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Sunday, April 8, 2007

Rent a terrorist? Abbas wants to cut Fatah terror ties to Hizbullah

How about, 'just say "no?"'

Palestinian president seeks to cut links between members of al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades and Lebanese group, which rewards them for terror activities
Ali Waked Published:  04.08.07, 13:25 / Israel News

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas recently appointed a special team to prepare accurate lists of the members of Fatah's military wing, the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, in a bid to find solutions for their problems and needs and minimize their dependence on Hizbullah.

The new team is comprised of members of the Palestinian Preventive Security Service in the West Bank, the General Intelligence Service and the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades.

Palestinian Authority officials are aware of the fact that dozens of activists still engage in terrorist activities due to the rewards they receive from the Lebanese organization.

Palestinian sources told Ynet that Abbas viewed the plan as a key element in the efforts to expand the ceasefire with Israel to the West Bank.

"The al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades have always been the weakest link in every truce. The financial dependence of several of the wanted men on Hizbullah caused the al-Aqsa members not to obey all agreements," one source said.

"How could Abu Mazen (Abbas) ask the different organizations to obey truce agreements when Fatah members were those who led the attacks during periods of calm?" other sources noted.

The second group Abbas has to deal with is the Islamic Jihad's military wing. The Palestinian president hopes that Arab pressures, mainly on Syria, will cause the Islamic Jihad to honor the truce.
Aides to Abbas said that the move also depended on Israel.
"The Israelis are aware of the fact that whatever we do, one activist can always cause the entire thing to fail. But if they are really interested in helping us maintain the truce and expand it, they can do it. We on our part will continue exerting efforts in order to impose our authority on the activists," an Abbas associate said.
Meanwhile, Palestinian security organizations are going ahead with their plan to impose order in the PA. In the first stage, the PA is fighting criminal elements, particularly drug dealers and car thieves. In the next stage, the plan is to collect weapons from wanted Palestinians.

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