maandag 28 september 2009

Israel en PA in conflict over aankaarten oorlogsmisdaden Gaza Oorlog bij VN strafhof Den Haag

Terwijl ik dacht dat het de laatste tijd goed ging op de Westoever, zijn volgens onderstaand bericht de spanningen tussen Israel en de Palestijnse Autoriteit recentelijk toegenomen. Een van de redenen is dat de PA een verzoek bij het Internationale Strafhof in Den Haag heeft ingediend om claims van oorlogsmisdaden door Israel gepleegd tijdens de Gaza Oorlog afgelopen winter te onderzoeken. Israel zou geen toestemming voor een tweede telefoon provider op de Westoever willen geven zolang de PA dit verzoek niet intrekt, wat de PA economisch hard zou treffen. Is dit ontoelaatbare chantage of terecht gebruik van middelen die Israel ter beschikking staan? Ik ben niet thuis in de technische kant van een en ander, en de nadelen/risico's die Israel van toekennen van de frequentie ondervindt. Wel overtuigend vind ik het argument dat de PA zelf er bij Israel op zou hebben aangedrongen om Hamas vooral hard aan te pakken tijdens operatie Cast Lead. Als dat waar is, moet de PA nou niet zeuren over vermeende oorlogsmisdaden. Het Goldstone rapport en een eventueel onderzoek naar oorlogsmisdaden gepleegd door Israel zijn in het belang van Hamas, en zullen een Palestijnse staat niet dichterbij brengen.
Overigens bevat het Goldstone rapport vele onjuistheden, tegenstrijdigheden en blijkt men kritiekloos met Palestijnse bronnen te zijn omgegaan.
Men is intussen aan deel 15 van wat er allemaal niet klopt.

'Drop war crime suit or we'll block new cellphone operator'
By Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff
Haaretz 27 September 2009

Tensions are mounting between Israel and the Palestinian Authority following Ramallah's call on the International Court at The Hague to examine claims of "war crimes" that the IDF allegedly committed during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip. The issue is already weighing in on the relations between the leadership of Israel's defense and security establishment with their counterparts in the West Bank, and is part of a growing list of Israeli complaints about the behavior of PA officials.

Meanwhile, Israel has warned the Palestinian Authority that it would condition permission for a second cellular telephone provider to operate in the West Bank - an economic issue of critical importance to the PA leadership - on the Palestinians withdrawing their request at the International Court.

The issue of a second cellular provider is at the center of talks between the PA, the international Quartet, and Israel, and has been ongoing for some months. Currently the sole provider is Pal-Tel, and the PA prime minister, Salam Fayyad, considers the introduction of another carrier as an important step in improving the civilian infrastructure in the West Bank. The project is central to Watanya, the company that is set to serve as the second provider, and profits are expected to be substantial

However, if the project is not approved by October 15, the PA will be forced to pay a penalty estimated at $300 million, the sum that has already been invested in licensing and infrastructure.

Western diplomats, including the Quartet's envoy to the region, former British prime minister Tony Blair, and the U.S. ambassador to Israel, James Cunningham, have made it clear to senior Israeli officials that time is running out, and have urged them to allow for the establishment of a second provider to go forward.

Israel's objections begin with the issue of transmission frequencies. The frequencies that the Palestinians want the new company to use are very close to ones used by the Israel Defense Forces in some of its most sensitive activities.

"Israel is making it difficult for us on many levels," complains Mohammed Mustafa, economic adviser to PA President Mahmoud Abbas. "They now want us to pressure Pal-Tel to release some of its frequencies, so that they can be used by Watanya."

However, another, more substantive issue was recently added, when the Palestinian Authority appealed to the International Criminal Court. Security sources told Haaretz that this move, which was authorized by Fayyad and Abbas, incensed senior officials of the defense establishment, especially army Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi.

Ashkenazi has been kept busy by involvement in a holding action against the threat that Israeli officers would be brought before the court as a result of charges that the IDF committed war crimes in the Gaza Strip. Concern has intensified following the grave report that the Goldstone Commission released two weeks ago on behalf of the United Nations.

In Israel the argument is that the PA is being unfair, and that at the time of the operation in the Gaza Strip, last winter, its senior officials encouraged their Israeli counterparts to step up the pressure on Hamas, and even to attempt to bring its rule in the territory to the point of collapse. However, at a latter stage they joined those decrying Israel and its alleged actions in the Strip.

In light of this tension, the chief of staff conditioned his approval of a second cellular provider to the Palestinians' withdrawing their appeal to the court.

"The PA has reached the point where it has to decide whether it is working with us or against us," senior figures in the defense establishment have said. At the PA it is being said, in response to the Israeli demands, that Abbas and Fayyad will water down their appeal to the ICJ, though they will refuse to promise that it will rescinded entirely.

During the past year Israel defense officials have often praised the Palestinians on improving their contribution to securing the West Bank, and of the decisive character of the leadership under Fayyad. However, in recent weeks there have been increasing claims that even as the Authority is being praised by Israel and the international community, it is behaving irresponsibly by violating agreements between the two sides.

The Israeli claims focus on the growing presence of Palestinian security personnel in civilian clothing in East Jerusalem, contrary to the obligations of the PA. The security personnel participate in prayers at Al-Aqsa mosque, and at other sites in the city, and have stepped up their presence in the Jerusalem's medical and educational facilities. Moreover, they have also been involved in the abduction of Palestinians suspected of selling property to Jews.


Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA:  For some reason, the English edition of Haaretz did not have space in its summary of the considerably longer original Hebrew article to include the following:

"The activities of the Authority raised the ire of Shabbak head Yuval Diskin [AL: who, according to Ben Caspit in the lead item in the 25 September Friday supplement of Maariv ("There is a Partner") is ecstatic about security arrangements with the PA...oops]. Recently the Authority cancelled an Iftar party (feast breaking the Ramadan fast) it planned in eastern Jerusalem with the participation of Palestinian ministers, after an Israeli warning...

Israeli intelligence elements who studied the decisions of the Fatah Conference held last August in Bethlehem reached the conclusion that the declarations in favor of continuing the armed struggle are serious and worrying. The government was presented a study of the matter prepared by the Shabbak and the conclusions of Military Intelligence were similar. Despite these conclusions, the Israeli leadership decided not to publicly clash with Abbas over the matter.

In the background of the Israeli claims towards the PA today stand that lessons of history: In the years after the Oslo Agreements, in the mid-nineties, Israel frequently ignored alarming signs regarding the behavior of the PA leadership, headed by chairman Yasser Arafat.  The concern of some of the security elements today is that Israel is entering a similar trap, even if the style and behavior of Abbas and Fayad differs from Arafat.  In additional, it is feared that the enhanced training and equipment the Authority apparatus receives now  will be pointed one day against Israel, in the case that a third intifada breaks out."

The original Hebrew:

Geen opmerkingen:

Een reactie posten