Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Chutzpah! U.S. demands Israel explain terrorists' deaths

Aaron Klein at World Net Daily reports that the Obama administration is demanding that Israel explain an IDF operation in which three terrorists were killed last weekend:
"This is sheer chutzpah and is an unprecedented and strange request," said an Israeli security official familiar with the U.S. request.

Over the weekend, three terrorist suspects, all members of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah organization, were killed in an Israeli raid intended to arrest the suspects upon information they killed an Israeli civilian last Thursday. The three Fatah terrorists were heavily armed and refused to surrender to the Israeli soldiers, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

Israel had information that all three were responsible for the terrorist shooting of Meir Hai, a 40-year-old West Bank Jewish teacher and father of seven, who was murdered on a road near his home in an area where Israel had recently lifted a roadblock restricting Palestinian movement.

A spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces told WND yesterday that ballistic tests carried out on a weapon found inside the terrorists' apartment later confirmed the gun was used in the shooting of Hai.
This unusual request by the Obama administration prompted an indignant Op-Ed piece by Dan Diker in the Jersusalem Post which suggests that it is the U.S. that should be doing the explaining:
As a rule, the US has not asked Israel for public clarifications on antiterror operations. Clearly, close communications are important. There are multiple security and intelligence channels between Israel and its closest ally that have been and should be used to handle these types of security queries. The Israeli Embassy in Washington, the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, the US consulate in Jerusalem, military attaches and representatives of respective intelligence agencies are appropriate addresses.

But in this extraordinary case, the US demanded a public clarification on behalf of the PA. This clearly represents heightened US sensitivity to Palestinian protests over the IDF's "unjust" incursion into Area A of Judea and Samaria/the West Bank, where the PA has overall security responsibility, to net the Fatah-associated terror cell that resulted in its elimination.

THIS IS where it seems more appropriate that the US issue clarifications to Israel. At least one of the Aksa Brigades commanders - Annan Sabuh, who was found with two M16 automatic rifles and two other firearms - had been part of the amnesty program for former Fatah-affiliated terror group commanders and operatives that was predicated on turning in all weapons. The amnesty program was implemented in no small part at the behest of the United States and its security reform program, which began under Lt.-Gen. Keith Dayton in 2005.
Scott Johnson at Powerline seems to agree:
Diker reasonably argues that it is Washington, not Jerusalem, that has some 'splainin' to do. We understand that Diker's column is making a splash in Israeli government circles today. It should also be making a splash in our own government circles, especially in light of the staggering incompetence of our antiterror efforts.
This diplomatic slap at Israel comes on the heels of an incident in the West Bank in which an American consulate car tried to run over an Israeli security guard at a border crossing checkpoint.  Is this what Presidential candidate Senator Obama meant when as he described himself to AIPAC as "a true friend of Israel" and said, "Let me be clear. Israel's security is sacrosanct. It is non-negotiable."

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