About 350 Palestinian gunmen will be incorporated into the Palestinian Authority security forces soon as part of a deal reached between PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and leaders of all the Palestinian factions, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
The militiamen, who are on Israel's list of wanted terrorists, belong to various factions, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad. This is the first time that members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad would serve in the PA security forces. PA Minister of Agriculture Ibrahim Abu al-Naja revealed that the agreement to recruit the fugitives was achieved with the help of a top Egyptian security delegation that visited the West Bank and Gaza Strip earlier this week. The delegation, led by Gen. Mustafa Buhairi, deputy head of Egyptian Intelligence, held a series of meetings with representatives of all the factions and commanders of the security forces.
"The fugitives who will join the security forces belong to all the Palestinian groups and factions," Naja said. "The move is designed to protect them against Israeli assassination attempts." According to Naja, who heads the Higher Committee of National and Islamic Forces in the Gaza Strip, the fugitives included members of the armed wings of Hamas and Islamic Jihad – Izzaddin Kassam and Al-Kuds Brigades. The two groups are responsible for most of the suicide bombings and rocket attacks against Israeli targets over the past four years.
"The Palestinian Authority does not distinguish between the wanted men," he said. "They are entitled to join the security forces because of their involvement in the resistance." Abbas recently offered to absorb members of the armed wing of Fatah, the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, into the security forces, but not all the gunmen have accepted the proposal.
A PA security official confirmed that the PA leadership had agreed to incorporate Hamas and Islamic Jihad activists into the security forces. He said that Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders who met with Abbas last week in Gaza City demanded that their followers be recruited as policemen as a condition for accepting a temporary truce with Israel.
"There's no reason why Hamas and Islamic Jihad gunmen can't join the security forces," the official added. "They are part of the Palestinian people. The Israelis and Americans should be happy about this move, because it means that these men will stop all of their activities."
No, it won’t. It will just mean that the alleged civil authority of the PA will now sanction their actions. What a way to fight corruption; bring in those whose grasp of morality is tenuous at best. Imagine Toronto Police Chief Fantino deciding that the way to fight and control gun crime in the Toronto area was to offer the gunmen positions on the police force. After all, they have shown initiative and have a proven ability to act. G-d save Israel.