The joke's on us
'It's all a joke. It's just a joke."
That's how the Palestinian terror commanders in Judea and Samaria explained the show they made of handing in their weapons to Fatah commander Mahmoud Abbas's official militias over the weekend.
"This is all a big joke," they told reporters while posing for pictures. "Abbas asked us to sign a declaration saying we won't attack Israel and so we are."
And why not? The Palestinian Authority Chairman agreed to pay them thousands of dollars in exchange for the photo opportunities. There is also the non-financial incentive. In exchange for their propaganda photos and their signatures on declarations not to engage in terror anymore, Israel has pledged to take these murderers off of its wanted list. So just for participating in a satire, these men get to walk without fear for the first time in years.
The deal between Prime Minister Olmert and Abbas claims that 178 members of Fatah's Aksa Martyrs' Brigades terror organization will hand in their weapons and pledge to stop being terrorists. From now on the only Palestinians in Judea and Samaria who will bear arms will be members of Abbas's "official" security forces. But since most of these men are already members of those official militias, and the rest are set to be commissioned in short order, the deal has no impact on any of them.
In anticipation of the formalization of the agreement at the Olmert-Abbas meeting Monday, the IDF ended its nightly raids in Judea and Samaria for the first time in five years. Those raids, in which thousands of terrorists were apprehended in their sleep and their networks disrupted, were the main reason that Israelis in Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv, Netanya and Hadera have been able to sleep in a modicum of safety for the past three years.
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