A leader within the Palestinian Authority security apparatus says
that although the organization has demonstrated “restraint” against
Israeli “violations” so far, eventually, the PA would be forced to
“respond.”

“Up to this point, the Palestinian Authority has exercised restraint
in dealing with Israel’s policy regarding the Palestinian
demonstrators,” said Jibril Rajoub, chief of the Palestinian
preventative security apparatus in the West Bank, yesterday.

But, he added, the continuation of what he called the crimes of the
settlers, the closure of the territories, the collective punishments and
the brutality of the Israeli Defense Force afford the Palestinian
Authority no other option but to respond.

Rajoub, who spoke with Israeli reporters, did not elaborate on his
threats.

The PA security head said his organization would still prefer to
achieve independent statehood based on the 1967 borders — using east
Jerusalem as the capital — through negotiations and incorporating the
terms of an agreement sponsored by the United Nations.

Short of that, Rajoub said, Palestinians “will not wave the white
flag” if Israeli troops and security forces continue action against
them.

One issue particularly troublesome for Rajoub is the actions of
Jewish settlers, he said.

“You must put an end to [acts by] this group of crazy settlers,” he
said. “It’s illogical that 3 percent [of the population] should dictate
what you Israelis do.”

He went on to say that two settlers suspected of murdering a
Palestinian from Beit Furik — and who were released by Israeli
authorities earlier this week — are wanted by the Palestinian
Authority.

“We will settle our issues with them,” Rajoub warned. “Whoever kills
an innocent person and injures seven is wanted — and we will bring him
to justice.”

According to Israeli officials, however, previous agreements prohibit
the Palestinian Authority from arresting and detaining Israeli citizens.

Rajoub was vague about actions the PA is taking in regard to the
lynching of two Israeli reserve soldiers last week. The soldiers, who
lost their way while enroute to an Israeli army post, were intercepted
by PA police officers, taken to a station in Ramallah and killed by an
angry Palestinian mob.

He also said that Israel had heeded neither his nor other Palestinian
leaders’ warnings that Ariel Sharon’s Sept. 28 visit to the Temple Mount
would cause a severe disturbance. He said that Israel’s failure to
uphold agreements and Sharon’s visit were the causes for the latest
round of violence.


Related story:


Egyptian paper blasts Palestinian Authority

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.