ATbar Focus on Hamas The PLO’s Friend or Foe

Focus on Hamas The PLO’s Friend or Foe

20/06/1996 | by Klein, Morton  
This article was first published by Middle East Quarterly in June 1996

From Israel’s point of view, perhaps the single most important benefit of the Oslo accords was the pledge by Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) chairman Yasir Arafat to prevent Arab terrorist attacks. As then-foreign minister Shimon Peres put it, “Why should we chase the Hamas when the PLO can do it for us?”[1]

The May 1994 agreement that spells out the terms of PLO control over the Gaza Strip and the city of Jericho explicitly required it to “take all measures necessary to prevent” terrorists operating on its territory from attacking Israelis.[2] The Oslo II accords of September 1995, which gave the PLO and its governing arm, the Palestinian Authority (PA), control over seven major cities in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), reaffirmed that obligation: “The Palestinian Police will act systematically against all expressions of violence and terror.”[3]

Nearly three years have passed since the first Israeli agreement was reached with the PLO, time enough for a record to be established. Has the PLO in fact maintained its part of the bargain? If not, what does this imply for the peace process?

This analysis examines the PLO’s relations with the terrorist groups during three periods: the nineteen months following the White House handshake (September 1993 to April 1995); the first so-called crackdown by the PLO against terrorist groups (April 1995 to February 1996); and the second so-called crackdown (beginning in March 1996).

September 1993 to April 1995
Israelis did not assume the PLO and PA would prevent every single terrorist attack, but they did expect Arafat and the PLO-PA[4] to do their very best, which, according to the agreements, meant disarming terrorists and honoring any requests Israel would make for extraditing terrorists.[5] It also meant the PLO-PA would regard Hamas and Islamic Jihad as its enemy and would do everything possible to stamp out those groups.

In fact, the PLO has made great efforts to maintain friendly relations with Hamas throughout the almost three years since the White House handshake.

The PLO has made great efforts to maintain friendly relations with Hamas throughout the almost three years since the White House handshake.

During the first nineteen months following the White House signing, the PLO did not even pretend to be taking action against the terrorists. Indeed, Arafat openly said “that he will not disarm Hamas,” Reuters reported.[6] Initially, the PLO claimed it could not take any real anti-terrorist measures until it actually controlled some territory. Yet, the PLO’s takeover of Gaza and Jericho in May 1994 did not stop terrorist attacks. From the beginning of Gaza-Jericho self-rule until the April 1995 “crackdown,” 172 terrorist attacks took place, in which 78 Israelis were killed and 230 wounded, and 21 Arabs were killed and 16 wounded.[7] The great majority, but not all, of these attacks were undertaken by fundamentalist Islamic groups; twenty of them were carried out by factions of the PLO.[8]

According to Israeli military officers, members of Fatah placed themselves under Hamas command shortly after that ceremony, and continued to engage in terrorism under the cover of Hamas.[9] The PLO police even hired Hamas members, including ninety individuals who staffed the new “vice department”--evidently a euphemism for the PLO death squads that murdered over one thousand Palestinian Arabs during the intifada years on suspicion of committing “acts of immorality.”[10] And in local elections in Hebron, Fatah ran together with Hamas on a joint list, the “Palestinian Martyrs Bloc.”[11]

By early 1994, investigative journalists for the Washington Jewish Week found that the PLO had “quietly built up a working relationship” of “close coordination” with Hamas.[12] Sheikh Ahmad Yasin, the quadriplegic, imprisoned Hamas leader, announced his support for “Arafat’s steps to recover part of Palestine.”[13] In return, Arafat pressured Israel to release Yasin, whom he called “my brother Ahmed Yasin the warrior,” and all other Hamas members, from prison.[14] Formalizing this bond, the PLO and Hamas signed a “Document of Honor” in late 1993, pledging an end to violence between them.

