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November 07, 2002

Arafat Molds Tanzim, al Aqsa Brigades into Private Army of Suicides

Sure. The US is working with Egypt to have Hamas stop suicide bombings. And when not chatting the Egyptians show Hamas folks Protocols of Zion on Egyptian TV>

Egypt, with quiet American encouragement, is engaged in a complicated diplomatic maneuver to persuade the Hamas to halt its suicide-murder attacks on Israelis by setting up meetings in Cairo between PLO representatives and the Damascus-based leaders of the Hamas: Khaled Mash’al and Abu Marzuk. This initiative comes from officials in the US State Department and European Union, led by Colin Powell and Javier Solana.

DEBKAfile’s political analysts note that both these officials cling against all odds to their dream of persuading Yasser Arafat to one day give up terror. Their latest ploy addresses the Islamic extremes of the Palestinian movement, the Hamas and the Jihad Islami, the idea being that if they are induced to stop their suicidal terror practices, the Tanzim and al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades run by Arafat’s Fatah will follow suit.

The Damascus officials of the two Islamic groups, who collaborate closely with the Hizballah and the al Qaeda contingent in Lebanon, see no reason to forego the rare honor of a red carpet welcome in Cairo, engineered by no less than the mighty United States and Europe. They also know that any promise to their hosts to desist from suicide massacres will be worthless, given Yasser Arafat’s latest pursuit in the privacy of his Ramallah headquarters.

According to DEBKAfile’s Palestinian sources, while the Palestinian leader misses no opportunity of pointing to his “reforms”, he is in fact deeply engaged in welding the two deadliest arms of his Fatah, along with the remnants of numerous disbanded security services, into a single force. On the face of it, he is meeting Washington’s demand for a single security force.

But this force is not exactly what the Americans had in mind. Its backbone is composed, in fact, of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, declared a terrorist organization last month by President George W. Bush, and the Tanzim militia. The purpose of the merger is to improve the efficiency of Arafat’s mass-murder machine and tighten its links with the Iraqi military intelligence undercover base in Amman, as well as with Iraqi and Palestinian terror groups in Baghdad,