The U.S. is planning to issue a letter guaranteeing the country will back agreements reached during current Israeli-Palestinian negotiations aimed at creating a Palestinian state before President Bush leaves office in January, WorldNetDaily has learned.
The move is intended to ensure that any agreements reached by the Israelis and the Palestinian Authority and spelled out in a joint document will be recognized by the next U.S. administration and be binding for Israel and the PA.
The information comes as Jacob Walles, the U.S. consul-general, stated in an interview with a major Palestinian newspaper last week that Israel and the PA agreed to negotiate Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley area leading to the Dead Sea.
In response to the report, the State Department issued a statement claiming the U.S. government has not taken a position on the borders of a future Palestinian state and denying Jerusalem is being discussed.
But Israeli and Palestinian sources intimately familiar with the current talks said Jerusalem is being negotiated, with Palestinian officials claiming the talks are in advanced stages. The sources also said the U.S. recently floated a plan to divide Jerusalem.
Kuntar Threatens, Demonstrates
A convicted child-killing terrorist recently freed by Israel in a controversial prisoner exchange deal issued a threat last week against the U.S.: “If there will be an Israeli attack against Lebanon in the future, American citizens and the American embassy in Lebanon will not be secure,” said Samir Kuntar, who led a protest outside the U.S. embassy in Beirut.
Kuntar was released in July along with four other Lebanese convicts in a deal with Hizbullah that resulted in the remains of two Israeli soldiers being returned to Israel. He was serving multiple life sentences in an Israeli prison for murdering three Israelis, including smashing to death a 4-year-old girl with the butt of his rifle.
In Lebanon, Kuntar now chairs the Lebanese Committee for Solidarity with Cuba, an organization that petitions for the international community to normalize relations with Cuba. Kuntar organized a protest outside the U.S. embassy to petition for the release of Cuban prisoners being held in American prisons.
His threats against the U.S. embassy in Beirut may have particular resonance for some, since it was the site of a massive Islamist suicide bombing in 1983 that killed over 60 people, mostly embassy staff members and U.S. Marines and sailors. It was the deadliest attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission up to that time.
Israeli Media Shield Al Aksa Brigades
Are the Israeli media failing to report responsibility for a terror attack this week for which Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s so-called military wing publicly took credit?
While Hamas has been enforcing a 3-month truce with Israel in Gaza, Abbas’s “military wing,” the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, took credit for firing a Kassam rocket from the territory aimed at nearby population centers.
“We will not respect the cease-fire and will continue to launch attacks against the Zionist enemy,” stated a pamphlet faxed to this column by Fatah’s Brigades.
A top Brigades commander in Gaza said his group fired a Kassam rocket from Gaza, together with Islamic Jihad.
The commander said his Fatah Brigades group faxed the pamphlet claiming credit for the rocket attack to several news agencies, including Israeli media outlets.
But Israeli newspapers and television networks only reported that Islamic Jihad fired the rocket.
Israel’s Haaretz newspaper, for example, featured an article titled “Islamic Jihad claims responsibility for Kassam attack on Sderot.” Similar reports appeared on the website of Yediot Aharonot, Israel’s leading newspaper, and on the popular Army Radio.
Reporting on Fatah’s complicity in terror attacks would go against the Israeli policy that considers Fatah to be a moderate organization.
Terrorists Draw Blank on McCartney
In response to the widely reported threat against former Beatle Paul McCartney for agreeing to perform in Israel next week (see story, page 3), this reporter called senior leaders from every major Palestinian terror organization, and not one had heard of McCartney or the Beatles.
“I don’t know any of this,” said Muhammad Abdel-Al, spokesman and senior leader of the Popular Resistance Committees terror group. Abu Ahmed, a senior leader of Islamic Jihad in Gaza, said, “We don’t know these Beatles.”
Ala Senakreh, chief of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades in the West Bank city of Nablus, said that he, too, is unfamiliar with the singer.
Calls were also placed to members of Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and a lesser-known group, the Army of Islam. All drew blanks when asked if they were familiar with McCartney.
Israeli and Palestinian security officials downplayed the credibility of the threat.
Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.com. He appears throughout the week on leading U.S. radio programs and is the author of the book “Schmoozing with Terrorists.”