When asked about this PLO-Hamas collaboration, the first counselor to the PLO Mission to the United Nations, Muin Shreim, explained: “Our tactics vary; our schedule might vary. We believe the agreement [with Israel] is the first step toward a Palestinian state. We vary in how many steps.” Shreim confirmed that as a result of the accord with Hamas, “there is a local cooperation between Fatah and Hamas.”[15] PLO minister of planning Nabil Sha`th declared that the PLO has “a brotherly relationship with Hamas.”[16] The PLO’s “foreign minister,” Faruq Qaddumi, said that “no one can complain about what Hamas and Jihad are doing. I say it is the right of every Palestinian to struggle so long as there is a single Israeli soldier in the land of Palestine.”[17]

April 1995 to February 1996
In response to a particularly horrifying attack on April 9, 1995 -- in which nine people were killed, including a Brandeis University student from New Jersey, Alisa Flatow -- the Israeli and U.S. governments demanded a PLO crackdown on Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The PLO dutifully promised compliance. But when it came to disarming the terrorists, prosecuting them, extraditing them to Israel, or even renouncing them verbally, the PLO failed to live up to its promises.

When it came to disarming the terrorists, prosecuting them, extraditing them to Israel, or even renouncing them verbally, the PLO failed to live up to its promises.

Disarming terrorists. The PLO-PA announced on April 11, 1995, that all individuals in Gaza and Jericho possessing weapons had to surrender them by May 11 “and if they do not do so, the weapons will be confiscated.”[18] But as The New York Times reported in late May, “the deadline came and went without any visible response by the Palestinian security forces. There have been no sweeps of neighborhoods to find unlicensed weapons or to disarm Muslim militants, and Palestinians who missed the deadline for licensing their guns have not been punished.” The PLO-PA’s police commander, Nasir Yusuf, said such steps had not been taken because Arafat had not yet given the order to do so.[19] Hamas training camps also continued to operate in the Gaza Strip, according to information gleaned from Hamas members captured by Israeli forces in early June 1995.[20] When Youssef M. Ibrahim of The New York Times visited Gaza in July, the only evidence he could find of PLO-PA action was the detention of a handful of Hamas members; and in one case, he reported, PLO-PA police interrogators forcibly shaved the hair of a Hamas detainee.[21]

Prosecuting terrorists. When Jerusalem and Washington also made clear in April their insistence that the PLO-PA formally prosecute Hamas and Islamic Jihad members for attacks on Israelis, the PLO-PA began conducting quick, middle-of-the-night trials; between April 10 and July 10, twenty-three such trials took place, eight of them in the period April 9-19, when publicity was focused most intensely on the PLO’s actions. Once the limelight shifted, the frequency of the trials dropped drastically.

Significantly, none of the defendants was accused of the murder of Israelis. Rather, they were charged with (in the words of PA spokesmen) such crimes as “conspiracies to affect the general security” and “weapons training without a license.” The sentences were commensurately light: in a case in which the two defendants were reportedly involved in murdering an Israeli, they were convicted only of unauthorized weapons training and sent to jail for two years.[22] Not only did this minor punishment make light of the killing of Jews but it negated the deterrent effect of a serious sentence. In effect, the PLO-PA signaled that attacks on Israelis would not be punished.

Extraditing terrorists. In all, the Israeli authorities during this period requested that eindividuals be extradited but the PLO-PA at all trefused to honor its obligation to hand over terrorists.[23] Toadd insult to injury, one of those eleven, Yasir Abu Samhadana, was hired by the PLO-PA police as its senior commander for the Khan Yunis area of Gaza.[24]

Condemning terrorists. Although Arafat did condemn terrorism in the abstract, he refused to mention Hamas or Islamic Jihad by name. Quite the reverse, he dismissed Hamas’s responsibility and instead blamed Israelis for the death of their own people. Speaking to a delegation headed by Cardinal Bernardin of Chicago, Arafat made the bizarre and insulting accusation that Israeli nationalists carried out recent terrorist attacks “to help kill the peace process,”[25] then the following month Arafat repeated this allegation to a Peace Now delegation.[26] The bombing of a Jerusalem bus in August 1995 prompted a similar analysis by Arafat: the attack, he said, resulted from “cooperation between fanatics on both sides.”[27]

In short, the PLO’s April 1995 “crackdown” never took place. To the extent that terrorist attacks decreased after April 1995, this resulted not from actions taken by Arafat but from the Israeli security services’ capture of more would-be terrorists. In June, the commander of an Israeli army brigade in the Gaza Strip revealed that “the main reason” for the decrease was “the intensive activities” of Israeli forces, including the arrest of more than seventy Hamas activists who were planning car bombings, kidnappings, and hijackings.[28] In August, officials of the General Security Services (Shin Bet) said they had foiled an additional forty-eight attacks, including ten planned kidnappings, but again reported that their success “was due not to cooperation from the Palestinian Authority but rather the use of interrogation techniques which have been allowed under special temporary permission.”[29]

