The terrorist attack on a nine-year-old girl Saturday night in Psagot in Samaria, reported here, has set off another storm of protests within the Likud party to call off the talks with the Palestinian Authority.
The victim of the latest attack is in good condition after being shot at closed range by a terrorist who had infiltrated into the community, located between Jerusalem and Beit El-Ofra. The terrorist still is at large.
Last month, Palestinian Authority terrorists murdered two Israeli soldiers, one of them having been kidnapped in the metropolitan Tel Aviv area by a PA resident without a work permit. He had intended to use his victim as barter to force Israel to release his brother, a terrorist, but instead threw his victim, Sgt. Tomer Hazan, into a pit.
All of the attacks came at the same time Israeli negotiators java been speaking with their Palestinian Authority counterparts at the rate of approximately once a week.
The resumption of the talks in late July was conditioned on Israel’s releasing 104 Palestinian Authority terrorists but in several stages, in order test PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas commitment to stop terror instead of inciting it,
The first group was released before talks began, and senior government coalition members are demanding that Israel, for a change, make the Palestinian Authority pay for not living up to an agreement.
“Anyone that backs terrorists cannot be called a negotiating partner,” asserts Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon of the Likud.
Tzipi Hotovely, another senior Likud Knesset Member and a very popular nationalist, insisted Saturday night that the government halt the talks with the Palestinian Authority.
Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett and party MK Shuli Moallem have been against the whole idea of linking peace talks with freeing terrorists.
The attack in Psagot, following two terrorist murders last month, has solidified their case. MK Moallem called the attack on Psagot “a red light” for the government” and added, “Whoever wants to preserve security doesn’t free prisoners.”
Bennett said, “Our ‘partner’ [Abbas] has not changed 20 years after the Oslo Accords,” he said that the murders of the two soldiers “shows us what kind of partner he is. We do not make peace with terrorists who throw dead bodies into a pit. We fight them without mercy.”
But the United States has a different view and likes to quote President Shimon Peres for having said numerous times, “One makes peace with enemies, not with friends, one of the most banal, pithy and naïve statements of the 21st century but one which reflects American impotence.
The recent terrorist attacks would be the death knell for the U.S.-backed peace talks if it weren’t for the fact that President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry now are doing what they said they would not do – forcing the talks on Israel despite the Palestinian Authority’s lack of will or inability to stop terror.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Friday that the talks are going nowhere and that the Palestinian Authority still refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Maariv reported.
But Martin Indyk, Obama’s personal negotiator for Israel, has stepped into the talks. He met with negotiators on Friday to create a better atmosphere, which means forcing Israel to swallow more dirt and forcing Abbas to smile and talk nicely.
The Palestinian Authority insists on talking about borders, and Israel insists on discussing security, according to several media reports.
The United States already has stated its case on borders by calling every Jew who lives in Judea and Samaria and formerly Jordanian-occupied Jerusalem an “illegitimate” settler.
So much for not forcing an agreement on Israel.
But the issue of releasing terrorists is bound to be the one that will blow up the negotiations – or, more likely, force Israel to concede again, lest it lose Obama’s “good will.”