Two Arrested In Relation To Itamar Murder
Two members of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s official security forces were arrested in conjunction with this past weekend’s bloody massacre in which five family members were brutally stabbed to death inside their home in the Jewish village of Itamar, this column has learned.
Two cousins are now in Israeli custody and are suspected of helping to plan the slayings. Ahmed Awad is an officer in Abbas’s Preventative Security Services in the northern West Bank city of Nablus. Iyad Awad is an officer in Abbas’s General Intelligence services in Ramallah.
Both the Preventative and General Intelligence services of Fatah are armed, trained and funded by the U.S.
Since the late 1990s, the U.S. has run training bases for PA militias. The U.S. also has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in financial aid and weapons to build up the PA militias.
Since 2007, the U.S. has stepped up its efforts at training the PA, including a new, advanced program for Palestinian police to train 500 to 600 cadets at a time at the American bases.
The U.S. currently operates training bases for the PA police and other militias, such as Force 17 and the Preventative Security Services in the West Bank city of Jericho and the Jordanian village of Giftlik.
Just two weeks ago, this column reported that members of Abbas’s Brigades, now classified by the U.S. State Department as a terrorist organization, have been brandishing weapons publicly in recent days despite a disarmament agreement with Israel.
Netanyahu Set To Unveil New Peace Plan
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will soon unveil a plan that would give the Palestinian Authority full security control of more areas of the strategic West Bank, according to diplomatic officials with specific knowledge of the proposal who spoke to this column.
Separately, sources in the Israeli defense apparatus spoke of aspects of Netanyahu’s upcoming plan they fear will harm the Jewish state’s anti-terror capabilities.
The Israeli news media has been rife the past few days with reports that Netanyahu has drafted a secret plan that will be announced within weeks. Netanyahu himself has talked about a new peace initiative without being specific.
Diplomatic officials divulged to this reporter that the plan seeks to give the PA near complete control of territories known as Area A as well as more control of Area B and security compromises in Area C.
Area A refers to West Bank cities in which the PA was granted Palestinian civil and security control as part of the 1993 Olso Accord negotiations. Area B refers to territory under Palestinian civil control but Israeli security control; whereas Area C consists of Israeli security and civil control and includes the territories that contain Jewish communities.
While Area A is already supposed to be under PA security control, in reality, the Israel Defense Forces operates there almost freely at night.
According to Israeli defense officials, the IDF currently has a quiet agreement with PA security forces whereby Palestinian forces allow Israeli troops to carry out nighttime arrest raids without impediment.
The arrests are so frequent there is hardly a night in recent months in which the IDF has not detained at least one wanted Palestinian militant from Area A.
Defense sources said that Netanyahu’s new plan of granting the PA complete security control in Area A would stop the night raids with the exception of what are known as “ticking time bombs” – terrorists in the midst of planning or carrying out an imminent attack.
A major problem, the defense sources argued, is that a large portion of Israel’s intelligence on imminent attacks comes from interrogations of the militants arrested in the soon-to-be-halted IDF nighttime raids of Area A.
According to the diplomatic officials, Netanyahu’s plan was formulated under heavy U.S. and international pressure. The announcement was also made in the wake of a recent debate at the United Nations in which Israel’s Jewish communities in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem were slammed as “illegitimate.”
PA Spokesperson Grilled on WABC Radio
“Why should America continue to fund the Palestinian Authority when its own apparatus is responsible for incitement to murder and violence and terrorism and has carried out repeated terrorist attacks against civilians?”
This is just one of multiple questions fired away by this reporter during a live WABC Radio interview with PA spokesperson Dmitri Diliani.
The confrontational interview included repeated questions about the rampant incitement to violence evidenced in the official PA media in the days and weeks before the Itamar attack.
After Diliani repeatedly claimed during the interview that his Fatah organization condemns violence and supports peace, this reporter ended the interview, saying: “You condemn violence [even] as a Palestinian, probably from your party, just slit the throat of a Jewish infant and as your president, Mahmoud Abbas, just dedicated a square to an infamous Palestinian murderer.”
The latter part of the statement was a reference to reports that Abbas’s Fatah faction yesterday – just one day after the terrorist massacre in Itamar – named a town square after the jihadist leader of a 1978 bus hijacking in which 35 Israelis were killed.
Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief and senior reporter for Internet giant WorldNetDaily.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York’s 770-WABC Radio, the largest talk radio station in the U.S., every Sunday between 2-4 p.m.