“A Brotherly Relationship”
The PLO-Hamas partnership continued after April 1995. `Abbas Zaki, a member of the Central Committee of Fatah, said that Hamas’s attacks “strengthen the Palestinian position. . . . It would be dangerous to stop these actions, because the accords will crumble if there is nothing to make Israel go forward.”[30] The PLO-PA’s Justice Minister Freih Abu Medein, declared that “the PLO and the [Hamas] opposition complement each other. . . . We regard Hamas and Islamic Jihad as national elements. . . . The main enemy, now and forever, is Israel.”[31] Hanan Ashrawi, a PLO activist, declared that “it is not up to Israel to decide or define who is our enemy. Hamas is not the enemy, it is part of the political fabric.”[32]

When Musa Abu Marzuq, a top Hamas leader, was detained at Kennedy airport in July 1995, Arafat’s spokesman called him “Brother Abu Marzuq” and condemned Israel for requesting his extradition.[33] Arafat then offered Abu Marzuq haven in Gaza.[34] Interestingly, the Federal Bureau of Investigation found on the person of Abu Marzuq’s wife an address book that contained six private phone numbers for Arafat, including those of his cellular phone and his car phone.[35] Abu Marzuq’s attorney subsequently announced Arafat’s agreement to testify on behalf of Marzuq at his forthcoming trial,[36] and Ashrawi declared her willingness to submit an affidavit for his extradition hearing.[37]

Hoping that an Israeli withdrawal from Arab-populated areas would persuade the Arabs to reduce or halt terrorism -- or at least persuade the PLO-PA to take steps against the terrorists -- Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin signed the Oslo II accords on September 28, 1995, in which he agreed to an Israeli withdrawal from seven cities in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) in November-December 1995.

Contrary to Rabin’s hope, terrorism against Israelis worsened after Oslo II. In the half year after its signing, 136 terrorist attacks took place (leading to 65 Israeli deaths and 344 wounded, plus 6 Arabs killed and 4 wounded). By contrast, the half year prior to Oslo II saw only 73 attacks (killing 21 Israelis and wounding 185, plus 1 Arab killed and 1 wounded). The number of attacks, in other words, increased nearly 100 percent, Israeli deaths from terrorism increased more than 300 percent, and the number of wounded almost doubled.

On December 22, 1995, soon after the PLO took over the West Bank cities, it signed an agreement to define relations with Hamas in the PLO-controlled territories. According to the terms of the deal, which Arafat praised as “good” and “nice,” Hamas would hold off suicide bombings until after the Palestinian Arab elections on January 20, 1996. After that date, Hamas would be free to resume attacks against Israelis anywhere in Israel or in Israeli-administered territory.[38] Salim Za`nun, head of the PLO-PA negotiating team, explained the agreement:

We are not the defenders of the Israeli entity. We see it as sufficient to obligate Hamas not to embarrass the Palestinian Authority, which is responsible for security in the areas it has received. . . . If Israel wants to spare itself Hamas attacks, it had better hurry and withdraw from the rest of the territories.[39]

When the master Hamas bomb-maker Yahya `Ayyash (responsible for killing at least 70 Israelis and wounding 350) was assassinated by an exploding cellular telephone in January 1996, Arafat responded by praising him as a “martyr” and a “hero of the Palestinian people.” The PLO-PA gave `Ayyash a funeral with full honors and a twenty-one-gun salute, while Arafat paid a personal condolence call on the Hamas leadership.[40] It later came out that Arafat’s representatives had previously offered `Ayyash “safe passage” across the Gaza-Egypt border.[41] On February 10, 1996 -- just two weeks before the recent suicide bombings began -- thousands of residents in PLO-controlled Nablus held a memorial rally for `Ayyash; at it, the organizers presented a young, masked man whom they introduced as “the next suicide bomber.” All this took place, Israel Television reported, “with the approval and under the vigilant eye of the Palestinian police.”[42] Then, just twenty-four hours before the suicide attacks began, Arafat reportedly met with Muhammad Dayf, Hamas’s outstanding organizer of terror, and offered Hamas seats in his cabinet.[43]

Since March 1996
Sure enough, soon after the Palestinian Arab elections took place, Hamas struck. A series of five devastating assaults took place during eight days at the end of February 1996: two suicide bus-bombings in Jerusalem, a bomb at a shopping mall in Tel Aviv, one at a bus station in Ashkelon, and an incident where a terrorist rammed his car into a Jerusalem bus stop. The carnage left 59 people dead and over 200 wounded.

