Sun Oct 21, 6:24 AM
JERUSALEM (AFP) - Militants from Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas's Fatah movement tried to attack Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's convoy in the West Bank last summer, a senior Israeli official said on Sunday.
Yuval Diskin, the head of Israel's domestic Shin Beth security service, gave details of the August 6 plot during a weekly meeting of the Israeli cabinet, a senior government official present at the meeting told AFP.
"On August 6, while Prime Minister Olmert was travelling to Jericho to meet Abu Mazen (Abbas), Fatah terrorists tried attacking his convoy," the official said, quoting Diskin.
"The terror plot was thwarted and the meeting was held as planned," the official added.
A senior security official speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity said the operation -- envisioned as a shooting ambush -- was planned by a five-person cell, including members of security forces loyal to Abbas.
"It was a cell of five members. Three of them were arrested by Palestinian security services and released on Sept 26. The other two were arrested by Israeli security forces in an operation in Jericho," the official said.
Glad to see the square wheels of Arab justice are spinning. In what other place on earth is a assassination attempt on a foreign leader, especially the one that you're allegedly trying to make peace with, treated like this? On August 6 they attempt to kill Olmert and on September 26 they're released. Exactly what type of justice - even in the loosest definition of the word - is there among Abbas and company?
"The members of the cell were members of the Palestinian security forces, including the 17 Force," an elite force under the direct authority of Abbas, the official added.
Aren't these the guys that the US government is training? Here's a quick reference in a June 18, 2007 article in the NY Times,
“We are going to support President Abbas and what he wants to do,” Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in announcing the change in policy. She said the United States would work to “restructure” and unfreeze $86 million in aid that was originally set out to help Mr. Abbas build up his security forces.
A senior Palestinian security official, however, said the group responsible for planning the attack included only two people, and that Palestinian security forces were still holding both of them.
"We have arrested the members of the group and have launched an inquiry. They are still in prison, and we have not freed anyone," Tawfiq Tirawi, the head of Palestinian intelligence services, told AFP.
So which is it? Are they free or are they in prison?
Now remind me why Olmert and company are making fire-sale like concessions to a leader whose status as leader is on life support. Abbas can't even stop his loyal well trained by the US guards from assasdination attempts against foriegn leaders, he doesn't control Gaza, they continue to launch missile attacks on Israel, they continue to send suicide bombers, they haven'y completed any steps on the Road Map plan, etc. And for all this Olmert is giving away Israel?
According to the US State Dept.:
The following is a performance-based and goal-driven roadmap, with clear phases, timelines, target dates, and benchmarks aiming at progress through reciprocal steps by the two parties in the political, security, economic, humanitarian, and institution-building fields, under the auspices of the Quartet [the United States, European Union, United Nations, and Russia]. The destination is a final and comprehensive settlement of the Israel-Palestinian conflict by 2005, as presented in President Bush’s speech of 24 June, and welcomed by the EU, Russia and the UN in the 16 July and 17 September Quartet Ministerial statements.
A two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will only be achieved through an end to violence and terrorism, when the Palestinian people have a leadership acting decisively against terror and willing and able to build a practicing democracy based on tolerance and liberty, and through Israel’s readiness to do what is necessary for a democratic Palestinian state to be established, and a clear, unambiguous acceptance by both parties of the goal of a negotiated settlement as described below. The Quartet will assist and facilitate implementation of the plan, starting in Phase I, including direct discussions between the parties as required. The plan establishes a realistic timeline for implementation. However, as a performance-based plan, progress will require and depend upon the good faith efforts of the parties, and their compliance with each of the obligations outlined below. Should the parties perform their obligations rapidly, progress within and through the phases may come sooner than indicated in the plan. Non-compliance with obligations will impede progress.