Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of destabilizing the shaky cease-fire that has more or less accompanied the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip with a strike against a leader of Islamic Jihad, the New York Times reports. Oddly, Abbas fails to mention that the strike followed rocket attacks on Israel in both the north and the south:
The Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, accused Israel on Thursday of undermining peace efforts with an undercover military raid in the West Bank city of Tulkarm in which five Palestinians were killed.
Israel said all five were “armed wanted terrorists,” including an Islamic Jihad leader who had orchestrated two suicide bombings, but Palestinians said three of the dead were unarmed teenagers.
Israel’s evacuation of Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip and part of the West Bank improved the atmosphere recently, but a series of violent incidents has prompted renewed recriminations. On Wednesday night a 21-year-old Jewish seminary student from Britain, Shmuel Matt, was stabbed to death in Old City of Jerusalem, while on Thursday rocket fire hit northern and southern Israel.
Mr. Abbas used unusually sharp language in describing Israel’s incursion into Tulkarm shortly before midnight on Wednesday.
“At a time when the Palestinian Authority is trying to maintain calm, this murder intentionally seeks to renew the vicious cycle of violence,” he said in a statement. But he also urged Palestinians “not to respond to provocations by Israel, so as not to give it a pretext to escalate its aggression.”
As I predicted before the Gaza withdrawal, the supposed cease-fire gave Abbas and the other terrorists in the West Bank and Gaza the opportunity to run the triangle offense. Two of the three major terrorist groups — in this case, Fatah and Hamas — agree to a cease fire with Israel with much public fanfare. The third, Islamic Jihad here, continues to stage attacks until Israel gets fed up and finally responds. Then everyone, and I mean everyone, gets to blame the Israelis for breaking the cease-fire.
This pattern is as foolish as it is predictable. The Palestinians in their current organization will never partner for any kind of peace with Israel, except the peace they want that would come from watching the Jews drown in the Mediterranean. Pretending that Abbas represents any other effort only enables the further entrenchment of the terrorist impulse in the West Bank and Gaza. The Palestinians want total war to claim all of the territory between the Jordan and the Mediterranean for themselves, and they have given no indication that they will settle for anything less.