Translated and reprinted from "Ha'aretz", December 16, 1998
The Palestinian Authority (PA) is not fulfilling the security
commitments it undertook in the Wye Accord, Israel's Military
Intelligence Chief MajorGeneral Amos Malka told the Knesset Foreign
Affairs and Defense Committee yesterday.
MajorGeneral Malka enumerated the articles under which the Palestinian
Authority is not complying with its obligations. He said the assessment
of Military Intelligence is that the Palestinian Authority
has not made a strategic decision to combat terrorism or its infrastructure.
Instead, the PA limits itself to reactive operations and
action against occasional targets. He added that there is no identifiable
orderly Palestinian work plan to combat terror and that the steps
taken have not been firm.
The Military Intelligence Chief warned that if the PA does not
wage a determined campaign against the Hamas terrorist infrastructure,
the organization is likely to resume its terror attacks against
Israeli targets within the Green Line. He added that the possibility
of Hamas attempts to kidnap Israeli soldiers for use as bargaining
chips should not be discounted. He noted that reports that the
PA intends to reach an understanding with Hamas on halting terror
attacks are not correct.
MajorGeneral Malka said that, contrary to the Wye Accord,
the Palestinian Authority is not making efforts to collect illegal
weapons. He said that the PA is not living up to the agreements
regarding the Palestinian police. "They were supposed to
submit to us lists of all the policemen, but they have not done
so," he said, adding, "the PA is trying to be tricky
and instead of firing policemen, it is turning them into civil
The Military Intelligence Chief also pointed out that the Palestinian
demands to free security prisoners are likely to encourage riots
in the territories. In his assessment, there is a crisis between
the PA leadership and the protesters in the street. He added that
the recent riots in the territories were initially directed against
the PA leadership, who redirected the protests against Israel.
MajorGeneral Malka said that it is uncertain that the Palestinian
leadership will have sufficient motivation to act forcefully against
protesters demanding the release of the prisoners.
Referring to the ramifications of the American President's
visit to Gaza, the Military Intelligence Chief said that the Palestinians
view the visit as the highpoint of the increasingly closer relations
between the PA and the United States and as an important step
on the way to establishing a Palestinian state. This,
despite the fact that Yasser Arafat did not exploit the platform
in Gaza to declare his intention to announce the establishment
of a Palestinian state in May 1999.
The Military Intelligence Chief added that the PA does not view
the event the other day in Gaza as a formal meeting of the Palestinian
National Council (PNC) but rather as a gathering. From the PA's
point of view, the Covenant was amended in 1996, and in the invitations
sent to PNC members there was no mention made of the intention
to change the Covenant. Translated and reprinted from "Ma'ariv",
December 16, 1998