This time, it was said, Arafat would really crack down on Hamas. The New York Times reported that “until the latest attacks, Mr. Arafat had resisted Israel’s calls for a real crackdown on Hamas.” So, after the new bombings, “Israel and the United States put heavy pressure on Mr. Arafat to go after the militants,” and Arafat responded by declaring “that he was ready to take on unsanctioned armed groups.”[44] But would the PLO this time really live up to its promises?

Disarming terrorists. Arafat announced in early March 1996 that his forces would seize all illegal weapons held in PLO-controlled territory. But then he appeared to hedge. Asked about disarming Hamas and Islamic Jihad, Arafat took refuge in a conspiracy theory: “We must remember that these organizations were created by Israel, which also distributed arms to them, so are we supposed to collect the arms Israel distributed?”[45] Asked at a House International Relations Committee hearing on March 12, 1996, why the PLO-PA was not undertaking a house-to-house search for illegal weapons, the PLO’s representative in the United States, Hasan `Abd ar-Rahman, replied: “We don’t wish to harm anyone’s civil rights. We have a democracy.”

At a press conference on March 6, the PLO-PA police displayed 45 pistols and 53 rifles which they claimed to have seized from Hamas members.[46] But the PLO-PA’s claim that it was making a serious effort to disarm terrorists was challenged by AmiHess, Gaza correspondent for the left-wing Israeli daily Ha’aretz: “All of the action is for the television cameras,” Hess said. “It is a fantasy like the Tales of the Arabian Nights. No serious quantity of seized guns has been shown and if they did show some I would not be surprised if they took them from the police armory.”[47] In any event, the handful of pistols and rifles exhibited at the press conference paled in comparison with the 26,000 illegal weapons in the possession of Gaza residents alone--the estimate made by Arafat himself.[48]

Prosecuting terrorists.The string of four bombings prompted the PLO-PA to detain several hundred Hamas and Islamic Jihad members.[49] Most detainees, a leftist Israeli newspaper reported, were “the social and political activists of Hamas, who are not viewed by the Israeli security services as a real danger. . . . Arafat has refrained thus far from a real confrontation with the members of the military wing of Hamas.”[50] “Until now the PLO police have not arrested the heads of the terror organizations in Gaza,” said Yitzhak Eitan, commander of the Israeli army’s Gaza Brigade. “The wanted Hamas leaders are walking free. The Palestinian Authority only arrested `small fry’ . . . the heads of the attackers are walking free in Gaza, and the Palestinian police are arresting people who are not connected to the military arm and the attacks.”[51] Asked if the PLO-PA had done enough to fight the terrorists, the officer responsible for security in the administered territories (i.e., the West Bank) replied: “The answer is no.”[52]

Likewise, Israeli security officials said that “Mr. Arafat, for all of his previous assurances to Israel that he would crack down on Hamas, has not done so in any meaningful way. . . . By contrast, Mr. Arafat’s security services have energetically, efficiently and ruthlessly hunted down and killed many suspected Israeli informants.”[53] PLO-PA officials dismissed Israel’s request for the arrest of top Hamas leaders as “interference in Palestinian affairs.”[54]

Of those who were detained, only one, Muhammad Abu Warda, was prosecuted. His middle-of-the-night trial on March 5 “was held so quickly,” The Jerusalem Post reported, “that it appeared designed to head off an inevitable Israeli request for his extradition,” since a loophole in the Oslo accords permits the PLO to delay extraditing an individual so long as the person is in a PLO prison.[55] What sort of justice other Hamas members might receive remains to be seen: two judges appointed to handle security-related cases in a new PLO-PA military court in Kalkilya are former PLO policemen who, just days before the February 1996 bombings, were present at a rally in Kalkilya where Hamas supporters burned an effigy of an Israeli bus labeled “Dizengoff No. 5” to the cheers of a mob.[56]

