Now I see why Fatah protesters occupied Al Jazeera’s offices in Ramallah yesterday. Today’s publication of the Palestine Papers series exposes the PA negotiators with Israel as collaborating in the assassination of their own Fatah-affiliated militants in Gaza. To be clear, I’m not one who favors armed resistance from either side of this conflict and I have little use for those who take up the gun or missile or Apache helicopter in pursuit of their aims.
But even I think it smells to high heaven that the PA didn’t react with total disgust when Israel’s then defense minister proposed that the PA assassinate an Al Aksa Brigade leader inside Gaza. When the PA didn’t act promptly enough in doing Israel’s bidding Israel did the job itself with a missile from an Apache which wounded three innocent bystanders and killed the militant. In the transcript, the PA negotiator actually says to Shaul Mofaz: why should we kill him when you’re not offering us anything? In other words, he’s bargaining for advantage in the negotiation with the life of one of his own followers.
Later in the Al Jazeera report, it quotes Saeb Erekat, chief negotiator as saying that the PA has already killed Palestinians in order to establish its supremacy.
The Papers also reveal that the PA begged the Israelis to tighten the Gaza siege by occupying the Philadelphi corridor (separating Gaza from Egypt) in order to shut down trafficking between the two entities. Meaning Fatah actually wished greater harm to their own people that it was already suffering in Gaza.
The Papers and Wikileaks also reveal (and this was already well-known) the close bonds between Mohammed Dahlan, Fatah’s brutal strongman based in Gaza (until he was summarily booted out by Hamas), and the CIA and Israeli Shabak. Dahlan, widely seen as corrupt, was suspended last year from the Fatah leadership for plotting a coup against Mahmoud Abbas.