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A Frog's-eye view

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Monday, November 04, 2002

A short but very informative article appears in today’s Al-Ayyam, the official mouthpiece of the PNA in Ramallah.

Jericho – AFP - The Internal Minister, Hani al-Hasan announced that the Palestinian Authority would conduct talks this week with the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in Cairo.

Al-Hasan clarified to journalists that these journalists, that aim to settle the differences between the two sides, are supposed to take place on Wednesday.

He added: “There are many issues that need to be settled between the Hamas and the Palestinian Authoirity”, without mentioning any details.

What exactly are they going to talk about? In case it may have slipped your memory, Hamas is a cruel and brutal fundamentalist organization that has been responsible for some of the bloodiest attacks against civilians that Israel has known. It regularly calls for the destruction of the State of Israel and the murder of Israeli citizens.

Now if I recall correctly, the PNA signed on the Washington Accords of September 28 1995. Annex I article II of those accords reads:

Security Policy for the Prevention of Terrorism and Violence

1. The Palestinian security policy as defined by the Palestinian Authority
on March 9, 1995, for the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area will also be
implemented in the rest of the West Bank in areas which come under
Palestinian security responsibility as follows:

a. The Palestinian Police is the only Palestinian security authority.

b. The Palestinian Police will act systematically against all expressions of
violence and terror.

c. The Council will issue permits in order to legalize the possession and
carrying of arms by civilians. Any illegal arms will be confiscated by the
Palestinian Police.

d. The Palestinian Police will arrest and prosecute individuals who are
suspected of perpetrating acts of violence and terror.

Since Arafat is such a fine law-abiding leader who is interested in persuing the peace process (so the European Union has declared), the PNA must be meeting with the Hamas in order to arrest and prosecute them. I can only assume that this announcement in the press is part of the PNA’s new policy of transparency.

I am also delighted to see that Egypt is doing its part to further peaceful cooperation between the signatories of the Oslo Agreement.

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