Extraditing terrorists. Israel had by late March requested the extradition of twenty-one terrorists. But the PLO-PA made it clear that it would not oblige. A senior PA police official declared that “the Palestinian Authority will never extradite any of the Hamas or Islamic Jihad detainees to Israel.”[57] To make matters worse, PLO officials urged Muhammad Diaf and other Hamas leaders to take temporary refuge in the Sudan “so as to avoid being arrested or harmed by Israel.” The aim of the offer, according to The Jerusalem Report, was “to get [Arafat] off the hook when Israel pressed him to root out the militants.”[58]

Condemning terrorists. At the height of the February bombings, Arafat never condemned Hamas or Islamic Jihad by name.[59] After the first Jerusalem bus bombing, on February 25, it took the PLO-PA more than six hours to release a statement, which blamed the terrorism on Israel for refusing to release all imprisoned terrorists.[60] Abu Medein declared that Israel could stop such violence by setting free 2,500 Hamas terrorists held in Israeli prisons.[61]

Indeed, far from blaming and condemning Hamas, Arafat absolved Hamas of responsibility for the bombings. During the wave of suicide bombings in February 1996, he claimed that a group of former Israeli soldiers known as “OAS” had provided the bombs to the terrorists; and that Israel’s Foreign Minister Ehud Barak had previously secretly served as the head of “OAS.”[62]

Nor has Arafat outlawed Hamas or Islamic Jihad; as of mid-March, Ehud Ya’ari, the Arab affairs correspondent for Israel Television, wrote that “there has been no official sign to date” to indicate that he had done so.[63] Quite the contrary, Ze’ev Schiff, Israel’s most respected security-affairs reporter, writes that one of the PLO’s senior negotiators with Hamas, Muhammad Dahlan (formerly an architect of the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, now the PLO’s preventive security chief in Gaza), knew in advance of Hamas’s intention to carry out a “major attack” against Israel:

He neither arrested the Hamas “military wing” leaders nor tried to talk them out of perpetrating the atrocity. All he asked was that they postpone it until after the Israeli elections [on May 29, 1996]. Even after the first bus bombing in Jerusalem on February 25, Dahlan did not arrest those responsible for masterminding the bombing, but continued negotiating with the Hamas terrorists, including Muhammad Diaf, who heads Israel’s wanted list.[64]

Arafat himself maintained contact with Hamas at the height of the bombing wave in February, as shown by the fact that he personally sent Prime Minister Shimon Peres a proposal from Hamas temporarily to halt the bombings in exchange for an end to Israel’s search for the bombers.[65]

After the recent wave of Hamas terrorist suicide bombings, and after Arafat solemnly proclaimed his intent to combat Hamas, Faruq Qaddumi, the PLO’s number-two figure, declared that “Hamas is part of the national movement and it has its own style and approach to action. It is resisting the Israeli enemy.”[66]

The Danger Israel Faces
Israel now faces a situation in which the PLO-PA treats Hamas as an ally, not an enemy. Arafat’s police have seized only a token number of weapons, have detained a few low-level Hamas members but did not prosecute them, and have left Hamas’s training camps and infrastructure intact. IN many ways, Hamas and the PLO behave like allies, not enemies.

The Hamas response to these PLO-PA actions points to its acceptance of Arafat’s moves as a carefully calibrated slap on the wrist. As Ehud Barak, now Israel’s foreign minister, once put it, “The PLO and Hamas are two faces of the national movement, with very similar long-term goals in all that regards Israel.”[67] Note, for example, that Hamas has never tried to assassinate Arafat or other PLO-PA officials; nor has it tried to blame its terrorism on the PLO. Quite the contrary, by claiming responsibility for attacks in its own name, Hamas makes the PLO look moderate in comparison, thereby helping Arafat. Along these lines, Israel Television correspondent Ehud Ya’ari has observed that “none of Hamas’s leaflets or underground writings ever say that Hamas is interested in stopping the peace process.”[68]

