamas political and military officials. At the same time, the Palestinians will hand over Shalit to Egyptian negotiators. In the third phase, which will take place two months later, Israel will release another “significant amount” of Palestinian prisoners.

The deal is being brokered by Egyptian Intelligence Minister Omar Suleiman, who met with Hamas leaders in Saudi Arabia last weekend.

While Hamas sources in Gaza described the deal as imminent, Israelis dismissed the report of an upcoming agreement as “Palestinian spin,” saying that both sides have yet to agree on the number and identity of prisoners who would be released in return for Shalit.

It seems clear that under the deal being discussed, Palestinian prisoners “with blood on their hands” —meaning those who were involved in terrorist attacks — would be released. Senior members of both Fatah and Hamas would be included.

The main issue now troubling Israelis is how to present the prisoner swap to the Palestinian public as an achievement of Abbas rather than of Hamas. Since Hamas is holding Shalit, it is clear that the organization is playing a significant role in bringing about a prisoner release. At the same time, Israel does not negotiate directly with Hamas and is attempting to make clear that the Palestinian prisoners will be given over to Abbas rather than to the Hamas PM, Ismail Haniyeh.

“The whole issue of prisoners is very emotional for the Palestinians,” said Nathan Brown, professor of international affairs at Washington’s George Washington University and a former adviser on the drafting of the P.A.’s constitution. “Neither Abbas nor Arafat managed to get prisoners released. Now Hamas is trying to prove its effectiveness.”

The main figure on the list of prisoners to be swapped is Barghouti, the unofficial leader of the second intifada. Though behind bars, Barghouti is seen as a major political force in Palestinian politics and is the co-author of the so-called prisoners’ document — a joint Hamas-Fatah platform that hints at accepting Israel and was supposed to lead to the formation of a national unity government. Barghouti is known for his good ties with all Palestinian factions, and stands out as the leader of the younger generation of Palestinians in a society still largely ruled by Arafat’s old guard. Before the intifada began in 2000, Israelis saw Barghouti as a moderate interlocutor who favored coexistence.

“If released, Barghouti can force Fatah to go through a reform process which in the long run has the potential of strengthening the movement,” Brown said.

Experts say that Hamas looks strong and generous by pushing for the release of Barghouti and other prisoners from the rival Fatah movement at a time when both factions are fighting over control of Gaza.

PROP UP ABBAS??????????Now I am convinced the Prime Minister of Israel has totally lost any connection with reality. Lets forget for a second that he is rewarding terrorism. Doesn’t Olmert read the papers? Yesterday a poll was released that said 70% of the population of Israel thinks he SUCKS.
PROP UP ABBAS?????????? Olmert is the one needs propping up. Yet the PM keeps writing his political obituary, and worse, possibly the obituary of his county by answering each terrorist missile with another concession.
This guy has GOT TO GO.