By Ryan Jones

Jerusalem Newswire:

Elias Zananiri, a close associate of PA security chief Mohammed Dahlan, informed Israelis Thursday that the physical disarming and dismantling of groups such as Hamas and the Palestine Islamic Jihad by the PA just isn't possible.

Israel must understand that there are "limits to the Palestinian Authority's strength," Zananiri told Army Radio.

"There is no way for the PA to act against the infrastructure of Hamas or other groups in the West Bank," he insisted.

Now, most Israeli security experts and officials would strongly disagree with Mr. Zananiri's assessment, and have in fact released statements refuting the very basis of his claim.

Earlier in the month, the head of Israel's General Security Services, Avi Dichter, told a Tel Aviv conference that in a head to head confrontation, the PA would crush Hamas hands down.

Nonetheless, let us for a moment suppose that Zananiri's statement – a position parroted by the PA for several months now – is actually true, that the PA simply does not have the capability to physically remove the terrorist threat.

Let's assume that it's not the PA's unwillingness to appear traitorous to Islam by sparking off a violent internal struggle against terrorist forces, nor that maybe the PA continues to see terror as a legitimate political tool.

Rather let's assume that the authority really isn't strong enough to do anything about it.

If this is the case, if Zananiri is being honest, then what good is it for Israel to negotiate with the PA, when the one thing the Palestinians have to offer Israel – the removal of the terrorist threat – is not even within it's grasp?

Based on the Palestinians' own statements, one of two things must be true – either the PA is unwilling or unable to meet its obligations and provide Israelis with a truly secure existence in return for the surrender of land.

Again, if such is the case, then one must wonder – What good is the PA as a negotiating partner?

The only logical conclusion, the one most don't want to consider, is that the PA in effect is offering nothing to Israel in return for land, and that Israel is the only force in the region willing and able to remove the threat of Palestinian terror.

The reason no one wants to take this line of reasoning seriously is because it mandates a solution few are willing to contemplate, a solution the "moderates" see as ludicrous and unreasonable - the forcible removal of the PA followed by the utter military defeat of the Palestinian terrorist forces at the hands of the IDF, after which peace initiatives can thrive in an atmosphere free from violence.

But is this solution really more ludicrous and unreasonable than staking all our hopes on a Palestinian Authority that is bringing absolutely nothing to the table?

US President George W. Bush was right earlier this week when he insisted the removal of the terrorist infrastructure was the key to peace in the region.

The Palestinians are not offering this. Israel can.

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