Hamas uses terrorism not to end the peace process but to speed it up, a point that PLO-PA leaders sometimes acknowledge. Addressing a pro-Hamas audience, the head of the PA’s Israel Desk remarked that “the attacks push Israel and, in effect, assist us in implementing the process.”[69] On the occasion of the PLO’s takeover of the city of Jenin in November 1995, Arafat praised it as the “city of `Izz ad-Din Qassam”--the terrorist after whom the Hamas military wing is named.[70] Hamas leaders have reciprocated by not attacking Arafat. Note that `Imad Faluji, a senior Hamas activist, did not denounce Arafat’s plans for the elected Palestinian Council: “This is good, but it is not enough,” he said.[71]

When the Israeli army controlled the West Bank and Gaza territories, it could gather intelligence to prevent terror attacks and break up terrorist cells. With thePA now in charge of much of the territories, however, Hamas can retain its infrastructure of hideouts, weapons depots, trainincamps, and the like. The New York Times reported on March 3 that “Arafat made clear his not about to go after what Mr. Peres called the Hamas ‘infrastructure.’” Likewise, Gen. Yaakov Amidror, chief of Israeli Military Intelligence, told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee more than two weeks after the suicide bombings that Arafat “has done a minimal amount to fight Hamas terrorism, despite the serious situation” and “has failed to do anything to destroy the Hamas infrastructure.”[72] Thanks to the quiet collaboration of the PLO, Hamas cells are flourishing, weapons and explosives have come pouring in, terrorists are given safe haven, and Israel is no longer able to gather intelligence.[73]

With the PA now in charge of much of the territories, Hamas can retain its infrastructure of hideouts, weapons depots, training camps, and the like.

“Hamas is not seeking to block [Oslo II],” Ya’ari wrote recently. “The leadership of the Islamic movement has no desire to prevent the Israeli army’s withdrawal from Palestinian population centers. . . . Hamas believes it will be able to set up new terror arms in West Bank cities. . . . Hamas doesn’t want to stop the peace process--it just wants to empty it of the elements of cease-fire.”[74] Thanks to the quiet collaboration of the PLO-PA, Hamas is doing just that.

Morton A. Klein is national president of the Zionist Organization of America.


