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9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 10/10/2002 9:50:46 AM EDT
The Chicago Sun-Times October 10, 2002 Double standards for Mideast cops Editorial http://www.suntimes.com/output/commentary/cst-edt-edits10.html The Palestinian Authority's police finally found a murder by the terrorist Hamas gang that they couldn't stomach. Of course, it wasn't the terror killing of an Israeli. It was the death of the commander of the Palestinian riot police in the Gaza Strip, kidnapped and riddled with bullets the other day by a Hamas chieftain in revenge for the police slaying of his brother and two other Hamas thugs a year ago. (In case you're wondering, those three were killed not for a terrorist crime but for taking part in an anti-American riot last October that embarrassed Yasser Arafat, coming as it did only weeks after the Sept. 11 attack.) The Palestinian Authority security forces responded to the killing of one of their own by doing what police in most of the the rest of the world normally do--search for suspects in a murder. It culminated in gun battles between Arafat's cops and Hamas gangsters, leaving, Palestinian sources say, four Hamas gunmen dead and 15 others wounded. A cease-fire was reportedly reached, maybe with an understanding that the killers of the officers will be handed over to Palestinian police sometime soon. We bring this up not out of any belief that justice is about to break out in Arafat's domain. Rather, this episode serves as a rebuttal to his apologists, who moan that Arafat can't be expected to run a police operation with all those Israeli tanks in the West Bank. We now know that his police can move against terrorists when they want to. But if Hamas, and not Arafat's police, does rule in Gaza, who's to blame? There's been no West Bank-type Israeli military incursion there. What's more, while Hamas cutthroats have the run of Gaza, and Fatah terrorists share quarters with Arafat in Ramallah, his police continue to round up anyone suspected of collaborating with Israel. Even as Israelis encircled Arafat's compound in a much criticized recent operation, Palestinian police, working in the West Bank as well as Gaza, arrested nearly a score of accused collaborators. Arafat's apologists also conveniently forget that long before the West Bank incursion, his jails were infamous for their revolving doors for arrested terrorists, and one of his police stations was the site of the lynching of two Israelis. The Israelis are coming in for criticism again, this time for an operation in Gaza. While in pursuit of two terrorists there, Israeli troops came under fire, and an Israeli helicopter responded with a rocket. Sixteen people, 13 of them gunmen, were killed, and a large number of people, unfortunately civilians among them, were hurt. The point to remember here is that the civilians were not targeted, as Israeli civilians are by Hamas in Jerusalem malls and Tel Aviv buses. The usual suspects, read Javier Solana of the European Union and Richard Boucher of our own State Department, were quick to accuse the Israelis of a careless undertaking endangering civilians. Where, we can't help but ask, is the outrage over Hamas murderers going about the business of plotting terror among Palestinian civilian populations, in effect using as shields the women, children and old people they claim to be champions of? Boucher, or whoever gives him his orders, should be mindful that we may be at war in Iraq soon, and Saddam Hussein will have no compunction about hiding soldiers among women and children or in mosques and neighborhoods. If Saddam doesn't disarm, U.S. forces will have to go after him, just as the Israelis are taking on the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists who try to make the crowded Gaza Strip a protected sanctuary for themselves.
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