hunting season, by uri dan

  1. 5,748 Posts.
    Sep. 4, 2003
    Hunting Season, by Uri Dan

    US special envoy John Wolf, sent to supervise the implementation of the road map, is trying to salvage it after Hamas's slaughter of 21 innocent civilians, including babies, on a No. 2 bus in Jerusalem last month. He told Palestinian Authority Security Minister Muhammad Dahlan that the moment of truth had arrived and he must now start dismantling the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist organizations.

    Wolf demanded that Dahlan despatch his security personnel to the homes of those suspected of being terrorists and insist that they hand over their weapons. If they refuse, Wolf told Dahlan, you must force them.

    When Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) heard from Dahlan about Wolf's demand, he replied: "What do the Americans want? For us to commit suicide?"

    Truth to tell, Dahlan didn't have much use for Wolf's advice on how to deal with Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Aksa Martyrs Brigades because, however absurd it may seem to the naive, he himself was the instigator of the terrorist offensive from Gaza. As Yasser Arafat's closest confidant he was the one who organized the terrorist forces in preparation for the offensive against Israel that Arafat had planned, and which began on September 29, 2000.

    In the meantime, however, a black cat has crossed the path between Dahlan and Arafat. And Arafat, wanting to prove that Abu Mazen and Dahlan were unable to supply the goods they had committed to in the context of the road map, wanting to prove that they couldn't stop Hamas and Islamic Jihad, appointed Dahlan's bitter enemy, Jibril Rajoub, as his security adviser.

    There's a gang war going on inside the Palestinian leadership in which Arafat is making every effort to bring down Abu Mazen and replace him by his trusted supporter, Ahmed Qurei (Abu Ala).

    IN THESE circumstances Israel has no alternative: It must itself act to protect its babies, women, old people the ordinary citizens who are the constant and continuing day and night target of the Palestinian murderers.

    There are dozens of warnings about terrorist attacks waiting to be carried out. Consequently Israel is mercilessly hunting down the terrorists in the Gaza Strip. Every terrorist leader and activist is a target for Israel's helicopter gunships and missiles, as demonstrated in the half-dozen targeted hits of the last two weeks.

    Israel's attacks are generally accurate and based on real-time intelligence information.

    In this kind of war which may well have no precedent in any other country care must be taken not to harm innocent citizens. In fact, several terrorist leaders are unaware that their lives were saved at the last moment as a result of Israeli operations canceled because innocent bystanders were in the vicinity.

    Hamas is making great efforts to continue producing Kassam missiles. Worse, the Palestinians are ceaselessly continuing the smuggling of tens of thousands of shells, mortars of all kinds, and other weapons through the tunnels leading from the Sinai desert to houses in Rafiah in the Gaza Strip.

    The Egyptians, realizing they cannot play tricks on Ariel Sharon's government, are trying to install a new cease-fire agreement that will save Abu Mazen, together with Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. They claim they cannot prevent the arms smuggling, but their claim isn't convincing. Their security services are well able to take effective action against Jihad members who threaten President Hosni Mubarak's regime, mercilessly arresting and killing them.

    Dahlan, trying to prove he was helping Israel, supplied a list of tunnels through which the arms were being smuggled. When Israel checked the list, however, it found that the tunnels listed were those the IDF had already succeeded, with great effort, in locating and blocking. (..........smart arses..........Snooker)

    On the one hand, the Gaza Strip is becoming a giant power keg about to explode. On the other hand, the leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, suspecting everyone, are frightened for their lives and have gone underground.

    Whom did they go to, crying for help? Muhammad Dahlan. It was Israel's unprecedented hunting down of terrorists that led them to request the hudna with Israel, via Dahlan, in the first place.

    Dahlan has an opportunity to act against the terrorist infrastructure. But it is doubtful he will do so even now, at this eleventh hour, so as not to repeat the sham cease-fire he organized with Abu Mazen, that disintegrated in the blood of the passengers of the No. 2 bus in Jerusalem.

    The writer is Israel correspondent of the New York Post.
 
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