1. The Jerusalem Post, Sept. 13, 1995.
2. Gaza-Jericho Self-Rule Agreement, May 1994 (Cairo accords), Article XVIII and Annex III, sect. I.5.
3. Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement of Sept. 28, 1995 (Oslo II accords), Annex I, Appendix 2.
4. The PA was created by the PLO and is completely controlled by it. Yasir Arafat is the leader of both the PLO and the PA.
5. Gaza-Jericho Self-Rule Agreement, Article IX (2) and Annex I, Article VIII (8-a).
6. Reuters, Aug. 24, 1994; and Sept. 8, 1994.
7. These figures derive from the daily tally of terrorist attacks on Israelis compiled by the Zionist Organization of America.
8. Of 172 attacks: Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine carried out 4 (killing 1 Israeli and wounding 4); Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine carried out 4 (killing 2 Israelis and wounding 6); Fatah, Arafat’s own organization, carried out 12 (killing 1 Israeli and 11 Arabs); and Hamas or Islamic Jihad carried out 152 (killing 74 Israelis and wounding 220, and killing 10 Arabs and wounding 16).
9. The Jerusalem Post, Nov. 9, 1993.
10. The Jerusalem Times, Nov. 25, 1994.
11. The Jerusalem Times, June 23, 1995.
12. Washington Jewish Week, Feb. 10, 1994.
13. Ibid.
14. The New York Times, July 2, 1994.
15. Washington Jewish Week, Feb. 10, 1994.
16. Reuters, Oct. 28, 1994.
17. Al-Musawwar, Sept. 30, 1994.
18. The New York Times, Apr. 12, 1995.
19. The New York Times, May 20, 1995.
20. Ha’aretz, June 5, 1995. Investigative journalist Steven Emerson described the training camps in The New York Times, Oct. 20, 1994.
21. The New York Times, July 10, 1995.
22. The Jerusalem Post, Apr. 17, 1995.
23. Gaza-Jericho Self-Rule Agreement, Article 7, Legal Appendix.
24. The Jerusalem Post, June 13, 1995.
25. The Jerusalem Post, Apr. 16, 1995.
26. The Washington Post, May 2, 1995.
27. The Jerusalem Post, Aug. 23, 1995.
28. Colonel Navi, Davar, June 16, 1995.
29. Ha’aretz, Aug. 8, 1995.
30. Al-Hayat, Apr. 17, 1995.
31. An-Nahar, Apr. 11, 1995; Al-Quds, Apr. 14, 1995.
32. Al-Ahram, July 5, 1995, cited in Jerusalem Post, July 25, 1995.
33. The New York Times, July 29, 1995; The New York Times, Aug. 2, 1995.
34. The New York Times, July 29, 1995; Jerusalem Times, Aug. 4, 1995, Aug. 11, 1995; and Oct. 6, 1995.
35. The Forward, Oct. 27, 1995.
36. The Forward, Apr. 5, 1996.
37. Agence France Presse, Mar. 26, 1996, in FBIS, Mar. 26, 1996.
38. The Washington Times, Mar. 25, 1996.
39. The Washington Times, Mar. 25, 1996.
40. The New York Times, Jan. 8, 1996; CBS Evening News, Jan. 8, 1996.
41. Ha’aretz, Mar. 10, 1996; The Washington Post, Mar. 5, 1996; The Jerusalem Report, Apr. 4, 1996.
42. Israel Television, Feb. 10, 1996, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service, Daily Report: Near East and South Asia (hereafter FBIS), Feb. 12, 1996.
43. Ash-Sharq al-Awsat, Apr. 1, 1996, in FBIS, Apr. 2, 1996.
44. Mar. 4, 1996. It as ironic that The New York Times acknowledged in 1996 that Arafat had “resisted Israel’s calls for a real crackdown,” because the Times itself had claimed in 1995 that Arafat was cracking down. A front-page headline on Apr. 12, 1995, asserted “Arafat’s Police in Gaza Widen Crackdown on Muslim Radicals.”
45. Deutsche Presse Agentur, Feb. 28, 1996.
46. Associated Press, Mar. 7, 1996
47. Independent Media Review and Analysis interview with Amira Hess, March 11, 1996
48. Ma`ariv, Mar. 6, 1995.
49. PLO officials claimed 600 detainees; The New York Times (Mar. 9), estimated 500; the Associated Press (Mar. 7), reported 400.
50. Ha’aretz, Mar. 10, 1996.
51. Ha’aretz, Mar. 7, 1996.
52. Major-General Ilan Biran, head of the Israeli Army’s Central Command, Israel Radio, Mar. 5, 1996.
53. The Washington Times, Mar. 6, 1996.
54. Voice of America, Feb. 28, 1996.
55. Jerusalem Post, Mar. 7, 1996.
56. Ma`ariv, Feb. 29, 1996; and The Wall Street Journal, Mar. 6, 1996.
57. `Abd ar-Raziq al-Majayda, Palestine Press Service, “PNA Won’t Extradite Any Detainee to Israel,” Mar. 12, 1996; Israel Radio, Mar. 12, 1996.
58. The Jerusalem Report, Apr. 4, 1996.
59. The Jerusalem Report, Apr. 4, 1996.
60. Jewish Exponent (Philadelphia), Feb. 29, 1996.
61. National Public Radio, Feb. 26, 1996.
62. Jerusalem Post, Feb. 27, 1996.
63. The Jerusalem Report, Apr. 4, 1996.
64. Ha’aretz, Mar. 10, 1996.
65. The Jerusalem Report, Apr. 4, 1996. Just an hour after this proposal reached Peres Hamas itself publicized it, confirming its authenticity.
66. An-Nahar, Mar. 9, 1996.
67. Yedi`to Ahronot, Apr. 27, 1994.
68. Address to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Jerusalem, Feb. 27, 1996.
69. Sufin Abu Zayda, Ha’aretz, Apr. 19, 1995.
70. The Jerusalem Post, Dec. 1, 1995.
71. The Jerusalem Post, Oct. 2, 1995.
72. Israel Army Radio, Mar. 12, 1996.
73. U.S. News and World Report, Mar. 18, 1996.
74. The Jerusalem Report, Sept. 21, 1995.

Not that the PA sought Israeli help in cleaning up its autonomous area: when asked how the PLO would respond were Israeli forces to enter Arab-populated cities in search of terrorists, the general secretary of Arafat's Fatah faction on the West Bank saId "our soldiers and police will shoot."