Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Abbas's PA Sentences Man to Death for Fighting Terrorism

Nissan Ratzlav-Katz

A Palestinian Authority court in the city of Hevron sentenced a 25-year-old man to death Monday for giving Israel information that led to the elimination of four terrorists. The condemned man, Emad Saad, did not deny the charges.

Samih Staidi, a senior member of the PA's official armed militia, said Saad, himself a former member of the PA forces, would be executed by a firing squad. Staidi expressed satisfaction with the verdict, saying, “Let it be an example to those who sell their homeland and their people.” The court that sentenced Saad is under the control of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah organization. Abbas is currently involved in negotiations with Israel over what is being promoted as a peace agreement; however, Israel has predicated implementation on a concerted PA effort to fight anti-Israel terrorism. Earlier this month, Abbas granted an official award to two Arab terrorists responsible for the deaths of 16 Jews.

The last time the PA officially executed an Arab resident under its jurisdiction for assisting Israel was in 2001; however, dozens of Arabs who were said to have been offering assistance to Israel have been killed by PA lynch mobs or by Fatah and Hamas terrorists in recent years.

'A Slap in the Face to Israel'
In reaction to news of the PA death sentence, the Land of Israel Legal Forum wrote an urgent letter to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak calling on them to take action to prevent the execution. The Forum's Chairman, Nachi Eyal, wrote that the IDF should be sent into the PA-controlled area of Hevron to forcibly free the condemned man if the PA refuses to lift the sentence.

"The State of Israel, which aids the Palestinian Authority in many varied ways, can make it clear to [Abbas] that this [death sentence] crosses a red line of incomprehensible cruelty and of uncultured behavior," Eyal wrote.

Noting that the execution of Arabs who assist Israel was characteristic of the rule of the late arch-terrorist and PLO leader Yasser Arafat, Eyal added that it also proves that "whosoever gives the Palestinian Authority any credit and transfers weapons and armored vehicles to it behaves irresponsibly."

In March, the Israeli government implemented a series of "goodwill gestures" that included delivering dozens of APCs to Fatah-controlled PA militias in Judea and Samaria.

"Execution of someone for cooperating with the State of Israel is a stinging slap in the face to Israel," Eyal explained in his letter to Olmert and Barak, "It is your moral obligation to make it clear to [Abbas], in whose hands approval of the sentence rests, that authorization of the sentence will be be treated extremely seriously by Israel."

Abbas Rejects Meeting With Diplomats Who Honor Israel's Independence Day
Meanwhile, PA officials said Monday that Abbas would not meet with foreign leaders and diplomats who visit Israel in honor of the country’s 60th Independence Day. At that time, they said, the PA will be commemorating the "Nakba", or “Disaster,” as it refers to the creation of the modern state of Israel.

PA sources said visiting diplomats should “show sensitivity to the Palestinian people’s feelings” and realize that the PA will be mourning the creation of the state of Israel, not celebrating it.

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