PM may `pardon´ two wanted PA security men (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Amos Harel 01/28/05)
HA'ARETZ} NEWS SERVICE
HA'ARETZ} NEWS SERVICE Articles-Index-Top
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is leaning toward adopting a
recommendation by the Israel Defense Forces to take two senior
members of the Palestinian security mechanisms, Taufik Tirawi and
Rashid Abu-Shbakh, off Israel´s wanted list.
Shin Bet security service chief Avi Dichter is vehemently opposed to
The Maariv daily reported yesterday that Israel promised the
Palestinians this week that it would no longer pursue Tirawi, the
commander of the Palestinian Authority´s general intelligence network
in the West Bank, and Abu-Shbakh, who heads the PA´s counter-security
mechanism in the Gaza Strip.
The Shin Bet charges that the two men and their people were involved
in terror attacks in the initial stages of the conflict in the
territories. In light of this, security ties with the two PA
mechanisms were severed.
Political and security forces have confirmed to Haaretz that Israel
plans to "pardon" the two. The proposed move, however, has become an
intense bone of contention within the defense establishment.
Dichter has long believed that senior Palestinian officials tainted
by terror cannot be exonerated by Israel for their past actions, and
the Shin Bet chief has not changed his tune in light of the recent
warming in relations between Israel and the PA.
In contrast, senior IDF officers - from Military Intelligence and the
Central and Southern Commands - have recommended renewing ties with
the two PA security mechanisms. The IDF believes that all the PA
security mechanisms have been involved to some extent in acts of
terror, and that for the current fight against terrorism to succeed,
Israel needs the assistance of the PA´s powerful figures, Tirawi and
particularly Abu-Shbakh among them.
The PA yesterday began deploying policemen in the south of the Gaza
Strip, as well. Forces have been posted on the outskirts of Khan
Yunis, in the area overlooking Gush Katif, with the aim of preventing
mortar fire at Israeli targets. Hundreds of policemen have also been
stationed in the area of Rafah.
The Philadelphi Route remains under full Israeli security control.
A senior IDF source yesterday praised PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu
Mazen). "He turns his words into actions," the source said. "There´s
a substantial chance for progress. The activity of the [security]
mechanisms draws its strength from Abu Mazen´s public support, which
broadens as long as the quiet continues." (© Copyright 2005 Haaretz.
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY