PA Pressures U.S. To Pressure Israel
The Palestinian Authority is engaged in a multi-pronged effort to press the U.S. to continue talks to create a Palestinian state beyond Secretary of State John Kerry’s deadline for momentum at the end of this month.
According to informed Middle Eastern security officials, the PA pressure tactics include re-establishing its terrorist group, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades; threatening to dismantle the PA; and efforts to reconcile with the rival Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip.
Kerry had imposed a deadline at the end of April for the outline of an Israeli-PA interim agreement, but the talks have reportedly stalled.
The dismantling of the PA is unlikely if for no other reason than the rank corruption in its midst. Companies controlled by Abbas’s sons have been accused of siphoning more than $1.5 billion in international aid to the PA through various offshoot companies.
Another pressure tactic clearly being used by Abbas is a threat to reconstitute the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the so-called military wing of Abbas’s Fatah organization.
Last week, this reporter and several other media outlets received text messages from members of the Brigades based in the northern West Bank city of Nablus. The messages claimed the Brigades is once again back in the fight and is preparing for a new round of confrontations against Israel, including attacks against the Israel Defense Forces.
The Middle Eastern security officials said that for the moment there is no indication the Brigades have been given any green light by Abbas or other top PA officials to carry out attacks.
Meanwhile, in yet another effort to pressure Washington to extend the talks, Abbas’s Fatah party is set to meet with leading members of the rival Hamas group to talk about reconciliation. The clearly intended message is that if a peace deal is not reached, Abbas will be left with no other option but to reach out to Hamas.
Last week, Kerry blamed both Israel and the Palestinians for the collapse in the talks, but he placed much of the responsibility on Israel.
Kerry claimed Israel’s refusal to release Palestinian prisoners, including convicted terrorists, as part of a gesture to Abbas, was behind the failure of the talks. Kerry ignored Abbas’s refusal to recognize the Jewish state’s existence or his drive to seek United Nations recognition despite a pledge not to do so. Kerry also did not mention the rampant anti-Israel incitement in official PA media.
Soros, Gates Tied To Controversial Prison Firm
Billionaires George Soros and Bill Gates – both outspoken supporters of immigration reform – are investors in a controversial private prison firm that houses detained illegal aliens.
Soros and Gates are shareholders in GEO Group Inc., which operates prisons under contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.
GEO has been represented by the lobby firm headed by Tony Podesta, the brother of White House counselor and Center for American Progress founder John Podesta.
GEO, the world’s largest operator of private prisons and detention centers, was known as the Wackenhut Corrections Corporation. It has faced a string of negative publicity following numerous deadly events in its prisons and accusations of inmate abuse and poor conditions.
Among its 59 U.S. prison facilities is the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Wash.
The GEO website describes the center as a “privately-owned detention facility under contract with Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) to house detainees pending removal process.”
While Soros and Gates support numerous immigration activist groups through their respective foundations, the immigrant groups may be surprised to learn the Northwest Detention Center does not offer educational or vocational training programs to those housed in its complex.