Thursday, February 10, 2005

From Fox News, there were mortar and rocket attacks by Hamas from Gaza, Thursday:
"Hamas claimed responsibility for salvos of rockets and mortars — 30 mortars and 26 rockets, one of the biggest barrages in four years of violence — aimed at two Israeli settlements in southern Gaza, Neve Dekalim and Gedid. The Israeli military said there were no casualties. Israeli TV stations showed video of minor damage to some houses."
Mahmoud Abbas responded to this violation of the cease-fire by firing some 20 officers from his security forces. The firings reached as high as " ... the top two commanders, Brig. Gen. Abdel Razek Majaidie, chief of public security, and police chief Saeb al-Ajed ...."

This has been viewed as good news - Abbas has taken strong action - even if it was not the best news - Hamas having abided by the deal made with Abbas wrt the cease-fire for another day (I'm ignoring the two isolated attempted attacks Wednesday.) But I will postpone my "viewing" it as good news to see whether the firings are permanent. The Palestinians have a long history of Fired on Friday, Rehired on Monday, which is not that much different than their arrest policy, at least as regards Palestinians attacking Israelis.

Which makes me want to comment on another aspect in this report. Abbas wants the Palestinian terrorists convicted and imprisoned by Israel to be set free, not as a part of a peace deal, but as a part of the cease-fire deal. It appears that Sharon will concede to a great extent, if not the entirely. This is wrongheaded. Sharon should, if absolutely necessary, promise to release them only after the peace deal is signed, not before.

The only reason Israel has any prisoners is because they are civilized. The Palesinians have no Israeli prisoners. In fact they have no Palestinian collaborators imprisoned. Any of either that have been caught are dead, civilian or military. They have no prisoner policy. Israel is just asking for more trouble by releasing them before there is a peace deal.


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