Thursday, July 26, 2007

Time for Confidence Building Measures

Now that Israel released 255 jailed terrorists, the response by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas has been to ask that another 100 be released.

The rationale given, according to an article in the Jerusalem Post, partially based on an Associate Press article, is that they would "bolster Fatah's presence" in the Gaza Strip and "cause Hamas to tone down its demands in negotiations for the release of captured IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad Schalit."

On the other hand, Fatah is powerless in the Gaza Strip, now totally controlled by Hamas, and "Abbas also said he had no influence in the Gilad Schalit affair, placing the issue squarely in the hands of Hamas."

So what's the point, especially since Abbas is a lame duck, having "made it clear that he will not run for reelection to the PA chairmanship when his tenure runs out in approximately a year and a half."

Hamas "demands in negotiations for the release" of Gilad Shalit are irrelevant; he must be released unconditionally.

The real need is for confidence building measures to be taken by the Palestinian Arabs, since there is clearly no reason for Israel to have any confidence the Palestinian Authority will ever do anything other than continue to disintegrate as the terrorist infrastructure it built up in both the West Bank and Gaza continues to flourish.

Furthermore, since the Palestinian Arabs have yet to adhere to any of the important agreements they signed in the past, it would appear pointless for Israel to waste time negotiating any future agreements.

The clear need is for the Palestinian Arabs to take measure to change that situation. They need to undertake confidence building measures.

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